After calling for Bangladesh's dismissal from Test cricket sometime back, Ponting did a complete volte-face and said during a press conference on the eve of the ongoing first Test at Fatullah that the cricket minnows deserved a place in the big league ''Australia supported Bangladesh coming into Test Cricket.
And your team is obviously developing. You have a young team, which you will be able to keep together, barring injury, for a significant period of time,'' O'Connor told reporters here.
''It's so sad for you. We have supported your entry and we're supporting you in continuing Test cricket.'' Asked whether Cricket Australia would continue to provide assistance to Bangladesh for the development of the game, he said they were providing assistance now and would be maintaining this role.
''I've seen a number of Australians that are here. And I see that Ross Turner (General Manager game development Cricket Australia) arrived here today from Sydney,'' he said.
But, he said he was not aware of any particular requests to Cricket Australia by Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) to assist in building the National Academy here. ''Ross Turner may well be having discussions in this issue with your board.'' O'Connor also admitted that in the ongoing first Test, Bangladesh outplayed Australia for the first two days.