Australia's tour match in Fatullah cancelled | cricket.com.au

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Australia's tour match in Fatullah cancelled

Conditions at venue deemed unsatisfactory for two-day warm-up due to heavy recent rain

The local conditions for Australia’s first Test in Bangladesh in more than a decade will remain a mystery to the tourists until the first ball of Sunday’s long-awaited match, after coach Darren Lehmann confirmed their only scheduled tour match has been scrapped.

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The venue for the slated two-day warm-up match against a Bangladesh Cricket Board XI on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, Fatullah's Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium, has been deemed unsuitable for play after becoming flooded by contaminated water in recent weeks.

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Lehmann was among of group of team staff who took a final look at Fatullah, which hosted its maiden Test when Australia last visited Bangladesh 11 years ago, on Monday morning to inspect the damage.

But with Bangladesh in the middle of its monsoon season the ground hasn't been able to recover in time with more storms forecast on Monday.

"We've decided to not do the tour game now which is a shame for both sides, the Bangladesh Cricket Board has been fantastic trying to get a game," Lehmann told reporters on Monday after Australia’s training session was washed out in Mirpur.

"The amount of rain they’ve had can't be helped.

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"We looked at various facilities around Bangladesh, and Dhaka especially. We feel for the BCB and all the people of Bangladesh with how much rain they've had.

"It’s a shame we're not playing but we've got great facilities here.

"At the end of the day, we just can't play on the ground as such.

"We're ready to go, it's just now a case of fine-tuning our skills in the nets available and what we can get out of that (to be) ready for the first Test."

The BCB are believed to have proposed Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protisthan, the country’s largest sporting institute, and Sylhet International Cricket Stadium, which hosted matches during the 2014 World T20, as alternative venues.

But given Australia's meticulously planned security arrangements, rescheduling the match would have been a difficult logistical feat.

It means the tourists will instead rely on a week's worth of net practice in Dhaka, which follows a 10-day pre-tour camp in Darwin, to gear up for the first Test at Sher-e Bangla National Stadium.

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Probably not for the last time on this tour, Australia's training session in Mirpur was washed out as rain – of which 300mm falls on Dhaka during an average August – set in about an hour into their session on Monday.

Showers and thunderstorms are forecast this week but Lehmann remains hopeful Bangladesh will be able to stage their first-ever Test series in August-September, at the height of the region’s monsoon season.

"Fingers crossed we can get the ground up here and play a great Test series against a quality side at home," said Lehmann, who struck two of his five Test centuries in a 2003 series against Bangladesh in Darwin and Cairns.

As was the case on their four-Test of India earlier this year, Australia are expecting turning pitches that favour the hosts' spinners, but producing an abrasive, dry wicket at this time of year could be a tough ask for the Mirpur curator.

"We're not entirely sure what we're going to get for this first Test match," captain Steve Smith said on Saturday.

"Obviously there's been a bit of rain about and you don't know how much time the curator is going to get to get into the wicket.

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"We'll have to adapt to whatever the wicket we come up against on the first morning of the Test match."

In 2015, Bangladesh hosted South Africa in a Test that began on July 30, but the match ended in a sodden draw with less than 90 overs bowled, all of them on day one.

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Australia in Bangladesh 2017

Australia squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Ashton Agar, Jackson Bird, Hilton Cartwright, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Renshaw, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade.

Bangladesh squad: Mushfiqur Rahim (c), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Shakib Al Hasan, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Sabbir Rahman, Nasir Hossain, Liton Das, Taskin Ahmed, Shafiul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Taijul Islam, Mominul Haque.


22-23 August Tour match, TBC


27-31 August First Test, Dhaka


4-8 September Second Test, Chittagong