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England with heavy security in Bangladesh

Press AssociationPress Association 2/10/2016 David Charlesworth

England were flanked by a heavy security presence with armed guards lining the streets as they visited the Shere Bangla National Stadium for the first practice session of the Bangladesh tour.

The England and Wales Cricket Board's security adviser Reg Dickason was reassured over safety concerns following a terrorist attack in Dhaka three months ago that resulted in the deaths of 29 people.

The squad arrived into the Bangladesh capital on Friday night and were safeguarded to their hotel, which is heavily fortified both inside and outside the complex.

And the sheer scale of the protection afforded to England for the trip to the stadium that will host the first two one-day internationals, and the second and final Test, was particularly transparent during the 15-minute drive from the team hotel.

A convoy of several vehicles including the team, support staff, ECB officials and members of the media looked on as hundreds of security personnel - police, special forces and intelligence agencies - ensured the road was cleared of traffic, allowing for an unimpeded journey through the usually bustling streets.

Police vehicles flanked the convoy, which included an identical decoy bus, as many locals watched on from the side of the road.

The journeys to and from the stadium passed without incident in an operation that was paid for by the Bangladesh government.

Jos Buttler, captaining the one-day side in the absence of Morgan, addressed the media at the team's first official press conference in front of an expectant audience of around 60 local journalists.

He said: "Security is paramount and we are always looked after very well. Visually there was a lot of security but that is part and parcel of making the tour OK.

"But thankfully now we're here we're going to start practising and we can start thinking about the cricket. Those things will go back into the background.

"As cricketers all you want to do is play cricket, that's all we want to do, and once we start it'll be very refreshing when we start talking about the cricket side of things and looking forward to the series.

"Player safety is paramount for the ECB, the board have taken great care of us and have left no stone unturned in coming here.

"It's very important and seeing so many people here, you understand the passion for cricket here and it is great that we're here; we want to be here, we want to be playing cricket. Security, we wish, was never an issue.

"It's fantastic for Bangladesh, it's fantastic for England that we're here and everyone can look forward to a great series."

England assistant coach Paul Farbrace, speaking earlier at the team hotel, had no doubt that the decision to tour Bangladesh was the right one.

"In terms of coming to places like this, I don't think it's been any different from what I expected it to be and what it's been before," he said.

"A lot of it has been made about the problems they had and the attacks earlier in the year but once Reg had given his OK then you've got to trust him. That's his job and you've got to trust him to do his job and then it's up to us to do ours once he gives it the green light."

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