England One Day International captain Eoin Morgan and opening batsman Alex Hales have made themselves unavailable for the upcoming tour of Bangladesh, withdrawing due to security concerns. The duo made the decision after they were given time until the weekend to contemplate by the English Cricket Board (ECB).
Morgan’s absence from the tour means that vice-captain and keeper Jos Buttler will take charge of the captaincy, with the squad for the three ODIs and Test matches set to be announced on Friday (16 September).
Andrew Strauss, England’s director of cricket, expressed disappointment at Morgan and Hales decision, but confirmed that he was happy with the security arrangements after the team was given the all-clear by head of security Reg Dickason, who had carried out a security review last week.
“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 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”, Strauss said.
Morgan’s decision has attracted criticism from various quarters with former England captains Nasser Hussain and Michael Vaughan expressing disappointment considering he was the skipper and felt that he needed to lead from the front.
“Personally I think the captain should be there. I think a captain in charge of a team should be there with his team but I fully understand the decision that they’ve made. They leave themselves open, if someone, Jos Buttler for example as captain does well and whoever comes in that middle order, whether it be Ben Duckett or Sam Billings, does well then Eoin Morgan will have to fight for his place back”, said Hussain to Sky Sports.
England are scheduled to play three One Day Internationals (ODIs) and two-Test matches against Bangladesh, with the first ODI scheduled to take place on 7 October at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.