Tigers limited-over captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza on Wednesday expressed his hope that England’s upcoming tour of Bangladesh, scheduled for September-October, will go ahead.
He said this during the first day of the strength and conditioning camp at Mirpur’s Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Wednesday.
England are scheduled to play two Tests and three one-day internationals. However, the tour came into question following the terrorist attack in Gulshan earlier this month.
“First of all, I don’t know what type of technical discussion is taking place between the two boards (England and Wales Cricket Board and Bangladesh Cricket Board). With that said, I am hopeful that the BCB is working on it,” said Mashrafe.
“Personally, I feel this tour will take place. The people of Bangladesh are waiting to watch cricket in this country as they all love this game. England have always helped Bangladesh in that they took part in the 2016 Under-19 World Cup (when there were concerns over security). I hope they will come. Bangladeshi people have always showed respect to the players and England have always received sufficient security here. And it will remain this way,” he added.
The 'Narail Express' also informed that the Bangladesh players are not worried over whether the tour will take place or not and that they have already begun their preparation for the series.
“We all are hopeful as there is still three months left before the series. Everyone should work on their fitness and get prepared to play. BCB will take care of the rest,” he said.
The 30-member preliminary squad started the conditioning camp under the supervision of local trainer Iftekharul Islam after national team trainer Mario Villavarayan extended his holidays due to personal reasons.
And according to the BCB, the foreign coaching staff is expected to join by the first week of August.
“We are not habituated without Mario. However, Iftekhar is here. He has been with us for a long time now and he was given the instructions. So I think it’s a great opportunity for everyone to work on their fitness,” said Mashrafe.
The ECB had said it will follow government advice on whether the tour should go ahead as planned following the terror attack on July 1. Gunmen had stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery cafe in the Gulshan district of Dhaka before security forces brought the hostage situation to an end. England’s limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan had also expressed 'big concern' over the tour.