England’s one-day international cricket side arrived in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, on Friday amid huge security for a three-match series, officials said.
The visiting side landed at Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport shortly before 9pm and were immediately surrounded by a big security presence, police said.
“Huge number of security personnel were deployed here at the airport for the visiting England side,” airport police chief Nur-e-Azam said.
“In addition to regular security forces, members of other forces, including the elite Rapid Action Battalion and police, were deployed in providing security to the visiting side,” he said.
Hossain Imam, chief security consultant of the Bangladesh Cricket Board, confirmed that the visiting side were escorted to a hotel under heavy protection.
Bangladeshi authorities had earlier promised England’s cricketers “unprecedented security” in a desperate attempt to prevent the country from becoming a no-go zone for international sport.
England’s tour, which also comprises two Tests, was thrown into doubt after an attack on a cafe in Dhaka in July that killed 18 foreigners, many of whom were mostly hacked to death, by suspected Muslim militants.
Some members of the England Test team are to arrive in the coming days.
After their own security expert carried out an assessment in Bangladesh, the England Cricket Board decided to go ahead with a month-long tour, which begins with a one-day warm-up match on Tuesday.
While Alistair Cook will continue to captain the Test team, ODI skipper Eoin Morgan did not to travel on security grounds, handing over the responsibility to wicketkeeper-batsman Josh Buttler.
And even the Barmy Army, the diehard supporters’ group which normally follows the team around the world, has held back from endorsing the trip, saying there is “too much risk attached to traveling to Bangladesh.”
S AFRICA, AUSTRALIA
South Africa opener Quinton de Kock hit a masterful 178 runs in a comfortable six-wicket victory over top-ranked Australia on Friday in the first one-day international of their five-match series.
After Australia posted 294-9 in their innings, South Africa reached their victory target with more than 13 overs remaining.
The 23-year-old De Kock hit 11 sixes and 16 fours in 113 deliveries to record the second-highest ODI score by a South Africa batsman after Gary Kirsten hit 188 against the United Arab Emirates at the 1996 World Cup in Pakistan.
De Kock flayed the visiting bowlers to all corners in the high-altitude batting paradise of the Highveld.
He featured in an opening stand of 145 before Rilee Rossouw was trapped LBW for 63 to the first ball from leg-spinner Adam Zampa.
He then put on another 123 runs with captain Faf du Plessis and was the fourth wicket to fall, caught on the boundary by Travis Head off Scott Boland.
Australia had begun their innings brightly with David Warner (40) and Aaron Finch (33) making good starts, while George Bailey top scored with 74 off 90 deliveries.
However, South Africa took regular wickets and kept the run rate under six on the Centurion pitch, which traditionally favors the team batting second. Andile Phehlukwayo, playing only his second ODI for South Africa, took 4-44.
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