CA stand by decision to avoid Bangladesh

Australia

Cricket Australia have responded unapologetically to comments made by Bangladesh Cricket Board director Sheikh Sohel, who said that the Aussies refused to tour the country last year without a 'valid reason'.

Australia postponed their tour to the Asian country after an Italian man was murdered in Dhaka, and the Canberra government advised it was not safe for the team. They withdrew their under 19 side from the World Cup there as well.

A CA spokesperson told cricket.com.au: "We stand by our decision to postpone tours to Bangladesh due to serious concerns about the safety and security of the Australian team and officials.

"We really feel for the Bangladeshi people and we hope that we can get back to Bangladesh soon.

"We will continue to monitor advice from ASIO, DFAT and our own security advisors about the security risk for any future tours of the Australian team in Bangladesh and make a decision based on this advice closer to any potential tour."

But Sohel feels the Aussies latched onto any excise not to visit Bangladesh, and hopes England's tour in September is not affected by the recent attack in Dhaka that saw more than 20 people killed.

Sohel lamented: "What happened is a very bad news for the entire nation. It's a shocker for not only cricket, but every sector of the country.

"I don't know what will happen in our cricket. This is a sensitive issue, and if something like this continues to happen, we will become abandoned by other cricket playing nations.

"Actually some countries always look for excuses to skip touring Bangladesh. For instance, Australia postponed their Bangladesh tour last year without showing any valid reason.

"They didn't even let their Under-19 team to come for the World Cup (earlier this year). But in that time, we had our points to defend ourselves.

"But after what happened on Friday we are totally clueless. Now if England opt not to come, we won't have anything to say.

"I hope England won't take any such decision. Even though Australia postponed their tour last year, and also didn't send an age-level team (to the Under-19 World Cup), England did the opposite, and they consented to send the senior team as well later this year.

"Hopefully they will do the same again. Now we have to wait and see what they have to say from their part. We still have plenty of time on our hands, so let's hope for the best."

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