BCB optimistic tour will go as planned
The Bangladesh-Australia Test series is moving towards taking place as scheduled, according to BCB chief executive Nizamuddin Chowdhury, after a second day of security-related meetings and assurances in Dhaka. Though the Australian High Commissioner was non-committal, ESPNcricinfo understands the BCB is expecting Cricket Australia to give the go-ahead on Tuesday, with the team likely to arrive this week.
The BCB has already acted on its optimism about the tour and at 5.15 pm on Monday named the squad for the first Test in Chittagong from October 9. The team, which began training this afternoon, had been approved by the BCB president before the Eid holidays - September 24 to 26 - but the squad announcement was delayed because Cricket Australia postponed its team's departure to Bangladesh, citing security concerns.
An hour later, the BCB sent out the accreditation form for local journalists, another sign that it is positive about the tour going ahead.
Perhaps another positive sign is that only Cricket Australia's security manager Sean Carroll will return to Australia on Tuesday. Team manager Gavin Dovey and team security manager Frank Dimasi, who arrived on September 27, are staying in Dhaka presumably to receive the Australia team.
On Monday, Carroll, Dovey, Dimasi, and the Australian High Commissioner in Bangladesh Greg Wilcock, had discussions with the Home Minister and the heads of the country's security agencies. BCB president Nazmul Hassan, directors Mahbubul Anam and Lokman Hossain, and chief executive Chowdhury were also present. Later in the day, the CA security contingent also met with another security agency.
After the meeting at the ministry, Chowdhury said they were looking to conduct the series according to the original tour schedule, with the first Test in Chittagong from October 9.
"We are expecting all the matches to be played on schedule," Chowdhury said. "We will try to have the main matches of the tour be played as scheduled, because there is plenty of planning that goes behind each international match.
"We haven't discussed any issue with regards to Chittagong as a venue. We have confirmed the facilities which will be given to them in Dhaka will also be given to them in Chittagong."
The Australian high commissioner Wilcock said that the talks at the ministry were a part of an ongoing process. "I want to make it clear that I speak on behalf of the Australian government and I want to send a very short message about this meeting," he said. "The first is I think as two cricket loving nations we all want to play cricket. The Bangladesh squad has been doing very well recently.
"At the same time, the Australian government very recently issued an update travel advice communicating additional guidance on safety and security in Bangladesh. The result of that is that we are here discussing these safety and security measures with the Bangladesh authorities.
"We have enjoyed the time, the generosity and the expertise of the honourable minister and his senior police officials. This is part of our consultations with the Bangladesh Cricket Board, with the Bangladesh authorities and with Cricket Australia to address our shared interests. That work continues. This meeting has been one part of that. That work will continue for the rest of today."
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84