England tour to continue as planned: ECB
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced in an official statement on Thursday that England's tour to Bangladesh will go ahead as planned.
The information has emerged after an ECB security team briefed the England players about the security situation in Bangladesh on Thursday evening.
After the terror attack at the Holey Artisan Bakery on July 1, the tour -- scheduled to begin in October -- was thrown into uncertainty and a routine security visit of the relevant areas by a three-man ECB team last week assumed special importance, as their verdict would determine whether the tour -- comprising three ODIs and two Tests -- would take place as planned.
ECB's statement revealed that the board "confirmed that England's tour of Bangladesh will continue as planned".
A full assessment of facilities and operations in Bangladesh was made by Reg Dickason, director of security management for ECB and a consultant for the Professional Cricketers Association, ECB director of cricket operations John Carr and PCA chief executive David Leatherdale.
England players -- including Test skipper Alastair Cook and ODI captain Eoin Morgan -- were briefed on arrangements and the risk assessment by the security team alongside ECB director of cricket Andrew Strauss and ECB chief executive Tom Harrison.
"England's tour of Bangladesh will continue as planned," Strauss was quoted by the ECB statement as saying. "Safety and security of players and management are always paramount. We've received a thorough risk assessment, had excellent insight into the current situation and been fully briefed on security commitments. ECB and PCA have the utmost confidence in the advice and support we've been given.
"Tonight we discussed details with the players and management in an open meeting. They asked lots of questions, have time to ask more and will clearly want to take it all in -- we understand that. Selection for the tour will be made after the end of the summer internationals.
"We will, as always, continue to monitor the situation right up to and throughout the tour," added Strauss.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), with the backing of relevant government agencies, promised the ECB that they would do everything necessary to provide unparalleled security for its team. On Wednesday, Bangladesh limited-overs captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza made an impassioned plea to the ECB and its players, asking them to travel to Bangladesh.
Meanwhile, ESPNCricinfo reported that "it is understood that England's players will be given a no-consequences option to skip the tour if they, or their families, are uncomfortable with their involvement."