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Australia postpones B’desh tour amid safety concerns

Melbourne: Cricket Australia (CA) on Thursday announced that it has been forced to postpone the upcoming away Test series against Bangladesh due to security reasons.

CA CEO James Sutherland said recent advice from the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and CA’s Head of Security about an increasing security risk for the Australian team in Bangladesh meant this month’s matches could not proceed.

An independent security assessment confirmed there is a risk of terrorism in Bangladesh targeting Australian nationals.

“This has been a very difficult decision. Following the most recent information from Australian Government agencies and our own security advisors, we have decided that, regrettably, we have no alternative but to postpone the tour,” Sutherland said in a statement.

“Over the last few days we have sought to obtain as much information as possible about the risks for Australians travelling to Bangladesh. We had hoped that the security concerns would fade, but unfortunately the advice we have received from government, our own security experts and independent security advisors has clearly indicated that there are now high risks to our people should they make the trip,” the CEO added.

He also expressed sympathy for Bangladesh cricket and its <g data-gr-id="30">supporters,</g> but said the safety of the Australian players and <g data-gr-id="29">staff</g> was the top priority.

“We have worked tirelessly to try to find a way for the tour to proceed, but in the end it was simply not possible. Given the situation, we have now advised the BCB and the International Cricket Council (ICC) of our decision. We understand that this decision will be very disappointing for the cricket community in Bangladesh,” Sutherland said.

“However, from an Australian perspective, the safety of our players and officials is our highest priority. We will work with the BCB to reschedule the tour as soon as possible.”

CA was approached by ASIO and DFAT last Friday with <g data-gr-id="31">urgent</g> advice that it had identified a potential security risk to Australian interests in Bangladesh.
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