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'Unrest threatens hosting of T20 World Cup in Bangladesh'

December 10, 2013 15:54 IST
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West Indies and Bangladesh under-19 teamsA day after the West Indies Cricket Board cancelled its Under-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 organization of next year’s ICC World T20 in the country is under threat.

The 16-team tourney, to be staged between March 16 and April 6, is considered to be the biggest ever sporting event being organized by the country.

"If this situation prevails, then any big tournament or participation of any big country, will be under threat," Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hassan told reporters on Monday night.

Seventy-four 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 -- the capital Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet.

A team of International Cricket Council 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, in February, which also features India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

"The quicker this political situation improves the better because the Sri Lanka tour is in January and then we have the Asia Cup. It needs to be resolved before that," said Hassan, who is a ruling party lawmaker.

BCB's chief executive Nizamuddin Chowdhury told reporters that the ICC had asked the board to relay them an update on the situation.

"We will send (it to) them accordingly," he said.

Image: The West Indies and Bangladesh Under-19 teams in action

Photograph: WICB

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