The Bangladesh Cricket Board has expressed disappointment at Cricket Australia’s decision to cancel their bilateral series in Australia later this year because the tour was not commercially viable.
Nizamuddin Chowdhury, the BCB chief executive, said that boards like CA were expected to host teams regardless of the tour’s appeal to the home audience. He cited the example of Bangladesh hosting teams despite not having made profits for some tours. The BCB reportedly makes money only when teams like India, Pakistan, England and Australia tour Bangladesh.
“It is disappointing,” Chowdhury said. “They looked at how financially viable the series will be for them, which is disappointing. Many of our home series aren’t necessarily beneficial. We have to host a lot of countries to maintain bilateral commitments. It is not always financially viable. If the BCB can afford them, then we would expect the bigger cricket boards to do the same.”
The BCB’s response stems from the disappointment of Cricket Australia cancelling two trips to Bangladesh – in 2015 for a full tour and in 2016 for the Under-19 World Cup – because of security fears. CA was only convinced of security in Bangladesh after England toured in October 2016.
A CA spokesperson said Bangladesh were “better aligned” at touring Australia ahead of the ICC World T20 in Australia in 2020. However, the Futures Tour Programme (FTP) that will be ratified in June this year does not include a Bangladesh tour of Australia in any format.
Bangladesh have only toured Australia twice, for a Test series in 2003 and an ODI series in 2008. “The window allocated in the ICC FTP for Bangladesh to tour Australia in August this year has been postponed, by mutual agreement by both Cricket Australia and the Bangladesh Cricket Board,” the CA spokesperson said. “Both countries agreed to postponing that tour to be better aligned ahead of the ICC World T20 in 2020 in Australia.”
The cancellation means top players like Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim could finish their careers without playing a Test in Australia. “It is up to the cricket boards. I don’t know why it got postponed. But we were really looking forward to it. We wanted to play in Australia,” Mushfiqur said. “I have never played a bilateral series there. It would have been something quite big for me. If it happens in the future, I will be happy.”
The move hasn’t gone down well with Ed Cowan, the former Australia batsman, who tweeted his disappointment, saying CA wasn’t doing enough to be more inclusive as a cricket board. “In my opinion, administrators have a duty to grow the game both in their own country and also around the world,” he said. “This is sad on a number of levels. Players hear of CA wanting to expand the number of playing days in Oz. Evidently only BBL.”