Cricket Australia (CA) canceled hosting Bangladesh later this year for two Tests and three ODIs under the ICC’s Future Tours Program (FTP), showing financial reasons and argued that it will no longer make sense to play top-end matches out of season because they get “swamped” by the major football codes.
The CA said on May 9 that, “The trip was scrapped because Australian free-to-air broadcasters are understood to be uninterested in televising the series in the middle of the football season. CA communicated to the BCB that the tour was not “commercially viable”.
However, the call to scrap the tour was made before CA finalised an A$1 billion television and digital rights deal with the Fox Sports and Seven networks. It is not clear whether or not Fox was offered the chance to broadcast the series on its pay television network.
CA chief executive James Sutherland said that, “The way in which everything works in cricket is that it’s really at the home team’s discretion to work things out as to how much they want to host and what they want to host. There’s obviously an element of reciprocity between what we do, we do that with England, India South Africa.”
Sutherland explained, the cancellation was related to the timing of the series, plus the fact.
In immediate reaction on May 9, Bangladesh expressed disappointment as BCB CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury cited, “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 CEO 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.
The BCB chief executive stated that “We have proposed some options and are now waiting for their response, including an alternative options was Australia touring Bangladesh after the 2019 World Cup.”
The questions among the cricket fraternity raised up that, “Is CA is poorer than BCB !!!?” when a ICC’s new full member Afghanistan able to host Bangladesh at a neutral venue in a three-match T20I series at a neutral venue Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Dehradun, India in June or Cricket West Indies (CWI) set to host Bangladesh for three T20 internationals in August, with the second and third games to be held at neutral venue at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium in Lauderhill, Florida.
The cancellation means the top players of Bangladesh 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,” said Bangladesh Test captain Mushfiqur Rahim adding, “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.”
This is not the first time CA is showing excuse on a FTP schedule against Bangladesh as Australia played a two-Test draw series in Dhaka and Chattogram in August-September 2017, which was scheduled to play in October 2015 and was postponed several times showing security concerns, though, at that time-period Australian national football team played hassel-free FIFA World Cup 2018 Asian qualifiers in Dhaka without any hesitation -- after several times schedule collapse and much negotiation between the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) and CA.
During their visit in 2017, Australia cricket team received special security what the country’s Prime Pinister usually gets.
Before 2017, Australia had not played in Bangladesh since Ricky Ponting’s team toured there in 2006 and, outside major tournaments; the two nations have played just two ODI series against each other in Darwin (2008) and Dhaka (2011) since then.
Again the giant cricketing Australia – hosted Bangladesh first bilateral tour down under since 2003 -- now on staging another drama of not playing against Bangladesh at their home usually played in north Queensland and the Northern Territory.
Bangladesh have only toured Australia twice, for a Test series in 2003 and an ODI series in 2008.
Bangladesh and Australia played five Tests [since2002], 20 ODIs[since 1990] and four T20Is[ since 2007].