The England and Wales Cricket Board’s hopes of sending two full-strength squads for the month-long trip to Bangladesh at the end of September have received a boost by the news that the Test captain, Alastair Cook, has confirmed his place on tour, reports The Guardian.
England’s Test and one-day tour, which had been placed in doubt after the July 1 terrorist attack in Dhaka in which 20 hostages and two policemen were killed, was confirmed last Thursday following a briefing given by Reg Dickason, the ECB’s security adviser, and Andrew Strauss, the director of cricket.
Cook, whose situation is complicated by the fact that his wife, Alice, is expecting their second child around the start of the tour, was also present at the meeting and is understood to have now given his word to Strauss that he will be touring, in a move that could prompt other players to follow suit.
Strauss has said no pressure will be applied to players before this selection meeting and it is clear that many are still weighing up the decision.
Jos Buttler, England’s one-day wicketkeeper, did not commit when asked about his place last Friday, with Liam Plunkett and Alex Hales the latest of the current squad playing Pakistan to outline the tricky nature of the call.
Plunkett, speaking before Tuesday’s third one-day international against Pakistan at Trent Bridge, admitted he still had ‘a few more questions to ask’ before committing to the tour.
The Yorkshire fast bowler added: ‘People are just digesting what went on in the meeting and I will have a bit more of a think once the current series is done. Maybe I will speak to a few more people but I trust Reg and what he says and I will have another look after the series.
‘You pick up a paper and there’s trouble everywhere in the world, so I don’t know. But I’ll speak to my family once the series is done, have a good think, look into it a bit more and come up with a decision.’
The players have been told future selection would not be affected should they opt out but this is less straightforward in practical terms.
Hales, whose place in the Test side is far from secure following the 2-2 series draw with Pakistan in which the opener averaged only 18.12 with the bat, is one such individual whose decision is clouded by fears over his place.
‘It’s a tough call to make. It’s your own decision but you’ve got to speak with your friends, family and loved ones and listen to them,’ Hales told the Nottingham Evening Post.
‘It’s a tough one for everyone. The tour is going ahead and we’re discussing what we’ll do as a group of players. Obviously one of the risks of pulling out is that I’d sacrifice my Test place.
‘There’s so many factors to weigh into a decision. In the end I’ve got to back myself to make the right call for the sake of myself, friends, family and career. It’s a tough choice.’A
Source: New Age