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Cricket Ireland considering replacing Australia at Under-19 World Cup

Published 05/01/2016

Australia have pulled out of the Under-19s World Cup in Bangladesh over player safety concerns
Australia have pulled out of the Under-19s World Cup in Bangladesh over player safety concerns

Ireland are "assessing the implications" of replacing Australia at the Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh.

Australia have withdrawn from the 16-team tournament due to concerns over player safety and Ireland have been invited to take their place.

But Cricket Ireland will not rush to accept the invitation as it makes its own security checks.

A statement published on read: " Following Australia's decision to withdraw from the ICC Under-19 World Cup the ICC has invited Ireland, as the runner-up in the qualifying event in Kuala Lumpur in October, to replace them in the 19-day tournament in Bangladesh.

"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.

"Cricket Ireland hopes to make a statement on Ireland's participation in the tournament as soon as possible."

Cricket Australia on Tuesday made the eleventh hour decision to pull out, mirroring the decision to postpone the senior side's Test tour of Bangladesh in October.

Chief executive James 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.

"Included in that is reliable information suggesting there is a high threat to Australian interests in Bangladesh."

"We have not taken this decision lightly and we apologise for the inconvenience this may create for the organisers of the tournament - in particular the ICC and BCB (Bangladesh Cricket Board)."

International Cricket Council chief executive David Richardson accepted the Australian position but remains confident in the organisation's safety protocols.

"Whilst the ICC notes and respects the position of Cricket Australia, which we understand is based on an advice received from the Australian Government, we are obviously disappointed with the decision," said Richardson.

"The ICC takes its responsibilities around the safety and security of ICC events extremely seriously. 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 that it is appropriate for event planning to continue as scheduled."

England and Scotland are both due to send sides to the event, with the senior England team due to tour Bangladesh next winter.

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