Buttler backing for Morgan and Hales
Stand-in England one-day captain Jos Buttler has given his backing to Eoin Morgan and Alex Hales following the duo’s withdrawal from the tour to Bangladesh next month due to security concerns.
“It’s been a tough decision for everyone,” he admitted. “It’s very much a personal decision and that was made clear by the ECB. And it will be a decision he (Morgan) hasn’t taken lightly. As a colleague and a friend I completely respect his decision as I know everyone in the dressing room does. He’ll have thought long and hard about it and made the decision that he think is right for him.”
Buttler also revealed there had been team discussions on the situation.
“We are a very close team and as a side we did have some discussions. We talked about what were certain people’s worries and about how they felt. At the end of the day it is a completely personal decision and everyone respects whatever decision you are going to make as an individual and that is all you can say. Everyone has made an individual decision.”
Buttler admitted being surprised by some of the criticism directed towards Morgan.
“There has been some unfair criticism,” he said. “Cricket is not the be all and end all to everyone. He has made the decision that is right for him and it is not one he has taken lightly. He has come to a decision which he is comfortable with and people should respect that.”
“It sounds like people don’t realise the closeness of the dressing room. We're a very, very tight group of players. Everyone is very good friends in that set-up and we want it to remain that way. We won't let anything like this come between any of us in the side.
“We're all working towards the Champions Trophy here next summer, the World Cup a couple of years later, that's the goal for everyone in that dressing room and the players who are in there and the players who we want to be winning that trophy together. That's everyone's aim. As a group we spoke about how everyone will respect whatever individual decision is made and we'll back everyone 100 per cent.”
Buttler also revealed he had taken his time to consider the situation and consulted with family and friends.
“Reading things in the press and having a lot of information about it, you do have some worries,” he said. “But at the end of the day you try and think long and hard about it, let the dust settle for a bit and try and work through it logically. For me personally I’m happy to go. I know that it’s a completely individual position, as it has to be; people are different and view things differently and everyone completely respects that it is a personal decision.”
“Friends and family are going to be around long after cricket. It puts into perspective the fact that cricket is not the be all and end all and it isn’t for anyone. People who are close to you and around you are very important in decision making like this.”
“I'd say it was not an easy decision to make. It's something you have to take time over. It wasn't easy, we were playing cricket at the same time so it was a distraction as such. As a cricketer it's a decision you probably hope you'd never have to make. Personally I've thought long and hard about it and come to the right decision for me. That's where I've got to.”
And Buttler fully expects to hand back the captaincy to Morgan after the tour.
“He’s very much still the captain of the England ODI side,” he said.
“He’s done a fantastic job over the last 18 months. He’s been one of the main reasons, if not the main reason, for the turnaround in fortunes. The style of cricket he’s got the side playing is something we want to continue and keep playing that brand of cricket. Especially in conditions that will be tough.
“If we can go to Bangladesh and win that series, it will show what fantastic strides we’ve made especially to try and win in those conditions. It will be very tough and they’re a good side in their own backyard.”
Asked about combining the roles of captain and wicketkeeper, Buttler said: “It's going to be a great challenge.
“Being a vice captain and a wicketkeeper it's great to give ideas and if they work you can claim them and if they don't then you can hide behind it as the captain's choice!” he grinned.
“Obviously the buck will stop with me. It will be a great challenge and one I'm really looking forward to. I feel like over the last year I've had some fantastic challenges and experiences in my cricket career. This will be another one I think will improve me as a person and a cricketer.”