Australian cricket player Peter Handscomb (C) tries to catch the ball as teammate Matthew Wade (L) as Bangladeshi captain Mushfiqur Rahim looks on during the fourth day of the second cricket Test between Bangladesh and Australia at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong on September 7, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Munir UZ ZAMAN        (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Bangladesh-Australia Test series postponed

SYDNEY (Agencies): The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) and Cricket Australia (CA) have mutually agreed to postpone the two-Test series that was scheduled for June, due to the persisting Covid-19 threat.

The boards took the decision with the welfare of their players and communities in mind, and will work together to find a suitable date to play the series once the situation becomes clearer.

The series was to be played between June 11 and June 23 in Chattogram and Dhaka, and is part of the World Test Championship (WTC) cycle. It becomes the third WTC series to affected after the Sri Lanka-England series scheduled for March, and the second Test of Bangladesh’s staggered tour of Pakistan, which was scheduled to begin on April 5.

BCB CEO Nizam Uddin Chowdhury said, “This is understandably disappointing for players and fans of both sides.

However, in the current global scenario of the Covid-19 outbreak and considering the nature of the health emergency, the BCB and CA are in agreement that this is the most sensible and practical decision. We hope that the situation will improve soon and we are able to hold this series at a convenient time in the near future. To that end, the BCB will continue to work closely with CA with whom we share a history of support and cooperation.”

The series is among two WTC series that are scheduled for June, with England scheduled to host West Indies around the same time. It was also to be Australia’s first visit to Bangladesh since their 1-1 series draw in 2017 – and, in fact, their first meeting in a bilateral setting since that one. Australia had, in 2018, called off hosting Bangladesh for two Tests and three ODIs because broadcasters were understood to have been uninterested in televising the series in the middle of the football season.

“Postponing the tour is regrettable,” CA chief Kevin Roberts said through a statement, “but I would like to thank the Bangladesh Cricket Board for the open, honest and responsible discussions that led us to this mutually-agreed position. The health of our people and communities is the number one priority for both Boards and that is reflected in the action we have taken in postponing the two Test matches. As we know, the global cricket calendar is very busy but we will do everything we can to honour our commitment to Bangladesh and will continue to work with the BCB on an agreed date.”

Australia are currently second in the WTC table with 296 points, having won two of their three series, while Bangladesh sit at the bottom, in ninth place with no points after one completed series.

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