Arise, captain Morgan

by Stephen Findlater

FORMER Malahide CC man Eoin Morgan has been named the new English One-Day International cricket captain for next February’s World Cup, taking over the reins from Alastair Cook.

The Dubliner, who switched to playing for England in 2009 after helping Ireland to qualify for that year’s T20 World Cup, has played 130 ODIs in total, 107 of them for England since switching teams.
In that time, the left-handed batsman has previously captained England eight times and has produced an impressive average of 71.16 runs with the bat, far above his regular average.
He takes on the role at a tricky time for the English who are coming off the back of a 5-2 series defeat to Sri Lanka but Morgan says he is looking forward to helping turn around those fortunes.
He said: “I firmly believe that with the players currently involved in the one-day set up, we have the makings of a very good one-day side, a young side that can surprise people at the World Cup.
“We all recognise we still have a lot of work to do on our one-day game but the potential of this group of players is huge and it is now up to us as players to turn that potential into consistent performances.”
Speaking about being named captain, Morgan said he had “20 missed calls” from national selector James Whitaker who attempted to offer him the role last Saturday morning.
The Middlesex batsman said: “I thought I better give him a ring and he said ‘we’d like to offer you the captaincy’.
“I was delighted to be asked. Being offered the captaincy is awesome.”
His first role in charge of the English team will be in their World Cup warm-up series against Australia and India before England play their opening World Cup game in Melbourne on Valentine’s Day.
Morgan is currently in Australia where he is playing in the Big Bash League. There, he made a cameo appearance last weekend for the Sydney Thunder in his first outing since taking on the captaincy with an unbeaten 12 runs in a comfortable win over the Brisbane Heat.
Morgan grew up in north Dublin, first playing for Rush Cricket Club and for CUS in schools cricket, developing a reputation very early on as an innovative stroke-maker of rare quality. He made his Irish debut at 16-years-old and was quickly signed up by Middlesex CCC where he progressed his game.
He switched to England to progress his chances of playing test cricket.

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