The Bangladesh Cricket Board or BCB has not kept a single match of Sri Lanka Men’s full tour in Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium because the women’s team will play against their Australian counterparts in March.
Shahriar Nafees Ahmed, in-charge of cricket operations at BCB, came up with the clarification while speaking to bdnews24.com on Saturday, a day after the board announced the fixture of Sri Lanka’s tour of Bangladesh.
“The Australian women’s cricket team will arrive in Bangladesh in mid-March. So, no men’s cricket matches against the Sri Lankans will take place in Dhaka. Women's cricket is as important as men’s cricket to us,” Nafees said.
“The women also have an opportunity to qualify for the World Cup directly. So, the authorities have decided to arrange the [women’s] series with all the best facilities."
All the matches of the Tigers’ home series against Sri Lanka – three Twenty20s, three One-Day Internationals and two Tests – will take place in Chattogram and Sylhet in March and April.
The fixture of the Tigresses’ series against Australia is yet to be finalised, but it is supposed to begin in the third week of March.
The Australian women cricketers will arrive in Bangladesh on Mar 17. Until then, Mirpur will host Bangladesh Premier League games.
Then it will take time to prepare the pitches and the ground for international cricket, Nafees said.
“Most importantly, it is necessary to prepare well to play against a team like Australia. The women won’t get that chance if the men play in Dhaka.
“We want to ensure the best facilities for the women. This is why no men’s game has been scheduled for Dhaka.”
Last year, Bangladesh women’s team skipper Nigar Sultana and others complained about not getting the chance to play in Mirpur, known as the “Home of Cricket” in Bangladesh. They were later allowed to play against India there.
The Australia series will include three ODIs and three T20s under ICC’s Future Tour Programmes or FTP.
The ODI series will also be the part of the Women's Championship.
The Aussies have been at the second position in the championship with 18 points so far where the Tigresses are seventh with 13 points.
This is the first time Bangladesh Women will face Australia at home. The Australian women’s team had played in Bangladesh for the last time in 2014, but not against the Tigresses. The matches of the Women's World Cup were held in Sylhet.