Mashrafe Mortaza urges England players to tour Bangladesh

Terror attacks in countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh have taken a heavy beating on cricket as teams fear to tour these nations citing security issues. With England being the latest to pull out from a scheduled tour of Bangladesh, the latter’s shorter-formats skipper Mashrafe Mortaza insisted that English players should tour his country for the scheduled series in October. Mortaza spoke to the reporters at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur about the tour on Wednesday.

The England cricket team will be provided with an idea on how the security arrangements will be made for the tour by a three-man security team on Thursday. It is also believed that the tour may be decided on the basis of the meeting. The terror attack on July 1 on the Holey Artisan Bakery in Gulshan killed 22 people including couple of police officers on July 1, which probably prompted the security concerns.  ALSO READ: Mohammad Irfan clears Mustafizur Rahman’s ‘misconception’ about his shoe size

England’s limited-overs format skipper Eoin Morgan said that the tour will depend on players’ opinion. On this, Mortaza was quoted in a report from thedailystar.net saying, “Firstly, I would ask them to come, and I still believe they will come. We are all confident that the Bangladesh Cricket Board and the government will be able to make necessary security arrangements. As a player I will say that the sport should continue. This kind of attack is happening all over the world. There were attacks in France and still the Euros was held there. I think it depends on ECB-BCB, what is going on between them. I think they should come.”

News on British daily The Telegraph’s website also hinted the security issues on the England tour in Bangladesh. Mortaza further said, “They [the security team] were here, and it is possible that they may have had issues about one or two things. I don’t know in what sense they said it or whether it can be fixed. I think whatever happens we have the ability to transport players safely. We also have families, we are also humans and our transport issues fall into the same category. I believe the BCB can handle it; I don’t think it will be too difficult.”