The Bangladesh Cricket Board will decide the venue for the practice match after the arrival of the Australian delegation on August 15, said BCB official on Saturday. A two- member delegation of Cricket Australia will arrive on Tuesday to have a look on the overall preparation of the host ahead of their two-match Test series against Tigers that is scheduled to be played in Dhaka and Chittagong.
Australia is scheduled to arrive on August 18 and expected to play a two-day practice match at Fatullah on August 22-23 to prepare them before going into the first Test at Sher-e-Bangla from August 27. However, it looked the incessant rain is pouring water on all-out effort by BCB to prepare the Fatullah venue ready for a practice match and if that remains the case the other options will be finalized aftyer discussing with the delegation of the visitors.
'I think Australia's advanced team will arrive here in Dhaka on August 15. It'll be settled after talking with them,' BCB media committee chairman Jalal Yunus told reporters at Mirpur on Saturday. 'If Fatullah is not possible, in that case, we will try to play it another venue,' he said.
The practice venue has suddenly become the centre of discussion ahead of the Bangladesh-Australia series. Australia are scheduled to play a two-day practice match at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium on August 22-23, but the venue is presently submerged by rainwater.
BCB is leaving no stone unturned to make the international venue fit for the tour game but with monsoon in full swing, many see little chance of that. The gate that leads to the stadium is under polluted water while inside the venue it was nothing better as a big portion of the venue is under water, with only the 30 yard circle and the wicket remaining out of it.
'Passing with the time the issue has been tricky. Rains pour down every day along with that the possibility is declining. In this situation, we've kept the other venues in our hand including BKSP. If it is not possible at BKSP we're trying to hold it in other place,' said Jalal Yunus.
It was learnt that Australia is reluctant to play in BKSP due to the time that they have to bear to reach the venue at Savar as it will take more than an hour to reach Jirani Bazar where the country's lone sports institute is situated. 'Journey is problem because it costs more than one hour.
If we could manage the journey within one hour then there is a possibility. But we didn't confirm it with them. It depends on what their security team decided after talking with us,' said Jalal. BCB official said they are also trying to convince them whether they can play the game in Sylhet though nothing officially had been communicated with them yet.
'We have Sylhet, another option in hand. But they don't know about it. In that case, they have to play practice match in Sylhet and later have to play in Dhaka. When asked whether BCB will accept the proposal of their Australian counterpart of playing the practice match at Mirpur, Jalal rejected out rightly.
'I don't hear it. Generally the practice match does not give in the main ground. Besides that, the wickets in Mirpur will be prepared. It will be difficult to prepare wicket for the Test match on August 27 after holding practice match on August 22 because there are needed some more time for the wickets. So we are looking for another venue sans Mirpur,' said Jalal.
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