England’s limited-overs captain Eion Morgan has faced heavy criticism for his decision to pull out of the next month’s tour to Bangladesh due to security concerns.
Morgan and batsman Alex Hales have decided against touring Bangladesh, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced on Sunday.
Morgan spoke about his concerns last week, citing his previous experience of security alerts in India and Bangladesh.
However, a recent risk assessment by ECB’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 café in Dhaka which killed 22 people in July.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan and Nasser Hussain have come down heavily on Morgan for opting out of the tour despite complete assurance from the ECB.
In his column for the Telegraph, Ashes-winning captain Vaughan said Morgan “has made a huge mistake.”
According to Vaughan Morgan has lost respect in the eyes of his teammates.
“You have to remember as an England captain: it is your job to lead in difficult circumstances. One main trait of a strong leader is they never ask a team-mate to do something they would not do themselves,” Vaughan said.
“This is why Morgan has made a huge mistake. The players will support him in the press but there will be a little thought at the back of their minds that he went missing at a difficult time for the side.
“As a captain, you are always saying to the players, ‘It is going to get tough in the middle and you can’t have it all your own way’. You tell them to be strong so they can go the extra yard. I do not see how he can look them in the eye and ask them to do that in the future,” Vaughan stated.
He further added that it will be difficult for the 30-year-old Morgan to make a comeback from here.
“My problem is that Eoin is basically saying, ‘I do not trust the expert’. Reg Dickason (security advisor) will feel let down. So will the likes of Andrew Strauss and ECB chairman Colin Graves, who have rubber stamped the tour to proceed based on Reg’s advice.
“Eoin has not trusted them to do their jobs either. How would he feel if they said they do not trust him to make good decisions on the field? It will be very difficult for him to come back from this. They will be angry that he has been stubborn,” he said.
Meanwhile, former captain Hussain feels Morgan has let England down and has “undermined his authority” as the captain.
“Morgan has always been his own man but an England captain cannot stand by and watch his players do something he is not prepared to do himself. He should be with his team in Bangladesh,” Hussain wrote in his column for The Daily Mail.
“The next time Morgan asks his team to go that extra yard one of them might look at him and think: ‘Hang on, when we put our necks on the line by going to Bangladesh and took ourselves out of our comfort zone, you weren’t with us. Where were you when we were surrounded by tanks and snipers and couldn’t leave our hotel rooms?’ It has to undermine his authority,” he added.
Hussain, who was the captain of the England team from 1999 to 2003, also questioned Morgan’s decision to tour India during the Indian Premier League year after year.
“Morgan cites a security issue in Bangalore in 2010 as a big factor in his decision. He was close to a bomb going off while playing in the Indian Premier League.
“But that hasn’t stopped him going back to India since then and playing in the IPL. Is it different? Are you any more secure travelling around India with England during the one-day tour in January than you would be in Bangladesh?
“I would like Morgan to explain that. I would like him to tell us why, if he was spooked about being so close to that explosion six years ago, he has continued to go back to India a year after year?” he said.
England squad will arrive in Bangladesh on September 30 for three ODIs and two Test matches. The squad will be selected on Friday, with Jos Buttler replacing Morgan as ODI captain.