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Cricket Australia withdraws from Under 19 Cricket World Cup

Australia are still reportedly concerned over the security conditions in Bangladesh.

The Australia U19 team

Australia  have pulled out of the Under 19 Cricket World Cup over their security concerns in Bangladesh. The decision has been made after Cricket Australia’s (CA) head of security Sean Carroll came back with his report after his meetings with the cricket and government officials in the host country. CA had sent a three-man delegation to Bangladesh last week to discuss security matters.

This could mean celebratory news for Ireland as they are the next ranked team. Australia’s exit means Ireland getting a ticket for the tournament. Ireland had lost a play-off against Nepal for the final slot at the tournament.

Australia have been monitoring the security conditions of the country ever since the senior team had to postpone a series there in October. Carroll’s security report had proved instrumental in the postponement of the series then, following the murder of an Italian diplomat in the capital, Dhaka.

The junior tournament, scheduled to start on January 27 at Chittagong has gained quite a lot of security attention. The ICC had previously assured that they would change the venue of the tournament to Sri Lanka or South Africa if multiple countries refuse to play in Bangladesh. Since no other country has raised any security concern, Australia have decided to withdraw themselves from the tournament.

Security threat to Australians in Bangladesh remain as high as late last year: CA

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) had previously delayed the senior team’s Bangladesh tour based on some ‘reliable information’ over possible security threats. The governments of the United States, United Kingdom and Canada have also issued warnings about possible terrorist attacks in Bangladesh this week.

Cricket Australia Chief Executive, James Sutherland said, “"Regrettably, the advice from our government suggests that the security threat to Australians travelling to Bangladesh remains as high now as it was when we postponed the test team's tour of that country late last year. With all of the information and advice we have received, we feel we had no alternative other than to make this difficult decision.”

The 15-man Under 19 squad will still be traveling to Dubai for a tri-series against New Zealand and Sri Lanka next week, despite their non-participation in the world event that is to follow.

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