Bangladesh unwilling to play England in neutral venue
Reacting to comments by former ICC president Ehsan Mani that Bangladesh might be forced to play their home matches at neutral venues like neighbouring Pakistan on the back of the recent terror attacks at an upscale restaurant in the capital city of Dhaka, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has categorically stated that they would be rejecting such a notion without any thoughts.
The attack, which saw around 20 foreign national being killed, has cast a doubt on England’s tour of Bangladesh scheduled for the months of September and October this year with England’s skipper in the shorter formats of the game, Eoin Morgan stating that neutral venues may be "feasible if it came to that".
However, Nizamuddin Chowdhury, BCB's chief executive, said that his association is not looking forward to such a proposition.
"We always believe this is never a solution," Chowdhury said. "Cricket cannot stop in a country. We will make our best effort to fulfil the FTP commitment. The cricket operations of both BCB and ECB are in continuous communication regarding the England tour of Bangladesh in October. They are in discussion with the tour related matters, especially the logistics."
Few members of the ECB will be making a security visit to Bangladesh ahead of the series with many feeling that a lot could depend on the team's assessment of the security situation at that time. Chowdhury stated that it is a routine of all visiting teams to send out a security delegation before the teams head for an away tour.
"The security visit is a standard practice. Teams like England, Australia do this regularly. A security delegate from England was supposed to come last month, but as they have the tour of India after Bangladesh, I think they will do the security inspection of the two countries together. We will get to know when they get confirmation from the two boards," he said.
Despite Australia pulling out of its scheduled tour of Bangladesh last year, the BCB is confident that its successful track record of hosting matches without any security breaches or threat will convince the ECB to go ahead with the tour later this year.
"The security issue has already been discussed at different levels in the ICC. There have been discussions on security protocol. A guideline will soon be given from the ICC," Chowdhury said. "We have a very good track record of hosting successful international events with the support from the government and the law enforcement departments. We believe to get the same support in future for hosting cricket in the country."