Aussies switch focus on Kiwis

Sydney, October 2

Australia's new cricket captain Steve Smith on Friday switched focus to New Zealand's upcoming tour as he voiced regret that a two-Test series in Bangladesh had to be called off over terrorism fears.

"The safety and the security of the players is the biggest concern," Smith told reporters. "It's not safe enough for us to travel at this time." He noted that the Bangladesh tour would have been his first as full-time captain following Michael Clarke's recent retirement. "It was a great opportunity for us," said Smith who will now play for New South Wales next week. "It's a new team and new players and we were all really looking forward to getting over there and playing."

Smith said he understood disappointment over the cancelled tour among fans in Bangladesh. "Really disappointing for the Bangladesh fans as well. I really feel for them. "They were all looking forward to us ... playing over there so hopefully we can get an opportunity to get over there at some time."

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said late Thursday that an independent security assessment confirmed the "risk of terrorism in Bangladesh targeting Australian nationals". Australia's security and intelligence organisation and department of foreign affairs had warned about an increased risk of militant attacks in Bangladesh.