Strauss sets deadline for Bangladesh tourists


England team director Andrew Strauss has given all players until Saturday to decide whether or not they are willing to tour Bangladesh in October.

Strauss has said that no guarantees or assurances can be given to any players who choose to opt out of the trip.

Among those with reservations is ODI captain Eoin Morgan and Strauss is especially keen to have his skipper commit himself to the cause.

The team director will be looking to get a yes or no answer from his players in the next couple of days, and while touring will always be up to the individual, Strauss stressed that the captain has a certain responsibility to the team.

Strauss said: “Would I like both our captains to be on that tour? Absolutely, definitely.

“The captain has certain roles and responsibilities that are greater than just looking after themselves. He obviously has a duty to the team. But they’re still human beings – and I think that’s an important point to make. They have their own thoughts, concerns, issues and views on life – and we’ve got to understand that.

“I can’t force anyone onto that plane. I cannot literally force people up the steps and say ‘you have to go to Bangladesh’. People have their own decisions to make.”

In his column in the Daily Telegraph last week, Kevin Pietersen warned Morgan against opting out, saying: “When the going gets tough for him in the future, with the team losing, or a run of personal low scores, then he will find that the loyalty from his bosses will not be the same because he went against them.

“That is just the way it is. In the end it will come back to haunt him.”

For players like Alex Hales, who has shown some reluctance to tour, the reality is that his place in the team could be lost because he is struggling for form in Test cricket and there are a number of players knocking on the door in the limited overs formats.

Strauss added: “I think, at its most simple, the big consequence for not going is you are giving someone else an opportunity to step into your shoes and stake a claim for themselves.

“That’s just the same as if someone gets injured, you are out of possession of that spot in the team for a certain period of time, and if someone does really well then you can’t give any guarantees.

“But that’s a choice people have to make themselves, and they have to weigh up all sorts of different things when they come to this decision. Everyone has a different attitude to risk, different thoughts about what their priorities in life are. That’s fine – that’s their decision.”

Strauss was at pains to stress that England have a firm security plan and will do their utmost to keep the players safe.

The team director concluded: “I’m very assured by the report that Reg gave to me and translated to the players. But everyone will look at that and take their own observations.

“I’m still very hopeful that everyone gets on that plane because I believe the security plan we have in place mitigates the risk to an acceptable level.

“I genuinely believe that and that is why I’m encouraging every player to use that incredibly detailed and experienced view point from Reg to make a judgment.”