ICC chief backs England decision to tour Bangladesh
August 27 2016 07:53 PM
ICC Chief Executive David Richardson
ICC Chief Executive David Richardson


International Cricket Council chief executive David Richardson has welcomed England's decision to go ahead with their tour of Bangladesh, saying it was important to have the global game ‘played safely’ in as many countries as possible.

Richardson, in a statement issued from the world governing body's Dubai headquarters on Saturday, added that following England's decision the ICC would make its own security arrangements to ensure the safety of their match officials.

The future of the tour was called into question after an attack on a Dhaka cafe last month saw 20 -- mostly foreign -- hostages killed, with the Islamic State group claiming responsibility.

However, the England and Wales Cricket Board said Thursday the tour, which includes two Test and three one-day international matches in October, would go ahead as planned.

The confirmation followed a visit to Bangladesh by an ECB delegation, led by their long-serving security chief Reg Dickason.

The Australian briefed the England players on Thursday about the situation in Dhaka and the port city of Chittagong -- the venues for the tour.

‘It is important to the global game of cricket that it can be played safely in as many countries as possible,’ said Richardson.

‘The world in which we live means we all face threats wherever we are in the world.

‘Where those threats are considered higher, cricket, like other sports, undertakes extensive security assessments in determining whether or not matches can go ahead.

‘Under the expert guidance of Reg Dickason, England have concluded that it is safe to tour Bangladesh.’


- 'Intelligence' -

Former South Africa wicket-keeper Richardson added: ‘We welcome this decision understanding the extent of the intelligence behind it where the safety of players and staff is of utmost importance.

‘Earlier this year, we held the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup in Bangladesh with great success.

‘Like the ECB, we had carried out all the relevant safety assessments prior to the tournament and concluded it was safe for everyone involved to play.

‘Now the ECB has given the tour the go ahead, the ICC will instigate our own security investigations to ensure we are confident of the safety of our match officials.’

Pakistan have not staged a home Test series in their own country since an armed attack on Sri Lanka's team bus in Lahore in 2009 and there were concerns that Bangladesh too might become a 'no-go area' for major international sides if England called off their tour.

Following the Lahore attack, match referee Chris Broad -- who came under fire in the separate van carrying match officials -- criticised the security arrangements made for him and his colleagues.

Stuart Broad, the former England opener's son, is now set to be a member of the Test squad that tours Bangladesh.

Australia cancelled their tour of Bangladesh last October for security reasons and then withdrew their side from the Under-19 World Cup in the country at the start of this year.

England, however, fielded a team in the youth tournament.

‘I always had a hunch that England would come and there are a few reasons for that,’ Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hassan told reporters in Dhaka on Friday.

‘England always sent their team. Even in India, they continued playing (after the 2008 attack in Mumbai).

‘So England are not a team that bow their head down to terrorist activities.’

ECB director of cricket Andrew Strauss, the former England captain, said after Thursday's briefing: ‘England's tour of Bangladesh will continue as planned.

‘The ECB and PCA (Professional Cricketers' Association) have the utmost confidence in the advice and support we've been given.’

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