Sri Lanka in Bangladesh 2013-14 January 9, 2014

Sri Lanka's Bangladesh tour takes step forward

Mohammad Isam and Andrew Fidel Fernando

Sri Lanka's tour of Bangladesh has taken a potentially decisive step forward following a meeting between officials of the two boards in Dubai on Thursday. The BCB said it had been told by Sri Lanka that the tour was on and the SLC, while not explicitly confirming it would send a team, said its final decision would depend on the visit, from January 13, of a security delegation to Bangladesh.

The tour had been in doubt because of security issues caused by political instability in Bangladesh and Thursday's meeting, on the sidelines of an ICC conference in Dubai, was scheduled to smooth out differences.

After the meeting, the two sides issued differing statements, though the substance of both suggested that it was a step towards the tour going ahead.

"Sri Lanka Cricket president Jayantha Dharmadasa has confirmed to the BCB that the Sri Lanka tour is on," BCB's media committee chairman, Jalal Yunus, said. "But the SLC's two-member security committee will arrive as per schedule on January 13."

The SLC was more guarded in its response. "We have said we are touring and we have taken the FTP [into consideration], so the assurance is there," SLC president Jayantha Dharmadasa said. "At the present time we can't say we're not going, and that's what I told them [BCB]. We have two people going to assess the situation, because it's changing day by day."

The security committee will comprise former CEO Ajit Jayasekara - an air commodore with the Sri Lanka Air Force - and vice-president Mohan de Silva. Incumbent CEO Ashley de Silva had said the board would make its final decision on the tour by January 15, with the team set to depart to Bangladesh on January 24.

It is expected that the security team will discuss details of the tour, including venues. As reported by ESPNcricinfo, one option for the BCB is to cut down on the venues, including possibly - as a last resort - offering to stage all the matches in Dhaka.

The tour is scheduled to begin on January 27 with two Tests, in Mirpur and Chittagong, followed by two Twenty20s and three ODIs.

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