Melbourne/Dubai, Jan 5: Australia's decision to withdraw from the Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh from January 27 citing security concerns on Tuesday prompted a "disappointed" Intertiol Cricket Council (ICC) to invite Ireland to replace the three-time champions.
Cricket Australia (CA) on Tuesday announced it has withdrawn from the 11th edition of the 16-tion tourment. CA said it has informed ICC and the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) of the decision. Last year, CA also pulled out of the senior squad's tour to Bangladesh due to the same reasons.
ICC said the 19-day tourment will be hosted in Bangladesh as planned as it has put an "appropriate" security structure in place.
CA said "the advice from our government suggests that the security threat to Australians travelling to Bangladesh remains as high now as it was when we postponed the Test team's tour of that country late last year (in October)".
CA chief executive Officer James Sutherland said on Tuesday that since postponing Australia’s Test tour of Bangladesh for safety reasons in October, it has monitored the security situation closely and sought regular updates from the Australian government regarding the under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh.
He said CA head of security Sean Carroll travelled to Dhaka last week with ICC security advisors to meet relevant officials, consider the detailed event security plan and seek further travel advice from Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade representatives based in Bangladesh.
Sutherland said: “We have always maintained that the safety and security of Australian teams and officials is our number one priority. For some time we have been working closely with ICC security advisors and monitoring the security situation in Bangladesh and have been keeping our players, officials and the players' parents as up to date as possible."
“Regrettably, the advice from our government suggests that the security threat to Australians travelling to Bangladesh remains as high now as it was when we postponed the Test team’s tour of that country late last year."
"In the end, with all of the information and advice we have received, we feel we had no altertive other than to make this difficult decision. We have not taken this decision lightly and we apologise for the inconvenience this may create for the organisers of the tourment -- in particular the ICC and BCB."
Sutherland added CA will hold further discussions with the BCB. IANS