Blast rocks West Indies U-19sStaff Correspondent
The second youth one-day international between the West Indies and Bangladesh U-19 teams was postponed for a day after a blast near the visiting team’s hotel, the Bangladesh Cricket Board said on Sunday.
The match had been scheduled for Sunday at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong.
The BCB said that a small bomb exploded outside the Agrabad hotel – where the West Indies U-19s are staying – on the roof of a pastry shop around 8:45pm on Saturday, leaving the visitors extremely scared.
The West Indies U-19 team, who are currently involved in a seven-match series against their Bangladeshi counterparts, refused to play the match or continue the tour following the blast, officials said.
The incident sent a wave of chills through the BCB headquarters in Dhaka, with Bangladesh preparing to host two high-profile international competitions – the Asia Cup and the ICC World Twenty20 – and a bilateral series against Sri Lanka early next year.
BCB cricket operations chief Akram Khan, who was in his hometown Chittagong, rushed to the hotel and held a series of meetings with the tourists and top officials of local security agencies to convince the visitors to continue the series.
‘The security agencies have assured the players and management that there was no risk to their safety,’ Akram later said in a statement. ‘Nevertheless, security measures will be reinforced further as we will not compromise with matters that concern the well-being of international teams.’
The West Indies U-19 side have expressed their confidence in the arrangements and it has been decided that the second match will get underway tomorrow [Monday],’ said Akram.
The BCB also decided to change the venue of the third match on December 11 from Cox’s Bazar to Chittagong in a move to limit the amount of travelling the teams will have to do during the series. The rest of the itinerary of the seven-game series will remain unchanged.
The West Indies Cricket Board also issued a statement, which said they were closely working with the BCB to ensure the continued safety of the team.
In the statement, the WICB said the visitors were ‘not targeted’ and ‘not in any immediate danger’.
‘The team gathered shortly after the incident and are safe at their team hotel and have been afforded additional security protection.
‘The WICB thanks the BCB and Bangladeshi authorities for their efforts in hosting and providing security for the team.
‘The WICB is contacting the parents and guardians of all the players and will provide further updates as necessary,’ it added.
‘The WICB management has been in contact with team manager Altamont Solomon and will continue to receive regular briefings.’
The Bangladesh U-19s currently lead the series 1-0.
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