Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Cricket: Ireland v England one-day international - live scores from Malahide

Familiar turf: Eoin Morgan will lead England at Malahide
Familiar turf: Eoin Morgan will lead England at Malahide

Eoin Morgan believes his Middlesex team-mate Paul Stirling should follow himself and Boyd Rankin into the England team.

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Speaking ahead of today's one-day international in front of 10,000 at Malahide, when Morgan was captaining England against his former team-mates and Stirling played his 121st game for Ireland, the Dubliner appeared to be positively encouraging Ireland's most exciting batsman to change allegiance.

"I have been chatting closely with Paul about his progress. He doesn't qualify (for England) for another year and a half, and it is disappointing from his perspective, because he is so talented and has the capabilities of playing international cricket on a regular basis.

"But I'm sure he will press his case over the next couple of years and push on and if he wants to play for England he will take that route of going through the system and kicking on," said Morgan.

Boyd Rankin who was expected to make his ODI debut for England today, has already gone down that path, and Morgan confirmed he was fully integrated into the England set-up and has an exciting future.

"Boyd's been involved in the (England) Lions set up for quite a while now and joined the international scene this summer, which is great to see. He is bowling well and it is exciting to see him with the Three Lions on his chest. The opportunity for him is endless and if he achieves his potential we will see him in a white shirt sooner rather than later.

And totally against Cricket Ireland's wishes, Morgan does not believe Rankin will be the last Ireland international to declare for England.

"If you have a young, ambitious guy who wants to play Test match cricket he is going to look elsewhere. It is unfortunate but it the nature of playing cricket in Ireland and for Ireland.

"Test cricket is still everything. The rivalry, the hype, the standard of cricket and how everybody admires a guy playing in it, should drive you towards that."

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