SLC to appraise security situation in Bangladesh
Sri Lanka Cricket will commission an independent security appraisal of the political situation in Bangladesh, ahead of Sri Lanka's tour in January and February, SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga has said. The West Indies Under-19 team withdrew from their tour of Bangladesh, on Monday, after a bomb exploded near the team hotel in Chittagong.
Sri Lanka are due to travel to Bangladesh on January 24 for two Tests, two Twenty20s and three ODIs, and plan to stay on for the Asia Cup, which runs from February 24 to March 7.
"We have to monitor the situation for the next few weeks and take a decision on the tour," Ranatunga told Daily Mirror. "However, we don't want to make hasty announcements right now as Bangladesh is a fellow Asian country which maintains a very good relationship with us. We have to keep in mind that we had a similar situation not so long ago and all our Asian neighbours were very supportive of us.
"But we are in talks with the Bangladesh board. We have to be very careful because of the very bad experience we had in Pakistan before."
Violence has been widespread in Bangladesh since October, ahead of the nation's general elections on January 5. Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hassan played down concerns that political unrest will impact the World Twenty20, scheduled in Bangladesh from March 16, but he had admitted Sri Lanka's tour was at risk.
"The quicker this political situation improves the better because the Sri Lanka tour is in January and then we have the Asia Cup. It needs to be resolved before that," said Hassan, who is also an MP with the ruling party.
The ICC also said it is monitoring the political situation, but Hassan suggested cricket would not be affected. Much of the violence has been between supporters of the two main political parties.
"I have always appealed to all the political parties to leave cricket aside and I have always received their support," Hassan. "I might appeal again that such things don't interfere with the cricket. There is a bit of political instability, this has always happened, but I don't believe that we have reached a scenario where the games would be called off."
The BCB had asked the West Indies Cricket Board to reconsider their decision to withdraw the Under-19 team, but these appeals had been unsuccessful, and the team left the country.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here