Broad confident Cook will return

England Test captain and opener Alastair Cook. File Photo: Reuters

England was hopeful captain Alastair Cook will return to lead the side in time for the first Test against Bangladesh next week, quick Stuart Broad says.

Cook arrived in Bangladesh early to acclimatise but returned home on October 11 for the birth of his second child, reports

An England and Wales Cricket Board spokesman said on Saturday that Cook's wife Alice Hunt was expected to give birth soon but they were not sure when he would be back.

Joe Root led the England Test squad in their first warm-up match of the tour in the absence of Cook, who is set to miss their final two-day warm-up fixture, beginning on Sunday.

Broad, who is expected to win his 100th Test cap in the first Test on October 20, said he had spoken to Cook, who promised to return in time.

"As far as we know he's coming back for the Test," Broad told reporters in Chittagong. "I spoke to him today a little bit and he seems very confident he'll be coming back.

"Obviously family comes first, so if anything happens back there I'm sure he'll stay with his wife and take care of things there.

"I'm sure he'll be keen to be at the toss on Thursday morning."

England are seemingly still undecided about Cook's opening partner, with Ben Duckett and teenager Haseeb Hameed both remaining in contention.

The first Test of the two-match series is scheduled to start on October 20 at Chittagong's MA Aziz Stadium. The second Test at Mirpur's Sher-e-Bangla National stadium will be held on October 28, Friday.


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