CA, BCB negotiating format, timing of potential Australia visit
Australia and Bangladesh are at odds over the timing and format of the tour tentatively scheduled for later this year after the previously planned visit by Steven Smiths' team was scuppered due to security concerns.
While the Future Tours Programme has Australia visiting Bangladesh in July for two Test matches as per the original 2015 plan, it has been reported that Cricket Australia (CA) suggested changing the tour to an ODI-based visit ahead of the limited-overs tour of India scheduled for October before the home Ashes summer.
However the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is believed to have relayed to CA its preference for the tour to remain as originally mapped out, partly because the national team is presently in arguably the richest vein of Test-match form in its history, having registered wins over England and Sri Lanka in recent months.
Among Bangladesh's other reasons for maintaining the tour's current place is that they have other proposed tours that clash with CA's plan. Bangladesh are set to play Pakistan in July and August, before touring South Africa from mid-September to late October.
The Australian proposal would by contrast maintain consistency for Smith's team in the wake of the Champions Trophy in England. It would also allow for the selection of a limited overs-specific squad that would in turn offer the opportunity for numerous Test players to play a full Sheffield Shield schedule at home leading into the Ashes.
CA and the players also need to consider rolling security assessments for Australian nationals in Bangladesh; previously, the Australian government's travel-advice website had warned that Australians were subject to a specific threat in Bangladesh, leading to the cancellation of the 2015 tour. The current travel advice for Australians visiting the region is to "reconsider your need to travel" in light of "reliable information to suggest that militants may be planning to target Western interests in Bangladesh". A CA spokesperson said security remained a primary concern.
"We are still hopeful of touring Bangladesh in the near future but the safety of players and officials will always come first," he said. "We will continue to monitor advice from the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 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."
Discussions between CA and the BCB are ongoing.
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig