CARDIFF, UNITED KINGDOM: All-rounder Moeen Ali has become the first England player to confirm unreservedly that he will be available for the upcoming tour of Bangladesh.
The future of the tour was in the balance after an attack on a Dhaka cafe in July killed 20 — mostly foreign — hostages, with the Islamic State (IS) group claiming responsibility.
But Ali, speaking in Cardiff on Saturday ahead of England’s fifth and final ODI against Pakistan in the Welsh capital on Sunday, said: “If selected, I’ll definitely go. I’m pretty happy with everything and really looking forward to it,” the 29-year-old Worcestershire off-spinner and left-handed batsman added. I’ve been there a few times, five or six.”
Trescothick’s sole Pakistani pick for his all-time XI
Following the Dhaka attack, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) sent an inspection team to Bangladesh led by long-serving security chief Reg Dickason.
After he reported back, the ECB said last month that the tour, which includes three one-day international and two Test match fixtures in October and November, would go ahead as planned.
“My view is you’re not safe anywhere these days,” said Ali. “I think you can be anywhere and still not be safe.”
Bangladesh appoint Sri Lankan Samaraweera as batting consultant
England assistant coach Paul Farbrace, who was with the Sri Lanka squad when their bus came under armed attack in Lahore in 2009, has also said he intends to travel to Bangladesh.
But England one-day captain Eoin Morgan, who was among a group of players given a security briefing by Dickason, said Friday he had still to make up his mind.
Meanwhile wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow told several British newspapers: “I’ve not made a 100 percent decision, but I know within my mind that I have a lot of faith in Reggie. I’ve been on a heck of a lot of tours with him, he’s known me since I was a young boy. So I’ve got a lot of faith in him.”
Ali said he had no qualms about anyone taking their time over deciding whether or not to commit to the tour.”It’s really tough [to decide], even for myself. Everyone’s different, and has their own views on things — and as a team, you back other other’s decisions.
“It’s up to the individual. There’s no pressure on anyone — it’s up to that person and how he feels.”
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, but England sent their team in the tournament which was won by West Indies.
Last month International Cricket Council chief executive David Richardson welcomed England’s decision to go ahead with their tour of Bangladesh by saying: “It is important to the global game of cricket that it can be played safely in as many countries as possible.”
Courtesy : Express Tribune