Australia's tour of Bangladesh still hinges on security clearance
Australia's tour of Bangladesh still hinges on security assessments of the region despite a personal assurance from Cricket Australia chairman David Peever to BCB president Nazmul Hassan that Steven Smith's team will visit for two Tests in late August and early September.
The proposed schedule, ESPNcricinfo understands, has Australia arriving in Bangladesh on August 18, and comprises a practice match in Chittagong from August 22 to 24, the first Test from August 27 to 31 also in Chittagong, and the second Test from September 4 to 9 in Mirpur.
Hassan said he had been given Peever's guarantee during last week's ICC meetings. "The Australia series is final," he said. "Their chairman told me on the last day of the ICC meeting that he will come along with his wife. This was actually the first time they spoke to me about a series or tour. He came up with it, so I am sure they are coming."
Hassan said the only issue with the schedule was the break between the two Tests due to Eid-ul-Azha, which is supposed to be from September 1 to 3. But that issue, according to him, had been resolved as well.
"The second Test starts on the third day of Eid, so the first one will be held before Eid. The dates are confirmed, but I don't want to mention it now. The issue was a five-day break for Eid, which was too long for them. Then we decided that we can hold the second Test on the third day of Eid. There won't be a long gap."
When asked about Peever's exchange with Hassan, a Cricket Australia spokesman declined to comment, and said the board's earlier position about awaiting security assessments remained unchanged.
"We are still hopeful of touring Bangladesh in the near future and are working closely with the BCB to look at options, but the safety of players and officials will always come first," a CA spokesperson said earlier this month. "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."
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84