Qantas Tour of Bangladesh 2017

Hopes still high for Bangladesh tour

Cricket Australia officials complete a pre-tour inspection to green light arrangements but tour still hinges on pay dispute resolution

AFP

28 July 2017, 09:24 PM

Australia's cricket authorities are hopeful that a Bangladesh tour due to start in less than a month will go ahead despite a player rebellion over pay, a senior team official said.

The scheduled two-Test series has been placed in jeopardy by the long-running dispute, which has pitted Australia's top cricket stars against the game's governing body.

"There is obviously a lot of work to be done. But we are hopeful and optimistic that the tour will go ahead," Gavin Dovey, Australia cricket team manager told reporters in the Bangladesh city of Chittagong late Thursday.

Australian team manager Gavin Dovey and coach Darren Lehmann // Getty
Australian team manager Gavin Dovey and coach Darren Lehmann // Getty

The fate of the series depends on the resolution of a revenue sharing deal between Cricket Australia and players. An Australia A tour of South Africa has already been cancelled because of the dispute.

Cricket Australia said Thursday it will take the bitter row to independent arbitration if an agreement cannot be reached by early next week.

Quick Single: Arbitration call brings pay dispute to a head

Dovey made his remarks at the end of a four-day tour by a Cricket Australia team to inspect facilities and security arrangements in the South Asian nation. 

The team visited the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong which is to host the second Test from September 4-8. 

Australia are scheduled to arrive Bangladesh on August 18. The first Test is at Dhaka's Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on August 27-31.

Gillespie (right) took 3-11 in five overs in Bangladesh's first innings // Getty
Australia last toured Bangladesh in 2006 // Getty

Australia have not played a Test in Bangladesh since Ricky Ponting's team visited in 2006, six years after Bangladesh were granted Test status.

They were due to play two Tests in Bangladesh in October 2015 but the tour was cancelled amid security fears after attacks by Islamist extremists in the Muslim-majority nation.

Australia refused to send their team to last year's Under-19 World Cup in Dhaka over security worries.

Bangladesh hosted England last year, drawing the Test series 1-1.

"We were very disappointed not to come in 2015 but obviously the safety and security of the players and the team is paramount, irrespective of whether we tour to Bangladesh or anywhere else in the world," Dovey said.

Bangladesh has promised head-of-state style security for Australia's cricketers this time.

AUSTRALIA SQUAD: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Ashton Agar, Hilton Cartwright, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, James Pattinson, Matthew Renshaw, Matthew Wade (plus one fast bowler TBC)

BANGLADESH PRELIMINARY SQUAD: Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Soumya Sarkar, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan, Sabbir Rahman, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Mahmudullah Riyad, Liton Kumar Das, Mominul Haque, Mehedi Hasan, Taijul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed, Subhashish Roy, Kamrul Islam Rabbi, Rubel Hossain, Nurul Hasan, Sanjamul Islam, Mosaddek Hossain Saikat, Mohammad Saifuddin, Anamul Haque, Abul Hasan Raju, Al Amin Hossain, Nasir Hossain, Muktar Ali, Tanbir Haider, Saqlain Sajib, Shafiul Islam.

FIXTURES

18 August Australia arrive

22-23 August Tour match,Fatullah

27-31 August First Test, Dhaka

4-8 September Second Test, Chittagong