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Bangladesh make final attempt at persuading Australia to go ahead with tour

BCB president Nazmul Hassan reassured that fool-proof security will be provided to the visitors.

Cricket Australia
The chances of the tour going ahead are getting slimmer by the day

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) have reiterated that they will be providing the best possible security arrangements as they continue to try persuading Australia to go ahead with the scheduled two-match Test series, cricket.com.au reports. Cricket Australia (CA) are set to take a final call on the decision within 48 hours though it is widely expected to be in the negative.

The future of the series was thrown into doubt last week when the tour was put on hold temporarily in the wake of security concerns raised by Australia’s intelligence officials. Initial reports suggested that the team’s departure to Bangladesh was only delayed, but following high-level meetings held between the two country’s top security personnel, the odds are not in favour of the tour going ahead as scheduled. 

The BCB had been confident all along, remaining upbeat about the tour and has even named a 14-man squad for the first Test. But following reports yesterday that the Australian players were directed to return to their state teams, BCB president Nazmul Hassan reassured that fool-proof security will be provided to the visitors. 

"We have left no stone unturned in providing assurance regarding security for the Australian team," Hassan said. "The Bangladesh Government has committed additional security on top of the substantial and elaborate arrangements in the BCB's standard Security Plan for international cricket. For the team (Australia), the level has been confirmed as VVIP which is equivalent to security accorded to Head of States and is unprecedented for any international side.”

The three-day warm-up match before the first Test has been scheduled to start on October and Hassan acknowledged that a change of dates might be needed, but is still hopeful that the tour takes place, reminding that the nation had successfully staged the 2014 T20 World Cup without any issues. 

"We are still hopeful that a fresh date for arrival of its team will be declared by CA and we will see some exciting cricket on the ground soon,” Hassan said. "It is worth mentioning that during the ICC World Twenty20 Bangladesh 2014 when the risk which was assessed by Australia was of a higher level to what is at present. Safety and security was successfully provided to 24 men's and women's teams including the Australian men's and women's squads as well as to officials and guests who arrived for the event."

Darren Lehmann wants no compromise on safety

Darren Lehmann Australia Cricket
Lehmann wants a final decision to be taken within the next 24 hours

Australian head coach Darren Lehmann seemed to suggest that the tour was likely to be called off as no compromise can be taken regarding the security of the people involved. 

“It’s getting pretty tight now, to be honest,” Lehmann told 5AA radio. “At the end of the day we have to wait and see what the boards and the security come up with, but we have to make the right decision for player and staff safety. We’re still on hold. The security guys got back from Bangladesh today so they’re obviously speaking to board as we speak. Hopefully, we come to some sort of answer in the next 24 hours or so.”

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