New test captain Steve Smith's departure to Bangladesh is put on hold as Cricket Australia addresses security warnings threatening the upcoming test series Reuters / Philip Brown

Australia’s two-test tour of Bangladesh is in doubt following security concerns raised by the Australian government.

The team was scheduled to depart from several Australian cities this morning and are now awaiting further security instructions before they can leave, with a practice match supposed be played in just five days on Oct. 3.

Cricket Australia’s Chief Executive James Sutherland said he had received information from Australian government sources, namely the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), identifying a militant risk to the 15-man squad.

“Our position is that we want the tour to go ahead as planned, this has obviously come very suddenly and we’ve needed to make this response,” he said.

“Our preferred position is to continue with the tour but the safety and security of our players and our staff is the absolute priority.”

The 15-man squad for the tour of Bangladesh, captained by Steve Smith, was announced on Sept. 14 , with eight of those players featuring from the recently failed Ashes campaign in the United Kingdom.

With the first test match expected to be played on Oct. 9r in Chittagong, it is questionable whether the three-week tour is worth going through with. The final test is to be played on Oct. 17 in Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka, to cap off the short tour of South-Central Asia.

The news seemed to be a shock for the Bangladesh Cricket Board as its CEO, Nizam Uddin Chowdhury, released a statement outlining their desire to see the tour go ahead.

“The CA has stated its commitment to the series already in a media release and we are confident that the tour will commence with minimum delay,” it said.

“There is no alarm regarding security as far as we are concerned and we have taken the opinion of all relevant agencies because safety of the Australian team is our priority as it is with all visiting teams to Bangladesh.”

Bangladesh Cricket Board officials have given Cricket Australia security assurances and are optimistic of the tour’s continuation, although CA’s position is one that prioritises player and staff security.

“The response at this stage is to get our head of security on the ground,” Sutherland said.

“By being over there we will be closer to the best intelligence and also understanding what the response of the Bangladesh Government and Bangladesh Cricket Board is to the situation and how they will respond and how that affects our decision making.”

Beyond the importance of security, it is also a crucial tour for the Australians who are yet to play under the captaincy of Steve Smith and develop as a unified playing squad.

“It’s a very important tour for both Australia and Bangladesh.”

“From our perspective we’ve got a young team under a new captain very much looking forward to take the opportunities playing in sub-continental conditions,” Sutherland said.

Australia’s last visit to Bangladesh was for the Twenty20 World Cup in 2014 when they failed to progress beyond the first round, although they haven’t officially toured the country for a test series since 2006.

For now, Sutherland doesn’t believe the tour is at the stage of abandonment with further updates to come.

Contact the writer at feedback@ibtimes.com.au, or let us know what you think below.