Cricket Ireland consider invite to Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh
Australia pull out of tournament over security concerns in country
The Sher-e Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka will host games in the Under-19 World Cup. Photograph: Munir Uz Zaman/AFP/Getty Images
Cricket Ireland are looking into the “logistical and security arrangements” surrounding taking up the offer, although a decision is expected in the next day or two, with the tournament due to start on January 27th.
Ireland were the next in line to play after finishing runners-up to Nepal in last October’s global qualifier in Kuala Lumpur.
Australia’s decision not to send their under-19 side comes after their senior men’s side delayed, and subsequently cancelled, their tour of Bangladesh in October following advice from Australia’s department of foreign affairs and trade
Bangladesh has been tackling militant groups aiming to make the nation of 160 million people a Sharia-based Islamic state, including the murder of two foreign nationals and the attempted murder of an Italian priest in recent months.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) advice to Irish nationals is to “exercise caution in public places, to avoid large gatherings or venues frequented by expats/foreign travellers, and to keep informed of news reports or security developments” when visiting the country.
In previous situations, Cricket Ireland has followed advice from both the DFA and the UK Foreign Office before travelling to play in countries such as Kenya.
Cricket Ireland will also seek advice from cricket officials in England and Scotland, who are both set to travel to Bangladesh for the competition.
“Cricket Ireland is currently assessing the implications of Ireland’s participation in the event based on the logistics and security arrangements for the tournament, and is liaising with the relevant authorities in this regard,” a statement read.
ICC chief executive Dave Richardson sought to reassure competing nations that the tournament can continue as scheduled.
“The ICC takes its responsibilities around the safety and security of ICC events extremely seriously,” he said.
“And taking into consideration the full and unequivocal support of the Bangladesh government that has been afforded to us at the highest level and through all local security agencies, the advice we have received from our own and independent security experts, and the robust security plan that has been developed, the ICC remains of the view the it is appropriate for event planning to continue as scheduled.”
If Ireland do take up the invite, they will play in Group D alongside India, Nepal and New Zealand in the 16-team tournament.