Alastair Cook has assured England he will travel to Bangladesh and lead the team on the Test leg of the England tour.But the England and Wales Cricket Board still has to convince Eoin Morgan, the one-day captain, that its security plans are tight enough to ensure the team’s safety on the trip.Morgan is understood to still have major reservations about the tour and a series of one-to-one meetings with Andrew Strauss, the England team director, will be held with those players who remain unconvinced about going to Bangladesh.Cook’s decision will perhaps help some players wavering over whether to go to Bangladesh after the ECB’s security adviser, Reg Dickason, cleared the tour to go ahead at the end of last week.Cook’s second child is due to be born at the end of next month and he could have used that as a reason for missing the tour but has been satisfied by the ECB’s security proposal and will be aware of his responsibility to show leadership as the team’s most senior and experienced cricketer.
The squad for the one-day series against Bangladesh will be named next week after the Twenty20 against Pakistan today and the England management will want to know Morgan’s decision in advance of the selection meeting.The selectors met at Trent Bridge yesterday to pick their squad for the Twenty20 match against Pakistan a week tomorrow at Old Trafford, an opportunity to catch up with Morgan and hear his latest views.At the moment it is likely that Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali will be rested for the three-match one-day series against Bangladesh with a view to lightening their workload in a busy winter.The one-day series is seen as a chance to give players who appear in all formats of the game a break with Root, Stokes and Moeen returning for the Tests.But if Morgan does not go to Bangladesh it may have an impact on Root, who could be asked to lead the side in his place. Jos Buttler, the wicketkeeper/batsman, is another alternative as captain.England are using the one-day series in Bangladesh as a chance to give their coaching staff a break, with Paul Farbrace and Ottis Gibson not arriving until the Test leg of the tour.Paul Collingwood and Andy Hurry, the director of the England development programme at Loughborough, will step in for the one-day series in their place.At the weekend, it emerged that Mal Loye, the former England one-day batsman, had left his job at the Bangladesh Academy in Dhaka over security fears when he learnt that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) planned an attack on the Australia cricket team, who later pulled out of a tour to the country.David Leatherdale, the chief executive of the Professional Cricketers’ Association who was part of the three-man security delegation that went to Bangladesh earlier this month, believes some players may pull out once the squads are picked. Liam Plunkett, who toured Bangladesh with England in 2010, has said he will make a decision if selected for the tour and admitted the issue was hanging over the team as they try to win a one-day series against Pakistan.”People are just digesting what went on in the meeting [last week]and I will have a bit more of a think once the series is done,” he said. “Maybe I will speak to a few more people but I trust Reg and what he says.”You pick up a paper and there’s trouble everywhere in the world so I don’t know, but I’ll speak to my family once the series is done, have a good think, look into it a bit more and come up with a decision.”I know the environment in Bangladesh and I know what it’s like. I’ve travelled in the subcontinent quite a lot so I’ve got a few more questions to ask and I’ll finalise my judgment and come up with a decision then.”My mindset is that I have not been picked for the tour yet. We have spoken to each other. We want to win this series first, and the team or individuals, I am not sure how it is going to work, will then make the decision.”People are talking. It is your career. It is up to you how you want to approach it.”Everyone has their own way of thinking about it. Some people might want to go, some people might not.”Those feelings were echoed by Alex Hales, who admitted that a number of players are wary of giving up their place in the national side if they decide not to tour.Hales, whose place in the Test side is coming under threat, admits losing his place is a serious consideration as he weighs up whether to travel.”It’s a tough call to make. It’s your own decision, but you’ve got to speak with your friends, family and loved ones and listen to them,” he told the Nottingham Post.”It’s a tough one for everyone. The tour is going ahead and we’re discussing what we’ll do as a group of players.”Obviously one of the risks of pulling out is that I’d sacrifice my Test place. There’s so many factors to weigh into a decision.”In the end I’ve got to back myself to make the right call for the sake of myself, friends, family and career. It’s a tough choice.”