Monday 21 October 2019

Morgan determined to have no World Cup regrets

England captain Eoin Morgan. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire
England captain Eoin Morgan. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire

Rory Dollard

England captain Eoin Morgan will carry a message of "no regrets" into a cricket World Cup campaign he would happily start tomorrow.

A significant piece of the jigsaw fell into place on yesterday morning at Lord's, where the final 15-man squad was announced. Out went Joe Denly and David Willey, with Jofra Archer's place rubber-stamped after a brief but persuasive audition against Pakistan and Liam Dawson drafted in from the cold.

Alex Hales' absence - discarded earlier this month after failing recreational drug testing - barely drew comment and Morgan insisted he could not look back with anything but pride on his side's journey from also-rans four years ago to favourites on home soil.

Speaking at the launch of England's new kit, a powder blue homage to the one worn by Ian Botham et al in the 1992 final, Morgan said: "There's absolutely no regrets, we're positioned in the best possible place at the moment.

"Our exceptional days are better than we could have imagined - the world records etc - and I could never have seen those at the start of 2015.

"We'd like to start playing tomorrow. We've had some really good preparations against Pakistan (a 4-0 series win) and I don't think it could have gone better. Everyone wants to get on with the tournament."

There are warm-up games against Australia and Afghanistan first, neither restricted to 11-a-side, before the curtain finally goes up with South Africa's visit to the Oval on May 30.

They will be wearing their new outfits on each occasion, hoping to channel the spirit of 1992's runners-up finish before going one better at the Lord's showpiece.

The jerseys are still a regular sight at England internationals 27 years on, and Morgan is desperate for the current generation to create a legacy of their own.

"It's a huge opportunity we're looking at to go out and express ourselves and continue to play as we have in the last four years," he said.

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