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PCB criticizes Cricket Australia over withdrawal from Under-19 World Cup

LAHORE: Chairman Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Shahryar Khan said Wednesday Australia should be fined after they pulled out of the junior World Cup over security fears in host country Bangladesh, blasting officials for creating a potentially “anarchic” situation in world cricket.

On Tuesday Australia withdrew from the Under-19 World Cup due to start in Bangladesh from January 27, citing security concerns.

They had also refused to tour the South Asian country in October last year for a bilateral series.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) said the event will go ahead as scheduled and invited Ireland to replace Australia in the biennial tournament.

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shahryar Khan criticised Cricket Australia’s decision.

“I see no obvious reason to take such a drastic step,” Khan told media. “I fear a chaotic situation is developing in the ICC after Australia’s refusal to send their team for the event.”

Khan said he will raise the issue in the ICC meeting next month, adding he feared it could “ultimately lead to divisions and cause an anarchic situation in the ICC”.

He said that competitors should rely on the ICC’s security assessment.

“Australia should be fined” for the decision, he said.

“Last year they didn’t go for the bilateral tour when just one Italian was killed, nothing more.”

Safety fears for foreigners have heightened in Muslim-majority Bangladesh after last year’s murders of an Italian aid worker and a Japanese farmer that were claimed by the Islamic State group.

Bangladesh is desperate to avoid the fate of Pakistan, which has had to host nearly all of its home matches at neutral venues since gunmen attacked the Sri Lankan team bus during a 2009 Test match in Lahore.

Cricket Australia has apologised to the ICC and the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) over the no-show.

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