England director of cricket Andrew Strauss has expressed his disappointment at the decision of one-day skipper Eoin Morgan and opener Alex Hales to opt out of October’s tour of Bangladesh due to security concerns.
Morgan and Hales declined to tour despite the advice of the England and Wales Cricket Board and their head of security Reg Dickason, who last month declared that it was safe to travel to Bangladesh.
England are set to be the first touring nation to visit Bangladesh – three one-day internationals and two Tests are scheduled – since a terrorist attack in Dhaka in July cost 29 lives.
“Whilst we understand and respect Eoin and Alex’s decision, we are disappointed that they have made themselves unavailable for selection for the Bangladesh tour,” said Strauss.
“We have had open and honest conversations with all the players about the security arrangements in Bangladesh and at this stage we are not expecting any other individuals to withdraw from the tour. Final selection for the Bangladesh tour will now take place on Friday.
“As with all England overseas tours, the safety and security of players and staff is of the utmost importance to the ECB. We will continue to monitor the situation in Bangladesh, take advice and consider the appropriate steps up to and throughout the five weeks we are on tour.”
It is uncertain what consequences his withdrawal from the tour will have for Morgan and his ongoing captaincy of the one-day set-up. Lancashire’s Jos Buttler will deputise in his absence.