Eoin Morgan is letting England down by not touring Bangladesh, how can he ask his team to go the extra mile now?
- One-day captain Eoin Morgan has decided not to tour Bangladesh
- Morgan has pulled out of the tour due to concerns over safety
- Sportsmail columnist Nasser Hussain believes he's letting England down
- Not going on the tour will 'undermine the batsman's authority'
- Hussain is will be in Bangladesh to cover England's tour for Sky Sports
Eoin 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.
Morgan’s belief in his way being right, his stubbornness and self-belief, has made him the main driving force in England’s one-day revolution over the last 18 months and that has been hugely beneficial to English cricket.
And there is no doubt that missing a tour for security reasons is very much down to an individual because, however many security measures the ECB and Reg Dickason take, they cannot absolutely guarantee anyone’s safety.
Eoin Morgan has thought long and hard before deciding not to tour Bangladesh with England
But, as captain, Morgan surely should lead by example and be on the tour with his team
But I do believe it is different for a captain. As a leader you should either be trying to convince your team and the ECB that it is not right to travel or, if the decision is made that the team should travel, then you should go yourself.
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.
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.
As captain, how can Morgan ask he players to go the extra mile now following his snub?
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 year after year?
But this is not a deal-breaker. Morgan is an important cricketer and I don’t think he should lose the captaincy over this. He has to realise, though, that if someone comes in and plays well, it provides a dilemma for the selectors. It will raise question marks over his right to walk back into the side.
If Jos Buttler does well as captain, could Morgan's place in the team then be in doubt?
If Jos Buttler does well as captain or if someone like Ben Duckett comes into the side and smashes it around, then Morgan may lose that cushion around his place. He cannot live off his captaincy as he did when he went 21 games without a 50.
This sort of situation has happened before. When I was England captain in 2001 we faced a big decision over whether to tour India a month or so after 9/11. There were a lot of concerns over security in that part of the world and Andrew Caddick and Robert Croft told me they did not feel comfortable going, which I understood and respected.
As it turned out, Croft did not play for England again, but that was not because he refused to go. It was because Ashley Giles came in for him, bowled well and took his place as our main spinner. It could happen again.
There were similar decisions to make when I was captain, India in 2001 and Zimbabwe in 2003
I was actually twice in a similar position to Morgan when I was England captain and there were major concerns over whether we should travel, firstly that time to India in 2001 and then to Zimbabwe in 2003. Zimbabwe was a political issue rather than one of safety. I felt we should not travel to play a World Cup match for moral reasons because of what was going on in that country under Robert Mugabe.
For us to have played in Zimbabwe would have condoned the Mugabe regime and, having spoken to people like Andy Flower and Henry Olonga, I recommended we pull out even though it was fudged to suggest we were not going for security concerns.
India was different but it never entered my mind that my team should go there without me.
Morgan finds himself in a different position to Alex Hales, who is also not touring
I will be in Bangladesh to cover the tour and I have no reservations about that
Morgan is not the sort of character who appears prone to self-doubt. He is single-minded, crystal clear in his thought processes, and now he has made up his mind I don’t think he will fret or question what he has done. I admire him for that. It is just that he is in a different position now to someone like Alex Hales.
I am going to Bangladesh to cover the tour and I have no reservations about that. The sad fact is that any of us could be under threat anywhere in the world, including at Lord’s or anywhere we have always perceived as safe.
If you start saying no to Bangladesh then where do you draw the line? So much of the real point and pleasure of touring and playing sport will be lost because of all the security measures, but that is a price we all have to pay.
The players will be cocooned in their rooms and will develop a siege mentality. That is a great shame but the bottom line is that if the team are going, if the ECB deem it safe, then the captain should be there.
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