MELBOURNE (Web Desk) – Australia says it has delayed the departure of its Cricket Test team for a two-match tour of Bangladesh due to concerns about the safety and security of the team.
Chief executive James Sutherland said in a statement on Saturday that recent advice from a range of Australian government sources had identified a potential security risk to Australian interests in Bangladesh.
The team was due to depart Sydney on Monday morning but will now wait for further security advice before confirming its travel arrangements for the tour.
“We have received advice from DFAT (Australia’s Department Of Foreign Affairs And Trade) and based on that information we are working with security experts and the Bangladesh Cricket Board on a revised security plan for the tour,” Sutherland said.
“We want the tour to go ahead and are planning for that, but the safety and security of our players and support staff is our No. 1 priority and won’t be compromised.
“We will wait to receive updated security information early in the week before confirming the team’s travel arrangements. In the meantime, we are keeping our players and support staff fully informed.”
In updated general travel advice for Bangladesh, Australia’s foreign affairs department has warned of possible attacks.
“We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in Bangladesh due to the uncertain political and security situation,” the warning said.
“Pay close attention to your personal security at all times. Monitor the media and other sources about possible security risks. There is reliable information to suggest that militants may be planning to target Australian interests in Bangladesh.
“Australian officials in Bangladesh have been advised to limit their movements in public places.”
The first Test was due to begin October 9 at Chittagong, with the second Test set to be played from October 17 in Dhaka.
A three-day tour match was scheduled to begin next Saturday in Fatullah, a match that could now be in doubt due to the Australian team’s delayed departure.