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Security is an issue, says BCB

Dhaka: A day after West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) cancelled its U-19 team’s tour of Bangladesh due to a low intensity bomb blast near the team hotel in Chittagong, BCB president Nazmul Hassan admitted that the organisation of ICC World T20 in the country next year is under threat.

The 16-team tournament is scheduled to be staged between March 16-April 6 and is considered to be the biggest-ever sporting event organised by the country. “If this situation prevails, then any big tournament or participation of any big country will be under threat,” BCB president Nazmul Hassan told reporters.

Around 74 people have been killed so far in violent protests with opposition supporters insisting that PM Sheikh Hasina step down with elections due next year. “This must end in January and preferably in December,” Hassan added.

The political violence has affected almost every city in Bangladesh, including the three host venues for the T20 tournament —Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet.

A team of International Cricket Council (ICC) inspectors declared last week that they were “happy” with security arrangements but said they would continue to monitor the situation.

Bangladesh is also due to host a tour by Sri Lanka in January before then staging the Asia Cup, a 50-over tournament which also features India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.