Bangladesh will provide the highest level of security for Australia’s cricketers when they tour in August-September, organisers said on Wednesday, after a spate of recent Islamist attacks.
“What is usually reserved for a visiting head of state will be provided to them,” Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) chief executive Nizamuddin Chowdhury told AFP.
He made the comments as Cricket Australia’s head of security Sean Carroll visited Dhaka to oversee plans for the tour, during which Australia are scheduled to play two Tests.
Australia have not played a Test in the country since Ricky Ponting’s team visited Dhaka in 2006, just six years after Bangladesh were granted Test status.
Australia were scheduled to play two Tests in Bangladesh in October 2015 but the tour was cancelled amid security fears after attacks by Islamist extremists in the Muslim-majority nation.
Australia also refused to send their junior team to last year’s Under-19 World Cup in Dhaka.
Bangladesh successfully hosted the England cricket team last year, drawing the Test series 1-1.
“We have guaranteed that the security, which was given to England cricket team last year, similar arrangement will be made for the Australian team,” Chowdhury said.
“If there is any additional requirement needed, we are ready to provide that.”
Carroll visited Bangladesh in October during England’s month-long tour which came just months after an attack on a Dhaka cafe in which 22 people, mostly foreigners, were killed.
Bangladesh home minister and top security and police chiefs briefed Carroll on the planned steps for the tour on Tuesday.
“We are looking forward to working with the Bangladesh authorities and BCB to making sure there is very successful tour going ahead in August,” Carroll told reporters.
He said they were “satisfied” with Bangladesh’s security plans for England last year and were now working to ensure a “rigorous security plan” for Australia.
England spinner Gareth Batty warns there may soon be a “breaking point” in this country, as in Australia, over players’ pay structures.
A dispute down under has escalated to the point that Australia vice-captain David Warner is suggesting next winter’s Ashes series could be in danger.
Strike action appears to be a possible next step if Cricket Australia cannot agree an updated payment policy which is acceptable to all parties before a deadline at the end of next month.
Surrey captain Batty does not envisage a stand-off of that magnitude in England, but does believe the advent of a new high-profile Twenty20 tournament for eight city-based teams in 2020 may help to raise the stakes.
Asked about the developing situation in Australia on talkSPORT2, the veteran off-spinner said: “I think we could have a problem in this country as well with the new franchise [Twenty20 competition] and all the money from the TV deals.
“It’s fundamentally the same thing that will happen here, I’m pretty sure of that.
“There are already a lot of murmurs around the professional game.”
The England and Wales Cricket Board hopes to receive significant extra revenue from prospective broadcast deals from its new tournament, and Batty advises players will be well aware of the extra funds available.
He added: “Potentially the players are seen as the prize – that’s who the people pay to go and watch – and yet the ECB want to have their cake and eat it.
“I think we could have a very real problem, as Australia are having now.
“The world is changing quickly in cricket, because of Twenty20, because of the IPL [Indian Premier League], because of the volume of money …
“There are breaking points, and Australia have obviously hit their breaking point. I don’t think we’re too far off our breaking point …”
Led by ODI captain Eoin Morgan, England will train once again at the Desert Springs resort in Almeria in southern Spain.
England used the venue for a team-building trip back in May 2015 – with it being the first act of then new coach Trevor Bayliss.
The experience of warm weather training away from the UK worked wonders for the Three Lions two years ago as they went onto claim a 3-2 Ashes victory over Australia later that summer.
It is expected that slip and ground fielding will be the dominant focus for England on Spanish shores as they gear up to face South Africa in three one-day international clashes later this month before their ICC Champions Trophy opener against Bangladesh on Thursday June 1.
2017 is shaping up to be England’s busiest domestic summer ever with seven Tests, 10 ODIs and four T20s against South Africa and West Indies combined, as well as the Champions Trophy.
The picture in the tweet below was taken in 2015.