There’s a lot to love about cricket. In particular are its quirks that by their nature make it something unique. One aspect of that uniqueness that I don’t like about cricket: the fear of being murdered.
Earlier this week, England’s limited overs captain, Eoin Morgan, announced that he wouldn’t be making the trip to Bangladesh* for England’s tour out of security fears. Along with him, it is also understood that Alex Hales will also not make the trip†.
For months‡, there has been a long saga of will they or won’t they as far as England making the trip. After security trips by the ECB§, they gave the all clear so that the Englishman could go on tour, but even when that was announced, there were whispers that some players did not feel comfortable making the journey to the subcontinent. We now know that they were more than whispers with Morgan’s and Hales’ decision this week.
There has been much debate as to whether or not Morgan is making the right decision but there is some history that people are forgetting.
The first and most blatant piece of history is the tragic terrorist attack against the Sri Lankan team in Pakistan that left eight people dead, most of them police¶. What many forget is, Australia was supposed to be the touring nation who pulled out from the tour after Australian security services advised against it**. Even without the Australians making the trip, the terrorists still went ahead with their attacks, confirming the suspicions of the Intelligence Community.
Of course its safe to say that British Intelligence has their finest men on the job and definitely had sway and say as to the threat. But even still, Morgan has made up his mind out of his personal safety.
What do I think? Let me go on my own experience first, and then go from there.
This summer, I went to France for the European Finals. France is miles ahead the main target for terrorists in Europe so when the Finals were being set to be played, the obvious concerns were raised. Literally, the day before the tournament was to begin, there was serious talk as to wether or not the Fan Zones would be closed§§. They decided to leave them open.
For me, I made a personal decision. I decided that I would take the risk. For me, I felt that it was a sense of duty as a person to go to France, visit my friends, and enjoy the world’s greatest tournament, regardless of the threat. But that was my choice. And in that last word, choice, lies the rub.
With choice, true choice, there is no right or wrong. Choice is when you make a decision that effects only oneself and ones wellbeing. So while it would be easy for me to say that since I went to a sporting event filled with its own terror fears, everyone else should, that would be wrong. People’s feeling of their safety is something that is very personal and for them to make. To some we can say they are being overactive (more times than not in the form of being called a coward) or that they are not taking things into proper consideration (usually by being called reckless.) Where that line is drawn is only up to the person themselves and no one else.
Hindsight will always be 20/20. If nothing happens and the team and its supporters come back from Bangladesh with the only scars coming from sliding to stop a boundary, then Morgan and Hales’s actions will seem to have been made in vain. But if something, God forbid, does happen, everyone that is criticizing the decision will run from their duties of mourning and apologizing.
So what is it? Is it okay for England to tour Bangladesh or isn’t it? The answer, it depends on the person and no one should criticize someone for that, even if that man happens to captain his country.