Qantas Tour of Bangladesh 2021
Details for Australia's tour of Bangladesh revealed
Bangladesh officials release the itinerary for Australia's five-match T20 series next month, which will follow the tour of the West Indies
22 July 2021, 04:04 PM AEST
Australia's T20 World Cup preparations have received a boost with confirmation a five-match series in Bangladesh will go ahead next month.
The Australia squad, which lost a T20 series to the West Indies 4-1, will fly from Barbados to Dhaka next week after the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) today confirmed details that will see Aaron Finch's side play five matches in seven days.
Australia's 20-player squad will be unchanged from the group currently in the Caribbean, with players such as David Warner, Glenn Maxwell, Pat Cummins, Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis and Jhye Richardson remaining at home.
The Bangladesh tour had been mooted for some time but had not been officially locked in as the two boards discussed bio-security arrangements amid a surge of COVID-19 cases in the south Asian country.
Cases of the virus have been increasing in recent weeks and a week-long pause on restrictions for the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha has been criticised by health experts due to fears that infections will rise even further.
However, the two boards have agreed to terms and all five games, which will act as crucial preparation for this year's T20 World Cup, will be held at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka.
All matches will be played between August 3 and 9. Bangladesh did not confirm start times, only that the matches would be 'day-night', which correlates with recent history where Bangladesh have played their home T20 fixtures with a 6pm start, which would equate to 10pm on Australia's eastern seaboard.
No broadcast deal has yet been struck for Australian audiences, but Rupert Murdoch's Foxtel and Kayo Sports platforms have a long-standing history of broadcasting Australia's overseas matches, and secured a last-minute deal to screen the current tour of the West Indies.
It will be the first ever bilateral T20 series between the two countries, Australia's fourth ever tour of Bangladesh for a bilateral series, and their first visit since 2017 after their proposed Test campaign there last year was called off due to the pandemic.
The four previous T20 meetings between the two sides have all come at T20 World Cups, all won by Australia. The Aussies' only previous T20s in Bangladesh came during the 2014 T20 World Cup, when their only win from four group matches came against the host nation.
Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley said: "We would like to thank our friends at the Bangladesh Cricket Board for developing a detailed bio-security plan to keep players, staff and match officials safe.
"Both boards have worked extremely hard to do all we can to ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyone involved in the tour.
"We are looking forward to a competitive and entertaining series in Dhaka as both teams continue their preparations for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup later this year."
BCB CEO Nizam Uddin Chowdhury said: "The BCB and Cricket Australia have worked tirelessly together for confirming the itinerary. Naturally this was a challenge due to the COVID-19 pandemic as ensuring health safety and security is a priority prerequisite for holding any cricket series in these times. I am pleased to say that a comprehensive bio-security plan is in place and will be implemented during the tour for the protection of players and staff of the two teams and the match officials.
"We are really looking forward to an exciting and enjoyable contest between Bangladesh and Australia as both teams play an attacking brand of cricket and have players suited to this format."
The games in Bangladesh are the only T20s Australia are confirmed to play between now and the World Cup, which will be held in the UAE.
Afghanistan officials had spoken about hosting Australia and the West Indies for a T20 tri-series in October, but that has not been locked in.
The Aussies will fly to Dhaka after the third ODI against West Indies on Sunday.
Bangladesh, who are currently in Zimbabwe where they will play the first of a three-match T20 series tonight, will be without Tamim Iqbal, their all-time leading run-scorer in the format, for the matches against Australia.
Tamim, who missed Bangladesh's one-off Test against Zimbabwe before playing in all three ODIs against the same opposition, has been side-lined for up to eight weeks with a knee ligament injury.
The availability of Mushfiqur Rahim is also in doubt after the senior batsman left Bangladesh's Zimbabwe tour early to return to Dhaka for personal reasons. It is unclear if he will re-enter the bio-secure environment in time for the series.
Qantas Tour of Bangladesh 2021
Australia squad: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Wes Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Dan Christian, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Mitchell Marsh, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade (vc), Adam Zampa. Travelling reserves: Nathan Ellils, Tanveer Sangha.
Bangladesh squad: TBC
(all matches at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, Dhaka)
First T20: August 3, start time TBC
Second T20: August 4, start time TBC
Third T20: August 6, start time TBC
Fourth T20: August 7, start time TBC
Fifth T20: August 9, start time TBC