Snipers, tanks to reduce Eng security fears in BD
England's players have been given assurances about the scale of the security operation which will see them put on 'lock down' in Bangladesh with snipers positioned at the team hotels and tanks parked outside them.
The majority of England's players have agreed to tour after agonising over whether to travel to a country where westerners have been terrorist targets in recent years and the Australia team refused to tour last October over fears of an attack, reports The Daily Mail.
England's one-day captain Eoin Morgan and opening batsman Alex Hales are understood to have told the ECB they will not travel while the rest of the ODI and Test teams have agreed to tour after receiving assurances of unprecedented security measures on tour.
CB security expert Reg Dickason has also told players he does not believe claims made by former England batsman and Bangladesh Performance coach Mal Loye that a specific threat was made against the Australia team are credible, although Sportsmail understands no attempt has been made with Loye.
Instead, the ECB have moved to reassure England's concerned players and families – none of whom will travel to support the team – that the security operation led by Dickason and supported by the Bangladesh Army and police force will provide a 'ring of steel' around their hotels in Dhaka and Chittagong.
Covert sniper teams will be positioned around the team hotels, whose staff will be individually vetted as part of a process aimed at minimising any risk to the players and support staff in a country which has seen a rise in violent extremism in recent times.
Players will not be permitted to leave team hotels, apart from for training and on match days, with the team coach set to be closely guarded by Bangladesh police. Concerns remain among some players about being caught in static traffic on heavily congested roads and becoming a potential target.
Foreign Office travel advice on Bangladesh states: 'There is a heightened threat of further terrorist attacks. Attacks could be indiscriminate although foreigners, in particular westerners, may be directly targeted. Crowded areas and places where westerners are known to gather may be at higher risk of attack. You should minimise your exposure to these areas, consider your movements carefully and take appropriate security precautions.'
The ECB remain confident all appropriate measures have been taken to keep the team safe.
An ECB spokesman said: 'The safety and security of players and management are always paramount - whenever and wherever any of our teams are travelling.
'Ahead of the Bangladesh tour the ECB received a thorough, in-depth risk assessment from our Director of Security, with a detailed briefing on security commitments.
'Intelligence and insight is drawn from a wide range of sources – including government agencies, military and security services – and we will continue to monitor, evaluate and review safety and security up to and throughout the winter tours.'