Bangladesh breathed a sigh of relief Thursday as Australia ended its protracted pay dispute with their cricket board, ensuring Steve Smith’s side can visit later this month for a long-awaited tour.
Australia were due to arrive in Dhaka on August 18 for their first Test series in Bangladesh since 2006 but a row between players and management had cast doubt over the tour.
But the bruising dispute was resolved on Thursday as players and management agreed to a new “in-principle” deal, ensuring upcoming series against Bangladesh, India and England can go ahead.
“It’s great news for Bangladesh. Definitely we are very happy to see the problem has resolved,” Bangladesh Cricket Board head Nizamuddin Chowdhury said.
“Their next commitment is in Bangladesh. Now after the dispute is resolved, we can look forward to hosting them.”
The bad-tempered stand-off had been rumbling for months, rattling the game and badly straining the players’ relationship with the sport’s governing body.
Some 230 cricketers had been unemployed since the end of June when their contracts expired, putting this month’s Test tour to Bangladesh under serious threat.
Bangladeshi authorities grew increasingly anxious as the spat dragged on, especially when a home series against Pakistan slated for July-August was cancelled.
Australia was scheduled to play two Tests in Bangladesh in late 2015 but the tour was cancelled after a wave of attacks by Islamist extremists in the Muslim-majority nation.
Bangladesh’s first Test against Australia will be held at Dhaka’s Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium from August 27. The second starts in Chittagong on September 4.