West Indies Under-19s in Bangladesh 2013-14 December 8, 2013

West Indies U-19s withdrawn from Bangladesh tour


The West Indies Cricket Board has withdrawn its Under-19 team from the ongoing tour of Bangladesh, following an explosion near the team hotel in Chittagong on Saturday. A WICB statement confirmed the decision early on Monday morning, as they looked to ship the team out of Chittagong at the earliest.

"The WICB's decision [to withdraw the team] was taken following consideration of a report on the situation in Bangladesh as prepared by WICB security manager Paul Slowe," the statement said. "The report emphasised that the current security environment in Bangladesh is not conducive to the playing of cricket in light of the 72 hours nationwide blockade and calls for countrywide dawn-to-dusk protest. The State Department of the United States of America has also issued a travel alert to its citizens living in and travelling to Bangladesh.

"Travel arrangements are being made to allow for the team's return to the Caribbean as quickly as possible. The team will remain safely accommodated at the team hotel under adequate security protection until departure from Bangladesh."

On Sunday, following the assurance of "reinforced" security from the Bangladesh Cricket Board, the WICB had said the team was "not targeted and was not in any immediate danger", but it was working with the Bangladesh board, contacting the players' parents, and would provide an update on the situation if necessary.

The second match of the ODI series, scheduled to take place on Sunday, was postponed to Monday, following the incident near the hotel. West Indies had lost the first game, but were scheduled to play seven matches in all in the series.

The pullout is a blow to Bangladesh's immediate future as host of the 2014 World Twenty20s to be held in March. The BCB had only just turned the corner in confirming Sylhet as a prepared venue after much speculation about its completion.

"Security plans for the ICC World Twenty20 Bangladesh 2014 have been drafted and are continually being reviewed and updated," an ICC spokesperson told ESPNcricinfo. "As is the case for any event, the ICC is actively monitoring the situation and continues to work closely with the BCB to ensure that informed decisions can be made and that plans are appropriate. As always, the safety and security of all participants in ICC events remains of the highest priority."

Bangladesh's general elections are scheduled to take place on January 5, and there has been continued violence across the country. The intensity has risen since October with numerous political strikes and blockades.

The New Zealand team canceled one training session during their tour in October when Bangladesh's main opposition party called a strike. The tour, however, went through as cricket is usually kept out of the jurisdiction of any political action.

The BCB is yet to make a statement on the issue.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Lakmal on December 12, 2013, 14:49 GMT

    Feel sorry for Bangladesh... As a Sri Lankan,I wish you all the best to solve the crisis soon.

  • Chris on December 9, 2013, 10:52 GMT

    The general elections are coming up so of course just with any subcontinent country there will be mass protests, fighting and stuff but why on earth did BCB even agree a series in December knowing the problems in the country right now? hopefully by the beginning of January all this tension will quiet down and can refocus. West Indies did the right thing even though they may have also been afraid of a banglawash since we are 1-0 up and beat them 3-2 in the Caribbean few months back :)

  • Shoaib on December 9, 2013, 9:24 GMT

    Well I do not understand why a series has been arranged in December despite it being so obvious that it wasn't safe to hold any sort of series due to the political circumstances but have a slight feeling West Indies were afraid of a 7-0 thrashing since Bangladesh team will surpass them one day but fair enough decision in the end as the political crisis in Bangladesh has just gotten worse but hopefully it will ease out by January.

    @Albert: lool! funny guy Bangladesh posted 500 and 300 if I can recall against New Zealand and thrashed them in a series :P yes Bravo and even Taylor scoring 200 on a flat pitch with dead grass is very impressive.

  • Anup on December 9, 2013, 8:52 GMT

    BCCI should also move IPL 2014 out of India as it would be difficult to provide security to players at the time of general elections in India, which would inevitably clash with the IPL in April and May.

  • Farhan on December 9, 2013, 8:20 GMT

    @Albert: U do know that our under 19 team won series against WI under 19 in WI right? If we are no where near them how did we win? As for Pak fan: Pakistan is an unsafe country hence we and other country didnt tour. Dont compare your situation with ours. This is election time in our country and all asian country face similar situation during election unlike Pak where this things happens everyday.

  • KH. RAFIQUE on December 9, 2013, 6:53 GMT

    I'm really not getting why WI board has taken such a wrong decision.Its only BAN who provides the Presidential security to all the foreign players and officials.WI-19 was not away from that protocol.Then whats the reason that let them to take such a decision???Really disappointed to WI boards.

  • Jeremy on December 9, 2013, 6:12 GMT

    @AB Chowdhury Apu: Yes, this is truly a sad day for cricket - just the same as the 3rd of March 2009. Safety must always come first, no matter how safe the public perceives the situation to be. This is very much the case with Pakistan, the public does not believe it to be unsafe to play cricket - however, even minimal dangers must be treated seriously (hence, no cricket in Pak... and now Ban). Hope Ban doesn't lose the the T20-WC, not sure they could bear the financial loses.

  • Dummy4 on December 9, 2013, 6:09 GMT

    Perhaps, WI is right in their stand. But,such a little decision made 100+million fans of Bangladesh cry.Iin Bangladesh,here politics are never mixed with cricket. If u would play,no doubt u would get proper security.May be we r not a developed country, but we always ensure our level best for cricket. We took extra security for u. Even the Police Commisioner & the Board Operation officials also paid a regular visit to ur team.I am pretty sure that, u had no reason to be nervous here, because it is not Pakistan.We have a reputation for hosting and for treating foreigners. We r a poor country, but we never compromise to facilitate "More Than The Best". No country can claim that, we have bad reputation with foreigners. Though our politics is now in a little danger,but we r a peaceful nation & we feel happy to host foreigners. After All. WE ARE SORRY WICB .

  • Dummy4 on December 9, 2013, 6:00 GMT

    This is a very sad moment for the cricket loving people of Bangladesh. But this is not the beginning, hope this is an accident! And please do not call "no cricket land" like Pakistan! We are in crises period, but it will solve very very soon. So do not worry about upcoming international series or T-20 WC 2014.

    @Altamash.Baig, why do you blame us for not sending Bangladesh Cricket team in Pakistan tour? Can you remember what happened to the Sri Lankan players in last series in Pakistan? Only SL team went to help you but you how you treat them! Very sad. I personally think, you should wait some more time to create a stable situation and then arrange international match in Pakistan. Hope we will participate there.

  • Khub on December 9, 2013, 4:44 GMT

    BCB is lucky that its a U-19 tour. Their next SL tour nd ASIA Cup will b important.. If they can manage INDIA in the ASIA cup just before WC then nothing 2 worry! bt if india withdraw nxt year only then it'll b a prblm nd a huge one...

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