He may have masterminded a successful tour – from a safety perspective, at least – of Bangladesh, but ECB security adviser Reg Dickason says England are not heading to Pakistan any time soon.
Pakistan have played their international cricket in the United Arab Emirates since 2009, when the Sri Lankan team bus was attacked by gunmen.
“It would be unfair to compare both environments [of Pakistan and Bangladesh],” said Dickason. “They are markedly different in my opinion.
“But no doubt we’ll look at the potential for touring Pakistan – we’ll always keep an open mind – but something there has to fundamentally change.”
Commandos staged a security drill at Dhaka’s National Stadium early in the tour:
As England left Dhaka for Mumbai, where they have a couple of days off before heading to Rajkot for Wednesday’s first Test against India, Dickason said he was delighted with how the tour had gone.
In Dhaka, where an attack on the Holey Artisan Bakery saw 20 Westerners killed in July, England were protected each day by 2,000 police, with the number in Chittagong standing at 1,400.
“It’s all gone very smoothly,” said Dickason. “We’ve been very happy with the effort the Bangladeshi government and their board [the BCB] have put in.
“It’ll be similar, but a different layout, in India. It was very overt here and it won’t be as overt in India.
“The road clearances that we got here that are usually reserved for heads of state – we probably won’t get that in India. But we’ll get adequate transit protection.”
Dickason, however, remains none the wiser as to why ODI captain Eoin Morgan and Alex Hales chose not to travel to Bangladesh.
“I don’t really know the reasons,” he said. “I know it’s security related but I don’t know the specific reasons were so I don’t understand but they’re entitled to make their own decisions.
“They’re adults. They’ve got to do what they think is right. We had a team briefing that everyone attended, including the management.
“It wasn’t a meeting to convince people. It was just to lay out the facts, which we did, and after that they went away individually and collectively I guess, discussed it and made the decision to either come or not.”
Dickason hopes that his native Australia, who cancelled a tour last year and sent their security chief Sean Carroll to inspect England’s security detail, will tour Bangladesh in August.
“They came and saw the security that was provided for us,” he said. “In 20 years I’ve been doing this, it’s probably the most comprehensive security roll-out I’ve seen.
“It’s pretty hard to beat, but I can’t answer for them whether they’re going to come or not. Sean Carroll spoke with me in the last few days and I’ve shared our experiences with him. They’re all very positive.”
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