DUBLINER Eoin Morgan, the current England captain, has defended his decision not to sing the English national anthem before matches at the World Cup.
The 28-year-old left-hander has represented England since 2009.
"It's pretty simple. I've never sung the national anthem whether I've played for Ireland or England," he said.
"It doesn't make me any less proud to be an English cricketer. I'm extremely proud to be in the position I am in and privileged to be captain of a World Cup side."
When asked to expand on why he did not sing 'God Save the Queen', Morgan added: "It's a long story. It's a personal thing."
Outspoken broadcaster Piers Morgan suggested on Twitter this week that the one-day captain should sing the anthem.
Morgan has made 181 appearances for England in all formats - he played 23 times for Ireland - and was handed the captaincy for the World Cup after Alastair Cook was stood down following his lean tour of Sri Lanka before Christmas.
Morgan's first tour in full-time charge has not been smooth, however, after it began with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) revealing he was the victim of a £35,000 blackmail plot before the Tri-Series match in Hobart.
Morgan then suffered a horror run of outs - during which he made three successive ducks against Australia - and saw his team heavily beaten in their opening two World Cup matches.
A 119-run over Scotland in Christchurch on Monday got England's campaign off the mark although the criticism not to sing the national anthem is another distraction.