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Tuesday 10th
posted by Morning Star in Sport

Batsman missed Bangladesh tour due to safety reasons

Eoin Morgan yesterday revealed that his family were “very offended” by suggestions he let England down by declining to tour Bangladesh on safety grounds.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) determined that security in the country was sufficient for the series to take place safely in October but invited individual players to make their own decision following terror attacks targeting westerners earlier in the year.

Only one-day captain Morgan and opening batsman Alex Hales declined to travel, leaving ECB managing director Andrew Strauss “disappointed.”

But reactions were stronger than that elsewhere. While many supported the pair for acting on their concerns, others suggested that Morgan, as skipper, had shown a lack of leadership.

Former England captains Michael Vaughan and Nasser Hussain were among the most prominent critics, suggesting Morgan’s standpoint was incompatible with his role as figurehead of the side, though they were not alone among the British media response.

Morgan is back on duty for the forthcoming limited-overs series against India and will lead the side out for the first time since skipping Bangladesh in October, against India A in Mumbai.

Asked by BBC’s Test Match Special how he felt about the coverage of his decision, Morgan said: “To be honest, I didn’t see much of it. When things are announced like that, you can plan how to deal with it and my way of dealing with it was to get away from things, which I did.

“So I didn’t see a great deal of it. I think my family saw a lot of it and were very offended but that’s part and parcel of being in the limelight sometimes. Certainly standing here I don’t regret the decision.

“When I made the decision, I considered all the consequences and I felt very comfortable with the decision. Since we arrived here three days ago, things have been really good, plenty of energy around the group, which is awesome.”

England insisted there would be no fallout or repercussions for those who stayed away from Bangladesh, who lost the ODI series 2-1 before sealing a historic 1-1 draw in the Test leg.

Morgan and Hales were duly recalled at the first opportunity but the feeling remains in some quarters that they will need to deliver quickly with the bat to retain their slots.

Jos Buttler also made a strong impression as stand-in captain against Bangladesh and is a ready-made heir whenever Morgan’s time is up. 

But the Dubliner, a 30-yearold dual international with 170 ODIs and 64 T20 caps to his name, sees nothing new in competing for his place. “Nothing is a certainty, absolutely nothing,” he said. “You’re always out to prove how good you are and what you can do. I’m always looking to win games of cricket and score runs.”

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