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Bangladesh Cricket Board(BCB) chief executive, Nizamuddin Chowdhury, has ruled out any possibility of holding the series against England at a neutral venue.
The tour is in serious doubt after the terrorist attack in Dhaka on July 1 that led to 20 people being killed by Islamist militants.
The England and Wales Cricket Board has already said that it will take advice from the appropriate authorities before giving the nod to the tour. England are scheduled to play two of their three one-day internationals, as well as the second of their two scheduled Test matches, in Dhaka.
Earlier, English captain Eoin Morgan said that the idea of holding the series at a neutral venue is feasible.
However, Chowdhury ruled out the option and said that playing outside the country is not a solution.
“We always believe this is never a solution. Cricket cannot stop in a country. We will make our best effort to fulfil the FTP commitment. The cricket operations of both BCB and ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) are in continuous communication regarding the England tour of Bangladesh in October. They are in discussion with the tour related matters especially the logistics,” Chowdhury was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
Chowdhury said a security delegate from England will be visiting Bangladesh in the coming months and added that it is just a standard practice.
“The security visit is a standard practice. Teams like England, Australia do this regularly. A security delegate from England was supposed to come last month but as they have a tour of India after Bangladesh, I think they will do the security inspection of the two countries together. We will get to know when they get confirmation from the two boards,” he said.
In the recent past, teams have been unwilling to travel to Bangladesh citing security issues. Last year, Australia’s senior team pulled out of a tour after Australian government agencies voiced concerns over security. Subsequently, Cricket Australia forbade its Under-19 team to participate in the 2016 World Cup after failing to get necessary clearance from their security advisors.
Chowdhury, however, is hoping that Bangladesh’s recent track record of successfully hosting events like the Under-19 World Cup and the Asia Cup T20, would send out positive signals to England and other teams touring the country. The BCB chief executive also said that the ICC will come up with a protocol and suggest guidelines for security-related matters.
“The security issue has already been discussed at different levels in the ICC. There have been a discussion on security protocol. A guideline will soon be given from the ICC,” he said. “We have a very good track record of hosting successful international events with the support from the government and the law enforcement departments. We believe to get the same support in future for hosting cricket in the country,” Chowdhry said.
This is not the first time a country has postponed their matches in Bangladesh due to security issues. There were security concerns during this year’s U-19 World Cup too which was hosted by Bangladesh.While England took part in the tournament, Australia opted to withdraw their Under-19 team having postponed the senior side’s tour to the country the previous year.
England’s tour of Bangladesh is scheduled to start on September 30.