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on Sky Sports.
January 29, 2019
1:31 am
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shushu
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Englands trip to Bangladesh has certainly been a tour out of the ordinary, yet nothing had prepared us for what we witnessed on preview day for the One-Day International series at the Shere Bangla stadium in Dhaka. We turned up for what ought to have been an orthodox days filming; Bangladesh training in the morning, the captains press conferences in the afternoon, then Englands final session before the series opener.We arrived already disrupted by heavy rain but we are used to this - we are from England after all - and it gave us a subject to gather some early shots; the wet weather, covers on the wicket, workmen diligently preparing the ground. Cameraman Dave Buxton went off to gather the footage and I set myself up in the press box. So far, so good. Business as usual. I then heard the sound of a helicopter hovering close by, which was in fact landing on the practice area outside, just behind me. It caught my attention, but I didnt think anything of it at first. Choppers fly over cricket grounds all the time at internationals. It could have been some visiting dignitary, I thought, but I had a look to see anyway. Bangladesh commandos disembarked from a hovering helicopter To my amazement, Bangladeshi military troops were abseiling from the hovering aircraft, dropping to the ground, guns-in-hand, and sprinting through the connecting tunnel onto the main playing surface.They were followed by a gaggle of local media and cameras, and all made their way to the dressing room area, the troops then firing off their guns and bringing out make-believe hostages (played by military colleagues) and led them back onto the practice ground, where the helicopter whisked them off into the Dhaka sky. England trained as usual after the military war game It was a public show of strength from security forces; warning how they would swing into action in the event of a real terrorist attack on the ground. It was dramatic to say the least and, fortunately all captured by our diligent cameraman Dave, who got great footage of the siege from a high vantage.Quite the contrast to the more mundane images of ground staff removing surface water. Whatever else we got that day, these were the pictures and the story people wanted to see - a dramatic new edition to a week of armed guards at hotels and military-chauffeured drives through the capital.The next live broadcast to Sky Sports News HQ was a thrilling one to deliver. Security is always tight here, and troops a common sight, but this was a surreal experience at a cricket ground, just 24 hours before an international. Bangladesh fans have been grateful for Englands arrival in Dhaka England were not at the ground at the time. They were still back at the hotel preparing for afternoon practice, but I did get some reaction from the skipper Jos Buttler, who had seen our pictures on SSNHQ. Of course, he ultimately hoped it would never happen in reality, but it was a stark reminder of just how serious security around this fixture is.The captains final message, though, was lets get on with the cricket and, once in the ground, the security, soldiers, guns and hostage drills were forgotten about. The Bangladeshi people are wildly ecstatic about their cricket and every run, despite Englands victory, was cheered by a sell-out crowd. Watch NOW TV Watch Sky Sports for just £6.99. No contract. From the supporters, to the media, to the locals on the streets, everyone is just happy that England are here, playing the game we all love. Its a great message for cricket.You can watch Englands tour of Bangladesh, plus Premier League football and the British Masters on Sky Sports. Upgrade now and enjoy three months at half price! 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