Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan Papon thanked the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to let England's tour of Bangladesh in October to go on as planned. Speaking to reporters at his Gulshan residence on Friday, Papon showered praise on the ECB and the security agencies that will provide protection for the players during the upcoming tour.
"Firstly I would like to thank the ECB, the England team, our law enforcement agencies like police, RAB and our security agencies. There is no point in saying anything before thanking them," said Papon.
England's decision to tour was taken after an ECB security team briefed the England players about the security situation in Bangladesh on Thursday evening.
After the terror attack at the Holey Artisan Bakery on July 1, the tour -- scheduled to begin in October -- was thrown into uncertainty and a routine security visit of the relevant areas by a three-man ECB team last week assumed special importance, as their verdict would determine whether the tour -- comprising three ODIs and two Tests -- would take place as planned.
"I want to thank the prime minister as well. Our prime minister took the matter upon herself," added Papon. "She did the same during the Under-19 world cup. The support we are getting from the government is unbelievable and I believe that the decision that England have taken is right."
Although the period between the security team's visit and Thursday's decision was a tense one for most Bangladesh cricket supporters, Papon said that he had an inkling that the tour would go ahead.
"I had a hunch that England would come and there are a few reasons for that. England have sent their team, even though Australia didn’t send [during the Under 19 World Cup]. Even in India [After the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008], they continued playing. So England is not a team that generally backs out. And secondly we always had a good relationship with the ECB and that was also a plus point."
"Secondly, the security aspect, well it’s almost the same everywhere. One can’t say that any country in the world is a 100 per cent safe. It can happen anywhere. However, the security plan that we gave them and the Bangladesh government is providing, I don’t think any other board provides such security," Papon added. "Lastly, when we handled so many teams during the under-19 World Cup, I don’t think it will be difficult to handle one team for our security agencies. So I was confident that they would come."
Papon ended by providing further assurances of safety not just to the England team, but the whole contingent of family members, supporters, reporters, etc.
"We will make sure that not just the players but the fans, the family members, the reporters -- if they let us know as to where they stay and they contact us, we will arrange security for them no matter where they are, be it in the stadium or next to the hotel, wherever. We believe that there won’t be any problem with regards to this England tour."