Skipper hopeful England will make trip to Bangladesh


Bangladesh captain, Mashrafe Mortaza, has expressed his hope that England will not pull out of their scheduled tour to the Asian nation, after a recent attack on a Dhaka cafe, raised security concerns for the ECB.

England are scheduled to play two Tests, and three ODIs, and are due to arrive in Dhaka on September 30th.

The ECB will take advice from the government of the United Kingdom before confirming their visit.

Mashrafe told ESPN Cricinfo: "I personally hope that the tour goes ahead,

"Cricket followers in Bangladesh have been waiting for a long time for a home series. Bangladeshi people love cricket, and they hope that England are coming for the tour. I am hopeful they (England) will come to hold on to the cricket culture.

"England have always helped Bangladesh. They had sent the team in the Under-19 World Cup. They will certainly get security, as much as what other cricket teams get when they come here. Bangladeshi people respect cricketers. I don't think there will be a problem."

The skipper has indicated his team will focus on what they can control, which is preparing for the series: "There are still three months left so I remain hopeful of the tour. We should keep focusing on our fitness. BCB will take care of the rest."

Fitness coach, Mario Villavarayan, is absent for personal reasons, but Mashrafe has underlined the importance of the team maintaining their fitness levels: "We are not accustomed to working without Mario. But Iftekharul (Islam) has been around for a long time,

"Mario has told him what to do but the players know what they have to do.

"Everyone knows that they may lose fitness if they are not serious after a six-week gap. This is a great opportunity for us to take care of ourselves and hold on to our fitness."