Eoin Morgan: How could ECB possibly sack England ODI captain?

By Jonathan AgnewBBC cricket correspondent
Eoin Morgan
Morgan (front) will be replaced by Jos Buttler as one-day captain for the tour of Bangladesh

Eoin Morgan's decision not to captain England in the one-day matches on the tour of Bangladesh because of security concerns has certainly come in for some heavy criticism.

England's director of cricket Andrew Strauss suggested there would be no impact on future selections for players who chose not to tour. I think that was a mistake because you cannot give guarantees in sport - who could possibly say what is going to happen?

But how can England even think of replacing Morgan as captain because of this decision, having said positions would not be compromised?

Morgan has followed his own course, with the assurance ringing in his ears that nothing is going to happen, and I don't see how they can now sack him.

There has been a lot of knee-jerk stuff about players not respecting the captain anymore but I don't think that is true.

All-rounder Ben Stokes has publicly backed him,external-link and the players all know each other well and understand that different people have different views on things.

The England and Wales Cricket Board must have received assurances from at least 25 people - the whole Test squad, some one-day specialists, management, coaches, medical staff - and only two people have said 'no' to a tour that six weeks ago looked likely to be off because of that awful terrorist attack in Dhaka in July.

To get all those people on the plane is a pretty good effort.

There has been a lot written about Morgan that has been rather unpleasant. He's a quiet, insular fellow, not one of these gregarious types. He's quite calculating - as he is when batting - but the thought that he doesn't care about the team is just nonsense.

Two weeks ago he was being hailed from the rooftops when England won seven out of eight ODIs this summer and made the highest total in ODI history.

England have 14 scheduled ODIs before they begin their Champions Trophy campaign against Bangladesh at The Oval on 1 June. Are they going to ditch the captain who has just led them on one of their best runs?

Dangers of travel

In my 25 years with the BBC we have been on lots of tours that all start off like this - are they going to be on or off? We happen to go to some parts of the world that can be dangerous.

I understand the modern brand of terrorism is different but I also think the security is much more organised than it was.

England's security expert Reg Dickason has got a massive responsibility - not just to the players but to the media and the supporters. If you make a decision about somewhere being safe to travel, that is a go-ahead for everybody, but Dickason is very well connected, and a very, very thorough individual.

Reg Dickason and David Leatherdale
England and Wales Cricket Board security advisor Reg Dickason (centre) and Professional Cricketers Association chief executive David Leatherdale (right) have been assessing security in Bangladesh

I trust him and am bound by what he says. I had a good chat with him before the last ODI at Cardiff where we went through it all and he told me what his information was, briefing me just as he would have briefed the players.

He was very keen that I hand his phone number round to my BBC colleagues - your partners can ring me, he said, if they want reassurance.

I listened to his information and felt comfortable. The broadcasting rights for the tour have still to be finalised but I am booked to fly there in time for the first Test match. My plans haven't changed.

It will be a strange experience no doubt. There will be armed personnel outside our hotel rooms, but that's the way it is done these days.

Surprised by Hales decision

Alex Hales has given his Test place away. There were obviously no guarantees whether he would be picked after only one score above 24 against Pakistan and an average of 27 from his 11 Tests, but he is the one that stands to lose the most and I am surprised by his decision.

He has fought hard for his place and I've seen how hard he works.

There is always an outside chance that Hales could get his Test place back in India, depending on how his replacement fares in Bangladesh, but I think it is most unlikely.

Haseeb Hameed
Haseeb Hameed averages 53 from 14 matches in the Championship for Lancashire this season

Lancashire's 19-year-old opener Haseeb Hameed is the one everyone is talking about to replace him in Bangladesh. He's scored four Championship centuries this summer and has got a lot of promise - and Bangladesh is not a bad place to make your debut.

I think Jos Buttler will do very well as captain of the one-day team out there. I've had it in my mind for some time that he was potential captain material.

He's a very innovative cricketer who thinks a lot about the game, he's a decent bloke, the players like and respect him and he's obviously got a nous for one-day cricket.

The most important thing about one-day cricket is momentum and the object of this tour for England will be to keep that going.

Jonathan Agnew was speaking to BBC Sport's Jamie Lillywhite

Top Stories

Elsewhere on the BBC