Eoin Morgan could be close to confirming his withdrawal from England’s tour of Bangladesh tomorrow, after revealing that first-hand experience of previous security scares have left him questioning whether he wants to lead England’s ODI team in the current climate.
Morgan pinpointed two occasions – the 2010 bomb blasts during an IPL game in Bangalore and then political unrest during a stint playing domestic cricket in Bangladesh – that had left him determined not to put himself in such a situation again.
He was part of Bangalore Royal Challengers’ squad in 2010 when two blasts struck outside the Chinnaswamy Stadium shortly before the match against Mumbai Indians was due to start. The game eventually went ahead, but later matches in the tournament were moved out of Bangalore.
Then, in late 2013, Morgan was having a short spell playing for Gazi Tank Cricketers in the Dhaka Premier Division when pre-election violence was engulfing Bangladesh.
“I have been to places before when things have become a distraction and once or twice when that has been security, and when it has been I told myself I would not put myself in that situation again,” Morgan said. “Playing international cricket – or any cricket – is not about worrying about different things, it should be the best time of your life, it should be something that you are looking forward to and wanting to do well in and are able to focus on.”
Remembering the previous incidents, Morgan said: “We played an IPL game in Bangalore and a bomb went off in the ground, we immediately left and went straight to the airport. That was one instance, another was Bangladesh, playing domestic cricket, during political elections where things were incredibly violent.”
Andrew Strauss, the team director, yesterday urged all England’s players to undertake the tour following the security advice of Reg Dickason. He said anyone who gave up their spot could not be guaranteed to come straight back in, and also made reference to the extra responsibility on the captain.
However, recalling his experience of 2008 when he had to confront similar concerns about whether to tour India after the Mumbai terror attacks took place, he empathised with those who are struggling to reach a decision.
“Having been through this myself, after the Mumbai bombings, intellectually coming to the decision – ‘if Reg says it’s safe to go somewhere, who am I to say otherwise’ – in hindsight, it looks like a very simple and obvious one.