England's tour of Bangladesh under security cloud following terrorist attack in Dhaka
As a consequence of the terrorist attack in Dhaka on Friday night, England’s October tour of Bangladesh has been placed under massive doubt. England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) admitted that they would follow government instructions before taking the final call.
Several militants had stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery cafe in the Gulshan district of Dhaka and massacred more than 20 innocent civilians. After a counter-operation by Bangladeshi forces, the siege ended with almost all the terrorists being killed.
Terror group ISIS have claimed responsibility for the gruesome incident of which the major casualties belonged to overseas countries such as Italy, Japan, India and the US. Following the traumatic occurrence, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has announced two days of national mourning.
An ECB spokesperson stated, “The safety and security of our players and management is always of paramount importance to ECB and this applies to all teams representing England on overseas tours.”
“We will continue to monitor and assess the situation in Bangladesh over the coming weeks and months and will undertake a thoroughgoing and robust pre-tour inspection of planned security arrangements for the England team.”
Leaving the matter at the discretion of the concerned government authorities, the ECB spokesperson added, “We will also continue to work closely with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office [FCO] and should our Director of Security, Reg Dickason, or the FCO, advise that the environment is not acceptably safe or the right measures not in place, we would take the appropriate steps.”
Last year, Australia had pulled out of their trip to Bangladesh citing potential terror threats against them. Though there were discussions between the two boards during April regarding the possibility of holding the cricket series in 2017, no concrete developments resurfaced.
England are scheduled to play three ODIs and two Tests against the hosts across Dhaka and Chittagong from October 7 to November 1.