Cricket Australia recently refused to send their junior team for the Under 19 World Cup in Bangladesh citing security threat. The U-19 World Cup set to start from January 27. Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland said that the decision was taken after advice from the government who stated that the threat to Australia interest in Bangladesh. However, this is not the time first time a cricket board withdraw their team from a marquee tournament owing to security reason.
Here are five incidents
1) England walked out without a ball being bowled
In 2003 England refused to play their group match at against Zimbabwe at Harare Sports Club ground as the one of the three World Cup hosts had been going through turmoil. President Robert Mugabe’s archaic policy over white minority caused a huge uproar in the country. Zimbabwe captain Andy Flower and bowler Henry Olonga had wore black armband in protest during one of their matches in the World Cup in South Africa. England, who were comprised with white cricketers refused to play their match against Zimbabwe in Harare. But, ICC did not pay heed to their concern as they did not send any official message to the governing body.
2)New Zealand refused to play in Kenya in 2003 World Cup
In 2003 World Cup, which is jointly hosted by South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe, New Zealand refused to play a group match against Kenya at Kenya’s capital Nairobi due to the threat of terrorist attack by Boko Haram. The Black Caps even after knew that they will forfeit important four points they refused to play. Kenya got four points due to Black Caps’ walkover.
New Zealand cricket board said that the decision taken by ICC to play in Nairobi was not reasonable. “The information received by the ICC Security Delegation to Kenya made it clear that there is a tangible terrorist threat in Nairobi and the board has seen nothing which changes that,” NZC said in a statement.
ICC rejected New Zealand’s plea to switch the match from Nairobi to South Africa.
Tournament director Ali Bacher said that match would not be rescheduled. “The ICC has ruled that the match will not be replayed in South Africa and New Zealand would forfeit the points,” Bacher said.
3) Cricket Australia refused to send their team in Bangladesh for a bilateral series
Australian cricket governing body refused to send their senior team to Bangladesh for a bilateral series due to security threat from the Government security agencies. Before Australia’s tour of Bangladesh, an Italian woman was found dead when she went for a morning walk.
Australia’s 15 man squad were set to fly out for Bangladesh in September, but it was delayed and later players were sent back to their respective states after Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade informed CA that they had a “reliable information” about a possible security risk.
Cricket Australia also refused to send their U-19 team for upcoming U-19 ICC World Cup in Bangladesh citing the same reason. Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan has slammed Cricket Australia for refusing to send the U-19 team in Bangladesh. ““They have said they have taken a decision on government advice and because of security reasons. But we will take up this issue at the ICC board meeting in February,” the PCB chief said.
“You can’t have this happening all the time whenever it is about Asian countries. I fear it could lead to the creation of blocks and cause chaos in ICC,” Khan said.
4) Australia refused to play in Sri Lanka in 1996 World Cup
The tradition of refusal is not new to Australia. In 1996, World Cup Australia refused to play their scheduled group match against Sri Lanka in Colombo due to fear of ambushments of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Australia gave walkover as Sri Lank got the full points.
Before the World Cup Australia were touring Sri Lanka. A bomb was blast outside their hotel.
5) India refused to play against Pakistan
The series between India and Pakistan has been canceled after months of negotiations. India has refused to play a full-fledged bilateral series against Pakistan since 2007. The 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack by Pakistani terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba has left the bilateral series between these two arch rivals in bizarre situations.
BCCI has signed a MoU with PCB in 2014 to play six bilateral series till 2022. India refused to play the bilateral series in UAE, PCB convinced BCCI for a short series in Sri Lanka in 2015, but Indian government did no give the nod to the series as the declaration of the series on 26/11 anniversary sparked an uproar across the country. So, the government played it safe and denied permission.
And more recently Jaish-e- Mohammad, a Pakistani terrorist group attacked Punjab, where six commandos have died that also squeezed chance for an India Pkaistan series in 2016.