Bangladesh tour decision looming

Bangladesh make final appeal as Cricket Australia announcement looms

The Bangladesh Cricket Board has made one final attempt to convince Australia to continue with what now appears to be an unlikely two-Test tour.

Cricket Australia (CA) is expected to announce the series, slated to start on Saturday with a tour game, will be cancelled in the wake of threats of militant attacks.

CA's security staff briefed the peak body's board and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on Wednesday, having returned from meetings in Bangladesh.

DFAT, citing intelligence about possible militant attacks on Australian interests in Bangladesh, have blocked Australia's squad from departing.

In a statement released earlier this morning (AEST), Nazmul Hassan, the president of the BCB, revealed an unprecedented level of security for a touring nation would be supplied.

"We have left no stone unturned in providing assurance regarding security for the Australian team," Hassan said.

"The Bangladesh Government has committed additional security on top of the substantial and elaborate arrangements in the BCB's standard Security Plan for international cricket.

"For the team (Australia) the level has been confirmed as VVIP which is equivalent to security accorded to Head of States and is unprecedented for any international side.

"We are still hopeful that a fresh date for arrival of its team will be declared by CA and we will see some exciting cricket on the ground soon.

"It is worth mentioning that during the ICC World Twenty20 Bangladesh 2014, when the risk which was assessed by Australia was of a higher level to what is at present.

"Safety and security was successfully provided to 24 men's and women's teams including the Australian men's and women's squads as well as to officials and guests who arrived for the event."

Australia coach Darren Lehmann has admitted that as time goes on, it becomes less and less likely that the tour of Bangladesh will go ahead.

With Australia’s Test cricketers instructed to re-join their state squads for training while deliberations on the tour continue, Lehmann said he expected a decision to be made today.

“It’s getting pretty tight now, to be honest,” Bupa Support Team Head Coach Lehmann told 5AA radio last night.

“At the end of the day we have to wait and see what the boards and the security come up with, but we have to make the right decision for player and staff safety.

“We’re still on hold. The security guys got back from Bangladesh today so they’re obviously speaking to board as we speak. Hopefully we come to some sort of answer in the next 24 hours or so.”

CA officials yesterday continued their talks on the security situation in Bangladesh with the DFAT, the Australian Cricketers’ Association player union and independent security advisors.

Australian soccer is also monitoring the outcome of cricket’s decision, with the Socceroos scheduled to play Bangladesh in a World Cup qualifier in Dhaka on November 17.

Australia's Test squad have returned to state ranks for training and are now expected to feature in the Matador BBQs One-Day Cup starting Monday in Sydney.