Saturday 24 August 2019

England keen to keep Morgan at helm for T20s

Eoin Morgan. Photo: Peter Summers/Getty Images
Eoin Morgan. Photo: Peter Summers/Getty Images

Nick Hoult

England want Eoin Morgan to continue as captain and lead the team at next year's World Twenty20 tournament in Australia. Morgan is to hold talks about his future with Ashley Giles, the team director.

He left his future in doubt when declining to commit to the job in the moments after winning the World Cup on Sunday.

The World Twenty20 will be held next October and England will be among the fancied teams. They reached the final in India in 2016, where they fell agonisingly short against West Indies and Morgan will fancy taking them one better.

The pitches in Australia will be good for batting, suiting their explosive ball strikers, who were largely nullified by slow surfaces in this World Cup.

Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow are among the world's best Twenty20 batsmen, while Jofra Archer is one of the most highly-rated bowlers.

Morgan (32) will not be around to lead England's defence of the World Cup in India in 2023, so handing over the captaincy to his deputy, Buttler, after next year's World Twenty20 would make sense.

Morgan could announce his retirement from 50-over cricket, with England not due to play the format again until the tour to South Africa in January. That would allow Buttler to take the leadership and free Morgan to concentrate on the World Twenty20 campaign.

Buttler is the automatic choice to replace him. He showed his leadership qualities by staying cool under pressure in the final, firstly leading the run chase with Stokes, then batting in the super over before completing the run out of Martin Guptill that won the game.

"There is plenty of life in him yet," said Buttler about Morgan. "I hope (he carries on). He has done an incredible job. He is the best captain we've ever had and all of us love playing under him."

Morgan was padded up and ready to go in if England lost a wicket in the super over against New Zealand.

Trevor Bayliss, meanwhile, will stand down as coach in September after the Ashes. It is the end of his four-year contract with the England and Wales Cricket Board and he believes it is time for a new coach.

Bayliss joined Buttler in encouraging Morgan to stay on. "Morgs is the leader of not just the guys in the team, but he is the leader off the field as well. He is the one who has driven this going forward," he said. "The rest of the boys try and run through a brick wall for him."

Irish Independent

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