Sport Cricket Smith: Bangladesh delay a blow

Smith: Bangladesh delay a blow

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Australia captain Steve Smith said the decision to postpone their tour of Bangladesh is a blow on many levels.

Smith, who was set to lead his country for the first time in a permanent capacity on the sub-continent, added that he understands why the tour is not going ahead.

Security issues led to the postponement, with Cricket Australia sending their own personnel to Dhaka to assess the state of play.

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It means Smith and his team-mates will instead star in the Matador One-Day Cup, the domestic 50-overs tournament with starts on Monday.

But Smith would rather be playing for his country and in a column for Fox Sports, said: “To say I am disappointed our tour of Bangladesh has been called off is a massive understatement.”

“As a team we understand the reason for the decision not to tour, with Cricket Australia (CA) responding to the raising of the threat level by the Australian government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and we are appreciative that CA places our wellbeing at the top of its list of priorities.

“All the same, it is still a bitter pill to swallow.

“First and foremost it is important to emphasis the decision was not in our hands; it was driven by that DFAT threat assessment to Australian interests.

“We were all ready to go, only to be stopped very abruptly.”

Smith said he knew Australia’s decision not to tour would hit hard in Bangladesh.

And he added that the series not going ahead was particularly annoying given it was set to mark the start of cricket’s new era post the likes of Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin and Shane Watson.

“I am acutely aware that the disappointment this decision will produce will be felt very keenly within Bangladesh,” he added.

“From my perspective, the cancellation is especially frustrating as it was set to be my first Test tour as captain.

“That will now have to wait until the home series against New Zealand that gets underway at the beginning of November.

“I was especially keen for the tour to proceed because I saw it as a great opportunity for us to develop our play in sub-continental conditions.

“It is no secret we have struggled in such conditions in the recent past and the bottom line is we are not going to improve unless we play more often on the slow, turning pitches and in the hot and humid conditions that are all part of cricket in that part of the world.”

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