Limited-overs skipper Eoin Morgan admits he remains a doubt for England’s one-day tour to Bangladesh amid ongoing security concerns and a stark warning over future selection by director of cricket Andrew Strauss.
The tour, which includes three one-day internationals and two Test matches, was given the go-ahead on safety grounds by the England and Wales Cricket Board’s head of security, Reg Dickason, last month.
Former England captain Strauss insists no player should be forced to travel to a country where a terrorist attack cost 29 lives in July, but has declared that any individual who opts out risks losing their place in the side.
Strauss is set to meet players for contract appraisals tomorrow and Saturday where he will look to gather players’ thoughts on the tour, while Morgan is adamant that he feels no greater obligation to travel given his status as skipper.
“As captain you want to be out there in the mix with everybody, but ultimately you have to feel comfortable enough to concentrate on cricket and be able to benefit the team, so ultimately it will come down to how comfortable I feel,” said Morgan.
“It’s been a really busy two and a half weeks since we had the [security] meeting, so I’ll have a few days off, think about it and make my decision as soon as possible.”
Strauss acknowledges that any player, Morgan included, should not be coerced onto a plane to Dhaka – the scene of July’s cafe siege – but has confidence in the security assessment carried out by Dickason.
“At its most simple level, the big consequence for not going is you are giving someone else an opportunity to step into your shoes and stake a claim for themselves,” said Strauss.
“That’s just the same as if someone gets injured. You are out of possession of that spot in the team for a certain period of time, and if someone does really well then you can’t give any guarantees.
“I’m still very hopeful that everyone gets on that plane, because I believe the security plan we have in place mitigates the risk to an acceptable level. We feel it’s safe to go, and I genuinely believe that.
“I’m very confident the time the players have had up to now, and the time they’ll have at the end of the series, will allow them to come to a very sensible decision.”
Morgan was speaking after his side suffered a nine-wicket T20 annihilation at the hands of Pakistan at Old Trafford on Wednesday night as a rather ignominious curtain came down on the international summer.
England only mustered 135-7, while the tourists made light work of their run chase, winning within 15 overs as openers Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif both struck enterprising half-centuries.