Bangladesh hopes England tour will go ahead

DHAKA: Bangladesh is hopeful the planned visit of England later this year will go ahead despite the mass killing of foreigners at a restaurant in Dhaka over the weekend, according to Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hassan. England are scheduled to arrive in Bangladesh on September 30 to play two Tests and three one-day internationals. After the terror attack which left 18 foreigners dead, a spokesman for the England Cricket Board told ESPNCricinfo that they would act on government advice before making final decision on the tour. Hassan said he hoped that the situation would improve before the scheduled start of the tour.

“The reaction that England gave was very normal,” Hassan said after his return over the weekend from the International Cricket Council’s annual conference in England. “We would have done the same… you would probably notice that sports did not stop even after the terror attack in Paris. Sporting activities went ahead at their own pace. We have still three months left before the England series.

“I don’t think the current situation will persist that long in Bangladesh. It’s tough to say which place is safe. Even England may not be a safe place after three months.” Hassan said the authorities would “strengthen security measures” during the tour. “If we can ensure the highest security, sports will not stop in any country,” he added. Australia pulled out of a tour of Bangladesh last year based on government security advice. The West Indies’ Under-19 side also aborted a tour in 2013 following an explosion near their hotel in the southern city of Chittagong. — AFP

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