Bangladesh expect strong England side despite pullouts

DHAKA: Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) expect a strong England side to tour the country even though one-day captain Eoin Morgan and batsman Alex Hales withdrew due to security concerns.

The England and Wales Cricket Board's security delegation deemed that the South Asian country was safe for the five-week tour to proceed after concerns were raised following an attack by gunmen on a cafe in Dhaka which killed 22 people in July.

England are due to arrive in Bangladesh on September 30 for three-one day internationals and two tests.

"They (England) are very much committed," BCB president Nazmul Hassan told Reuters on Monday. "I don't think they will pull out. We are hopeful of England tour.

"We are hoping their best team will come."

Muslim-majority Bangladesh faces what appears to be a growing threat of militant violence and has seen a string of incidents last year including the shooting of three foreigners, two of whom died.

Last year, Australia pulled out of their tour to Bangladesh over security concerns and did not compete in the under-19 World Cup hosted in the country for the same reasons.

Cricket is no stranger to dealing with security concerns in South Asia. Pakistan have hosted most of their international matches in the United Arab Emirates since a bus containing the Sri Lanka team was attacked by 12 gunmen in Lahore in 2009.

Hassan said if England do pull out it will be a huge financial loss for the BCB.

"Sport can't stop," Hassan added. "Such types of militant attacks are happening all over the world. Even after the Paris attacks (in 2015), the game didn't stop there. Sport will go on," he said.

"We have ensured that the (England) team will be given the highest security. It will be great loss for us... for cricket if they don't come."