Morgan unsure despite clearance
In the aftermath of the July 1 militant attack on Dhaka's Holey Artisan Bakery that claimed the lives of 20 civilians, it was England's ODI captain Eoin Morgan who first expressed doubts over their scheduled tour of Bangladesh in October. More than two months later, with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) green-lighting the tour and, more recently on Wednesday, ECB director Andrew Strauss issuing a Saturday deadline for players to commit to the tour, it is still Morgan who remains one of the few England players expressing doubts over the tour.
Morgan said that two previous security scares in the sub-continent made him wary of ever again jeopardising his personal safety, as he outlined why he remains deeply concerned about touring Bangladesh.
The ECB's decision to go ahead with the tour came after a three-man security delegation led by head of security Reg Dickason conducted a security inspection of the relevant venues for the three-ODI, two-Test tour.
Test skipper Alastair Cook reportedly gave private assurances of his intention to tour, while Moeen Ali and Chris Jordan publicly stated their intention to tour if selected in the squad to be announced on September 16. Meanwhile Strauss, coach Trevor Bayliss -- who was on the Sri Lanka team bus that came under attack in Lahore in 2009 -- and assistant coach Paul Farbrace have also confirmed that they will be touring.
Morgan said his thinking had been influenced by a bomb exploding at a 2010 Indian Premier League match and the violent background to a brief spell in the 2013/14 Dhaka Premier Division.
"In 2010 we played an IPL game in Bangalore and a bomb went off in the ground. We immediately left for the airport. So that was an instance. Another one was [in] Bangladesh playing domestic cricket during political elections when things were incredibly violent."
The Irishman added: "I think ultimately, as I've said before, as an individual you need to be comfortable within yourself to focus on cricket.
"I've been to places before where things have become a distraction and it's only been once or twice when security's been a distraction and I've told myself I'd never put myself in that situation again."
Morgan has continued to play in the Indian Premier League, most recently for Sunrisers Hyderabad this season.
Former England captain Mike Atherton urged all those selected to tour Bangladesh.
"Every cricketer has always had the right not to tour if he so wishes, although it is impossible to say there will be no consequences," he wrote in The Times. "Once you give up your place in the team, things are out of your control."
He added: "But if security is the main issue, the rational thing to do is to try to cut out the noise and the nonsense and show some faith in the experts.
“Dickason has done his job; it's time for England's cricketers to do theirs."