Bangladesh v Australia Tests
'No alarm' for tour safety: Bangladesh
BCB chief plays down Australian government warning and confident tour will continue
27 September 2015, 07:32 AM AEST
The Bangladesh Cricket Board is confident Australia's visit for a two-Test series will go ahead as scheduled, claiming there is "no alarm regarding security" and played down the seriousness of a warning issued by the Australian government.
Cricket Australia announced on Saturday evening the planned Monday morning departure of the Test team would be delayed. It came after Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) warned of "reliable information to suggest that militants may be planning to target Australian interests in Bangladesh".
The Bangladesh Cricket Board said the warning was only a "general indicator" for foreign travellers and there was no specific threat to the players.
"The current security and safety level for Bangladesh is similar to other countries of the region," a BCB statement said.
Bangladesh's shares borders with Myanmar and India, which today welcomes the South Africa cricket team for a 72-day tour, and the Bay of Bengal.
BCB Chief Executive Officer Nizam Uddin Chowdhury said the BCB was working closely with CA on safety and security and he expected a fresh arrival date soon.
"As the DFAT advisory update was issued only yesterday therefore CA wishes to gather more information before the arrival of the team which is understandable," Chowdhury said.
"There is no alarm regarding security as far as we are concerned and we have taken the opinion of all relevant agencies because safety of the Australian team is our priority as it is with all visiting teams to Bangladesh.
Confident: BCB chief Nizam Uddin Chowdhury // Getty
"CA has stated its commitment to the series already in a media release and we are confident that the tour will commence with minimum delay."
CA Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland said a revised security plan for the tour was needed following the DFAT advice, which was last issued on Friday.
"We have received advice from DFAT and based on that information we are working with security experts and the Bangladesh Cricket Board on a revised security plan for the tour," Sutherland said.
"We want the tour to go ahead and are planning for that, but the safety and security of our players and support staff is our number-one priority and won't be compromised.
"We will wait to receive updated security information early in the week before confirming the team's travel arrangements.
"In the meantime, we are working with the ACA and keeping our players and support staff fully informed."
The Steve-Smith-led tourists had been scheduled to spend 24 nights in the country on the Qantas Tour of Bangladesh, playing one three-day warm-up in Fatullah before Tests in Chittagong and Dhaka, the capital.
There has been no word if the matches would need to be rescheduled.
If the security concerns could be resolved quickly it might be possible that, with a packed home summer to come, the front end of the trip could be condensed.
That would mean Smith's inexperienced charges would have less time to adapt and acclimatise to the hot and humid local conditions and prepare for the country's first Test on Bangladesh soil in nine years.
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Australia had been due to have four clear days between arrival and their first match, a warm-up match against a BCB XI due to start on October 3.
The BCB had named a pace-heavy attack for that match which is unlikely to offer the visitors the sort of preparation they would desire.
Bangladesh national selector Minhajul Abedin said denying Australia their ideal preparation was a BCB strategy.
"We are taking home advantage. Like any other touring side that comes to Bangladesh, we will make it challenging for Australia to play spin, which is our biggest area of strength," Abedin said.
DFAT issued its latest security advice about Bangladesh on Friday, saying there was "reliable information" of a threat to Australians.
"There is reliable information to suggest that militants may be planning to target Australian interests in Bangladesh," DFAT's website said.
Australia featured in the World T20 in Bangladesh in 2014 – a victory against the hosts their only win – but have not toured the country for a bilateral series since three ODIs in 2011, and have not played a Test there since April 2006, when Jason Gillespie famously scored a double century as nightwatchman.
"Australians should be aware that normal travel in many parts of Dhaka is often not possible due to arbitrary acts of violence," DFAT warned.
"Bangladesh has experienced a number of terrorist incidents in the past and security agencies in Bangladesh continue to arrest people connected to terrorist organisations. Further attacks are possible, including against Western interests."
The government website also warns "political violence occurs regularly in Bangladesh" and said political violence in January of this year resulted in "violent incidents, including arson attacks took place across the country, resulting in death and injury".