Australia set for five-match T20 tour of Bangladesh
Australia's hunt for missing silverware boosted by the extended T20 campaign with a nine-day trip to Bangladesh to follow on from Caribbean tour
26 May 2021, 10:32 AM AEST
Australia's preparation for this year's T20 World Cup has been given a major boost with Aaron Finch's side to play five T20s against Bangladesh in August.
The five-match campaign is set to take place immediately after Australia's white-ball tour of the Caribbean, where the Aussies will take on the two-time T20 World Cup champions West Indies in five T20s and three ODIs.
The tour had originally been slated for three matches, but has been extended to five games across nine days. Dates and venues are yet to be confirmed.
That gives Australia 10 T20s, plus possible warm-up games, ahead of the 2021 T20 World Cup, which is slated to start in October in either India or the UAE.
The men's T20 World Cup is the only trophy Australia have yet to win, coming close in 2010 when Michael Clarke's side lost to arch-rivals England in the final.
Australia were set to tour Bangladesh last year for two Tests before the campaign was postponed due to the global pandemic, following the cancelled South Africa Test tour.
Australia have not toured Bangladesh since a two-Test series in 2017. Their only previous T20s in the country came in the 2014 T20 World Cup, when their only win of four group matches was against the host nation.
With the Indian Premier League reportedly set to resume in the United Arab Emirates in September, Australia's gun T20 players could face another long stint on the road.
Cricket Australia named a 23-man extended squad for the Windies tour, with a reduced squad likely to depart late in June for the first T20 in Saint Lucia on July 9.
That series wraps up with the final ODI in Barbados on July 24, and the Aussie squad will then travel to Bangladesh.
Australia's IPL players may then potentially travel directly to Dubai for that tournament and then onto the T20 World Cup, which could also be staged in the UAE.
And that's before Australia host a jam-packed men's international program, starting with the one-off Test against Afghanistan in Hobart from November 27 and followed by a five-match Ashes series and white-ball series against New Zealand and Sri Lanka.
Given the long time on the road, it has been reported Cummins and Warner have expressed a desire to miss the Caribbean and Bangladesh tour to stay in Australia with their families.
The Bangladesh tour, which was initially three T20s, is set to be completed in "eight or nine days", according to Bangladesh Cricket Board cricket operations chairman Akram Khan.
The tour gives Australia a great opportunity to acclimatise to subcontinent-like conditions ahead of the World Cup, whether it be staged in India or the UAE.
Australia were knocked out in the group stage of the last T20 World Cup held in India in 2016.
Since then the men's T20 side has become the No.1-ranked team in the world but has recently slipped to No.5 in the official ICC table.