Sutherland sympathises with Bangladesh

Cricket Australia boss commits to rescheduling Test tour of Bangladesh after October series was postponed

Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland says he's eager to work with his counterparts in Bangladesh to reschedule their postponed two-Test series.

And Sutherland has sympathised with Bangladeshi cricket supporters, whose nine-year wait for a visit from Australia's Test team has now been extended.

Sutherland confirmed on Thursday that Australia's proposed tour, which was due to start with a warm-up match tomorrow, has been pushed back due to security fears in the country.

While the tour won't go ahead as planned, both countries say they are eager to find a gap in the busy ICC Future Tours Program in which the tour can be rescheduled.

Sutherland said the recent rise of the Bangladesh team, plus the new faces in the Australian squad, meant the decision to withdraw was always going to leave players and fans in both countries with a sense of disappointment.

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"Clearly this is very, very disappointing news for (Bangladesh) and I think we respect and understand their disappointment," he said.

"Not just Bangladesh Cricket, but also the Bangladesh government and the cricket fans of Bangladesh. 

"This has been a tour that has been looked forward to for a long time.

"The Bangladesh cricket team is on the rise. We've been looking forward to the challenges of playing them and of course for the Australian cricket team, (it) was going to be a fantastic opportunity for a number of new players to make their mark in Bangladesh on this tour.

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"It's been nine years since we've played Test cricket in Bangladesh so you can understand the level of anticipation, (especially) with the performances of their team in recent times.

"We too were very much looking forward to it and it's with deep regret that we announce that we're postponing the tour.

"What we all need to know and understand is that Bangladesh is a passionate cricket country and we understand that this will be devastating for cricket fans in Bangladesh.

"We hope to get back on the cricket field with Bangladesh very, very soon and certainly one of the first things we want to do is to sit down with the Bangladesh Cricket Board and work out a time when this tour can proceed."

The decision to postpone the tour has been met with disappointment by the BCB, who had promised the Australian team a high level of security and remain firm in their belief that the country is safe enough to tour.

"The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is disappointed at the decision of Cricket Australia (CA) to postpone the Test series in Bangladesh on ‘security’ grounds," the BCB said in a statement.

"The BCB does not agree with the view that Bangladesh is at the moment unsafe for hosting the series against Australia. On the contrary, the Board is of the opinion that Bangladesh at present offers one of the safest environments for holding international sporting events including cricket.

"The Board is committed to rescheduling the series at a later date and will continue to work closely with CA to that end."

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Despite their disagreements over the security situation, Sutherland praised the BCB and the Bangladeshi government for the way they worked with visiting Cricket Australia officials in a bid to revive the tour.

Sutherland said both countries would discuss when the tour could go ahead in the future, and should the security situation not improve he did not rule out the possibility that it could be played outside Bangladesh.

But he said those decisions were for the BCB to consider.

"Looking ahead we can explore different options there," he said. "To some extent those options were more in the hands of the Bangladesh cricket board in that it's their tour, they're due to host the tour and it's for them to consider where the series is played and indeed when.

"So from that perspective all we can do is to offer ourselves as being available to play talk about possible venues and when.

"The co-operation and understanding that we've had with Bangladesh Cricket Board and Bangladesh government officials over the course of the last few days has been nothing short of outstanding.

"Their response has been serious and very much understanding of the situation."

Sutherland was hopeful that the current security situation would ease and allow international cricket to return to Bangladesh, particularly with the Under-19 World Cup to be hosted there early next year.

"From a security point of view, the Under 19 World Cup is still a long way away and this is hopefully just a small moment in time where that security level and that threat level has been high enough for us to make the unfortunate decision that we've had to make today," he said.

"But I don't think it will have any effect on the Under-19 World Cup."