Australia’s cricket team arrived in Dhaka Friday under tight security for their first Test tour of Bangladesh in more than a decade, officials said.
Bangladesh Cricket Board chief executive officer Nizamuddin Chowdhury said Steven Smith’s men landed at Dhaka airport at 10:50 pm (1650 GMT) under blanket police protection.
“Since the team landed it was given the security as we’ve promised. We are confident everything will go according to our plan,” he told AFP.
Police said some 300 members of elite police units were on guard as the Australians landed at Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjahal International Airport.
“We’ve adequate security arrangements at the airport. We’ve even cleared the road (leading to the team’s hotel),” Inspector Moslem Uddin of the Armed Police Battalion told AFP.
Australia have not played a Test in Bangladesh since Ricky Ponting’s team visited in 2006, six years after Bangladesh were granted Test status.
They were due to play two Tests in Bangladesh in October 2015 but the tour was cancelled amid security fears after a wave of attacks by Islamist extremists in the Muslim-majority nation.
Australia refused to send their team to last year’s Under-19 World Cup in Dhaka over security worries.
Cricket Australia agreed to reschedule the series this year only after Bangladesh promised head-of-state style security for the Baggy Greens.
CA’s security manager Sean Carroll visited Bangladesh at least three times over the past 12 months to see the security measures before the Australian authorities confirmed the series.
Carroll, who is part of the 32-member Australian party, arrived in Dhaka early to ensure everything was in order for the two Test tour.
The visitors are scheduled to play a warm-up match on August 22-23 before they take on Bangladesh in the first Test at Sher-e Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka on August 27.
The second Test will be played at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong from September 4.
The Aussies will leave Bangladesh on September 9 after the end of two-match Test series.