The day after it was confirmed that Lancashire star Jos Buttler would be the limited-overs captain for England’s contentious tour to Bangladesh, the keeper batsman insists he and the side are fully supportive of Eoin Morgan and Alex Hales’ decision to withdraw.
England ODI captain Morgan and Test and one-day opener Hales have withdrawn from the tour, citing ‘security concerns’ – with Morgan in particular attracting criticism from the media and former players.
Buttler, who is appearing for Lancashire in their County Championship clash against Middlesex, admitted he had doubts of his own and believes the pair have the right to make a personal decision over their participation in the tour.
“Cricket is not the be all and end all, Eoin and Alex made the decision that’s right for them and it’s not one they will have taken lightly at all,” Buttler said at Emirates Old Trafford.
“As a cricketer it’s a decision you’d hope you would never have to make. There’s some unfair criticism.
“It’s one I thought long and hard about. I’ve come to the right decision for me.
“Eoin’s come to the right decision for him and everyone should respect that. It’s been a tough decision for everyone. It’s a very personal decision, that was made clear by the ECB.
“As a colleague and friend I respect his decision and I know everyone in the dressing room does. He will have thought long and hard about it and he’s made the decision that is right for him.”
England will play three ODIs and two Tests in Bangladesh after the ECB decided it was safe for the side to tour. They will be the first team to play in the country since the terrorist attack in Dhaka.
Buttler fully expects to hand the captaincy back to Morgan for the following tour of India, and is adamant that this decision is not one that will divide the dressing room.
“If people think it will divide the dressing room, it sounds like they don’t know us very well,” Buttler said.
“We spoke about it as a squad. We are a very close team and as a side we had discussions about how people felt. We all said it was a personal decision and everyone respects whatever decision you make.
“We are a very tight group of players, all very good friends and we won’t let anything like this come between us.
“We are all working towards the Champions Trophy and the World Cup. We want to win those trophies together.
“I fully expect to hand the captaincy back. He’s been one of the main reason, if not the main reason for the turnaround in fortunes and the style of cricket he’s got the side playing.
“We want to continue that brand of cricket.”