The Bangladesh Cricket Board is disappointed as Cricket Australia pulled its team out from forthcoming ICC Under-19 cricket tournament but indicated that they are relieved at the same time as other countries did not follow their path. CA formally announced on Tuesday that Australia are not going to participate in the ICC Under-19 World Cup for security reasons.This is for the first time a team has unilaterally pulled out from an ICC event, although boycotting a particular venue or country is not new.
Australia and West Indies forfeited their respective match against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka in 1996 while New Zealand did not play their World Cup 2003 match against Kenya at Nairobi.
England declined to play in Zimbabwe in the same tournament due to political unrest of the country, though Australia, the eventual winner of the tournament played against Zimbabwe at Harare.
The BCB had anticipated Australia’s decision much earlier but at the same time was concerned whether the tournament may suffer boycott by multiple teams.
Reg Dickason, a security official for England and New Zealand accompanied the ICC security officials during their visit in November.
It was followed by a visit of Sean Carroll, Cricket Australia’s security head, who met the government officials in Dhaka before reporting back to authorities in Melbourne.
Though Carroll’s report went against Bangladesh, it appeared that Dickason was convinced as both England and New Zealand confirmed their participation.
West Indies will be the first team to arrive on January 8, ahead of the mega event as they are scheduled to play a three-match series against the hosts Bangladesh from January 11.
Sri Lanka will arrive on January 15 as they want to provide their junior team with sufficient time to adapt to the condition.
All the other teams will arrive on January 20, the cut out time set by ICC to arrive in Bangladesh for the tournament.
BCB chief executive Nizamuddin Chowdhury said that he is hopeful the tournament will go as per schedule.
‘Of course it is very disappointing that a participating country has pulled out from an ICC competition,’ Chowdhury told reporters in Dhaka. ‘But still we are hopeful we will be able to deliver the tournament successfully.’
Chowdhury termed Australia’s decision ‘regrettable’ but added that Australia were assured of a highest level of security. ‘The highest level of government assured us to provide the tournament with comprehensive security. We tried as far as we could,’ he said.
BCB president Nazmul Hasan held a teleconference with board members of other countries to assure them of security.
‘Our president held a teleconference with other countries,’ said BCB director Ismail Haider Mallick.
‘Hopefully we will be able to complete the tournament without any serious hiccup,’ he said.
-With New Age input