Mumbai: Former England captain and maverick player Kevin Pietersen has warned Eoin Morgan that if he doesn’t travel to Bangladesh his place will be in jeopardy in future. Morgan is currently leading England in ODI and T20 cricket. Morgan has expressed reservations about travelling to Bangladesh.
Bangladesh recently had an attack by militant group ISIS. The attack took place in Dhaka and it targeted foreign nationals and 20 people lost their lives.
However, England and Wales cricket Board (ECB) have cleared the tour. England will be playing two Tests and three ODIs. England last toured Bangladesh in 2010 and won all their matches.
The confirmation followed a visit to Bangladesh by an ECB delegation led by their long-serving security chief Reg Dickason.
England’s head coach Trevor Bayliss and assistant coach Paul Farbrace have said that they are ready to tour Bangladesh and have no problem. Moeen Ali, all-rounder has publicly stated that he is available and ready to go provided he gets selected.
Alastair Cook, Test skipper has also told ECB in private that he will lead in two Test matches. Cook no longer plays limited overs cricket. Incidentally Cook made his captaincy debut in 2010 tour and scored hundred in both matches. England won the series 2-0.
“Eoin Morgan has no choice but to go to Bangladesh,” Pietersen explained in his Daily Telegraph column published Tuesday.
“It is a case of one in, all in so if he does not go he will have a red cross next to his name as far as the bosses at the England and Wales Cricket Board are concerned,” added Pietersen, England’s captain when they continued with their 2008 tour of India following the Mumbai terror attacks.
Morgan, speaking last week, denied he was “reluctant” to tour, with the Irishman saying: “I think when so much information is thrown at you within two months of a terrorist attack you need to digest everything and be settled within yourself so you can go there and concentrate on cricket.”
Morgan will be under pressure to go if other players travel and as a captain he would like to lead by example. Alex Hales is also contemplating whether to travel or to stay in England.
Pietersen, who represented England in 104 Test matches and scored 23 hundreds. He last played for England in 2013-14 Ashes series Down Under. Pietersen fell out with then head coach Andy Flower and has not played for England since. England suffered 5-0 whitewash and it ended many careers.
Pietersen believes that hierarchy of ECB will not be happy if players don’t travel despite security clearance and it could hamper relations between ECB and Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB).
“When Alastair Cook is willing to lead the Test squad it puts huge pressure on Eoin as captain of the one-day team. He may still decide not to make the trip, and it is his right to take that personal choice, but it will be held against him at some stage in the future, despite any assurances to the contrary.
“When everyone else says they are willing to go why do you think you are more important than the others? That will be the unsaid message.
BCB have given full assurances to look after English players and they will be provided top notch security.
“People at Lord’s have long memories. They will not forget that he went against their advice and refused to captain England on a tour. It might not damage his standing with fellow players but it certainly would with the hierarchy in St John’s Wood.
“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.”
Eoin Morgan faces some tough questions regarding his safety and security and he should not be pressurised if he doesn’t feel safe. It should not be held against him in future if he skips the tour.
Bangladesh team is playing wonderful cricket and they would appreciate if England sends a strong side to compete. England after completing Bangladesh tour will take on Indians for five match Test series and playing on low and slow pitches will help them to adjust to Indian conditions, which are not to dissimilar from Bangladesh.