Eoin Morgan and Alex Hales have opted out of the upcoming England cricket tour of Bangladesh amid security fears.
Last Sunday, the England opener and the one-day captain confirmed their decisions to the England Cricket Board (ECB). These omissions come as a consequence of security still being a big issue in Bangladesh. The dangers are highlighted by the fact no international side has toured the country since 20 people were killed in a siege at a Café in Dhaka in July.
In Eoin Morgan’s absence, Jos Buttler will captain the one-day side for the three one-day internationals starting on 7 October.
The 29-year-old Morgan said just last week that he would never go on a tour where security concerns may affect his game.
“In 2010, we played an Indian Premier League game in Bangalore and a bomb went off in the ground,” Morgan stated.
“Another one was playing domestic cricket in Bangladesh during political elections and things were incredibly violent. Given that no-one has toured there since the terrorist attack adds a bigger decision to it.
“ I think ultimately, as an individual, you need to be comfortable within yourself to be bale to focus on cricket.”
Meanwhile, the opener position in both the test matches and the one-day internationals are available for the tour now Hales has chosen not to go. The favourite for the test position is Lancashire’s Haseeb Hameed. The opener has scored more than 1,000 runs at an average of 53.76 in first-class cricket this summer. Though his young age of 19-years-old could go against him when selecting for a highly stressed tour.
The other candidates for the test opener position is Keaton Jennings and Nick Gubbins. While Ben Duckett is the only player who is more than able to play both formats. This means England will more than likely select an opener from within the establish squad for the One-Day side. Mooen Ali and David Willey have both played in that position for their club sides. The Durham cricketer Jennings has been very impressive this season. The 24-year-old has scored 1,500 runs in Division One at more than an average of 68. Then there’s Gubbins from Middlesex with near identical performances scoring over 1,000 runs as well at an average touching 60.
The last opener on everyone’s list is the ever-impressive Northamptonshire’s star Ben Duckett. He has helped himself to over 1,200 runs this season, scoring four centuries and averaging over 60. Also in July he scored 163 in a test match for the England Lions against Pakistan. He then followed this up with a 220 against Sri Lanka A. In the Royal London One-Day Cup the 21-year-old has scored 443 runs at an average of 63.
The England selectors have a hard choice deciding who to go with. Whether it will be Haseeb Hameed, Keaton Jennings, Nick Gubbins or Ben Duckett. They all deserve their place in the squad after their impressive 2016 season performances.
Director of England Cricket, Andrew Strauss, said: “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.
“We have had open and honest conversations with all the players about the security arrangements in Bangladesh. At this stage we are not expecting any other individuals to withdraw from the tour.
“As with all England overseas tours, the safety and security of players and staff is of the upmost 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.”
Final selection for the Bangladesh tour will now take place as scheduled on Friday. Recent squad players Stuart Broad, Moeen Ali, Chris Jordan and Liam Dawson have all publicly stated they would tour Bangladesh.