Cricket Australia (CA) Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland confirmed on 2 October that the team's tour to Bangladesh was postponed due to security concerns. The squad was originally due to leave on 28 September but was told to stay back after their government warned of potential security risks. In a video news release, Sutherland said it was disappointing.
"It's a very disappointing outcome from our perspective. Six days ago we were informed by ASIO (Australian Security Intelligence Organisation) and our Department of Foreign Affairs that there was a credible risk to Australians in Bangladesh and we've worked through a rigorous process since then of trying to understand that. We've had three people on the ground, with security, meeting with Bangladesh Cricket, Bangladesh government sources and members of our foreign affairs department in Bangladesh. In the end, all things considered, unfortunately we've made this decision to postpone the tour, for now, and we'll enter into discussions with the Bangladesh Cricket Board to work out when we can play this cricket series next," he said.
CA sent a delegation to Bangladesh over the weekend to assess the situation. Unfortunately, while they were there, an Italian aid worker in Dhaka was shot dead in an attack that Islamic State (IS) said it had carried out.
"In spite of the undertakings that have been provided through Bangladesh Cricket and the Bangladesh Government, the advice that we have is still that there is sufficient risk for us not to proceed with the tour at this time and hopefully we'll be able to find new dates for this tour to proceed," Sutherland said.
CA's decision came two days before the squad's scheduled warm-up match at Fatullah in Bangladesh and despite the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) offering the touring side a level of security reserved for visiting heads of state.
"I think the co-operation and understanding we had from the Bangladesh Cricket Board and Bangladesh Government officials over the course of the last few days has been nothing short of outstanding. Their response has been serious and and very much understanding of the situation. Unfortunately though, from our perspective, the advice that we're receiving from other sources, including Australian government agencies and our independent security advisers leave us with this decision being made today," he added.
Australia have not played a test in Bangladesh for a decade and were due to play in Chittagong from 9 October and Dhaka from 17 October.