Sydney, Australia (BBN)-Australia has pulled its young crop of stars out of the ICC under 19s World Cup in Bangladesh due to an ongoing security threat – a move which has cast doubt over the tournament’s viability.
As broken by News Corp, Government safety information that warned of a direct danger to Australian interests and advised CA not to tour the troubled country is still as high as when the Test side cancelled its planned tour of Bangladesh last October, reports the
Authorities have warned families of Australian Government staff based in Bangladesh to return home.
CA head of security Sean Carroll has been in Bangladesh meeting with relevant ICC and Government authorities.
Withdrawing from the ICC event due to start on January 27 in Chittagong when other countries are competing as planned was a highly delicate situation for CA to navigate and the consequences could be major.
It’s unknown what impact Australia’s withdrawal will have on other nations and the tournament’s viability overall but it could be significant and the ICC has already invited Ireland to replace the Aussies.
New Zealand’s under 19s team were due to fly out of Auckland tomorrow evening and will contest the World Cup, however it’s understood the kiwis and other countries could contemplate reassessing their position now Australia are out.
The ICC released a statement saying the tournament would forge on as planned.
CA is making an uncompromising stand to protect its players and will not be there on January 28 when it was scheduled to commence its campaign against India’s under 19s in Mirpur.
Despite the withdrawal, CA will still send its under 19s team to the UAE for scheduled warm-up matches, determined to ensure the country’s best up-and-coming talent is able to experience international match play.
“In the end, with all of the information and advice we have received, we feel we had no alternative other than to make this difficult decision,” said CA chief executive, James Sutherland.
CA was contacted by ASIO and DFAT days out from the Australian Test team’s planned departure to Bangladesh last October.
They were warned of potential security risks to Australian interests in Bangladesh and the tour was officially postponed – with an Italian and Japanese national both killed in the country around the same time.
Bangladesh were disappointed with CA’s decision not to tour, adamant the country was safe.
Since the Test team withdrew, the Socceroos have played a football international Bangladesh.