England to carry on with Dhaka tour as planned
BANGLADESH’S cricket authorities on August 26 breathed a sigh of relief as England announced that their tour to the South Asian nation would go ahead as planned.
The tour was thrown into doubt after an Islamist extremist attack on an upscale Dhaka cafe saw 20 – mostly foreign – hostages killed, with the Islamic State group claiming responsibility.
However, the England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed the tour on August 25, ending weeks of speculation over the fate of the series which includes two Test and three one-day matches in October.
The confirmation followed a visit to Bangladesh by an ECB security team, which briefed the England players about the situation in Dhaka and the port city of Chittagong – the venues of the tour.
“I always had a hunch that England would come and there are a few reasons for that,” Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hassan told reporters in Dhaka.
“England always sent their team. Even in India, they continued playing [after the 2008 attack in Mumbai].
“So England are not a team that bow their head down to terrorist activities.”
Nazmul promised to provide security not just to the team but also to visiting media and English fans.
“We will arrange security for them no matter where they are, be it in the stadium or next to the hotel, wherever.
“This is the kind of mental readiness we have. We believe that there won’t be any problem with regards to this England tour,” he added.
England are due to arrive in Bangladesh on September 30, with their schedule also including three warm-up matches – one before the ODIs and two ahead of the Tests.
They are set to leave Bangladesh on November 2 ahead of a five-Test series in India starting the following week.
Australia cancelled their tour of Bangladesh in October for security reasons and then withdrew their side from the Under-19 World Cup in the country at the start of this year.
England, however, fielded a team in the youth tournament.