Alex Hales has accepted that he could be risking his England place if he pulls out of the forthcoming tour of Bangladesh.
The future of the tour was called into question after an attack on a Dhaka cafe last month saw 20 — mostly foreign — hostages killed. However, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said last week that the tour, which includes three One-Day International and two Tests in October and November, would go ahead as planned.
The confirmation followed a visit to Bangladesh by an ECB delegation, led by Reg Dickason, their long-serving security chief. While, no England player has yet publicly confirmed their willingness to tour Bangladesh, Alastair Cook, the Test captain, is said to have given his word to Strauss that he will be touring.
Meanwhile, several British media reports have suggested that Eoin Morgan, the England limited-overs captain, is among those with ongoing security concerns.
Hales returned to form with an England ODI record 171 as England went an unbeatable 3-0 up in their five-match series against Pakistan at Trent Bridge on Tuesday. But while his place in the ODI side appears secure, Hales’s grip on a Test spot is far less certain after a run of low scores.
“If you choose not to go to Bangladesh, you’re risking your spot, particularly me,” said Hales after a century that was the centrepiece of a new ODI record total of 444 for 3. “I’m still uncertain as to what to do. It’s going to be some tough decision to make in the next week or so.”
Meanwhile, Chris Woakes has joined the likes of Hales, Jos Buttler and Liam Plunkett in refusing to commit himself, at this stage, to the Bangladesh tour despite the assurances from Dickason.
“It’s a tricky one,” he said. “We are having all the discussions with Reg, the security people, Straussy (Andrew Strauss). I’m sure by the end of the series everyone will have to have made their minds up — and I’m in exactly the same boat.”
Woakes, who has been transformed this season from bit-part player to an England regular, added: “You have to respect the security level that Reg has reported back on. It’s a tricky subject. People are going there to play cricket, and they want to make sure they feel 100 percent.
“I suppose a lot of people won’t know they are 100 percent safe until they get there. But that’s up to the individual. I’m sure by the end of the series, in a week’s time, everyone will know and have to make a decision.”
Following their extraordinary batting display at Trent Bridge, England won by 169 runs and Woakes admitted to mixed feelings as he watched Hales, ably supported by Joe Root, Buttler and Morgan play a special innings.
“It gets to the stage in the dressing room where all the batsmen are cheering it and the bowlers are like ‘oh god’ because you know the opposition batsmen will have to come out hard at you,” said Woakes, who finished with figures of 4 for 41. “But at the same time it’s an opportunity to take wickets and that’s exactly how it worked.”
The fourth ODI will take place in Leeds on Thursday.