Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Morgan: Captaincy compliments Irish

Eoin Morgan

Eoin Morgan believes his selection as England captain for the RSA Challenge in his native Dublin is a "huge compliment" to Irish cricket.

The 24-year-old leads his adopted country for the first time in Thursday's stand-alone one-day international in the city of his birth and against the side he made his name with. Morgan played 23 one-day internationals for Ireland before catching the attention of the England selectors and has gone on to become arguably the central cog in their limited-overs batting.

"It's a huge honour and privilege to be in the position I am at the moment, for this game in particular," said Morgan, who captained Ireland Under-19s against England Under-19s in 2006. "I think it's a huge compliment (to Ireland) and I can vouch for that."

His elevation to captain in the absence of the rested Alastair Cook and Stuart Broad represents another significant achievement, but while many in Ireland bemoan the loss of their country's most talented player, Morgan thinks his own progress should be seen in a positive light.

He added: "I wouldn't have imagined it (would come against Ireland). It's exciting though, I certainly enjoy playing against Ireland and I've done it a number of times.

"I played with Ireland when Ed Joyce made his debut for England, played in a World Cup for England, scored a hundred in Sydney for England.

"They were proud moments for Irish cricket. You can pride yourself on producing guys who can play at the highest level."

Morgan was absent with injury in March when a Kevin O'Brien-inspired Ireland famously defeated England in Bangalore in the World Cup. His squad includes just one man who experienced that shock reversal, the fit-again Jonathan Trott, with a host of star names rested following the Test series whitewash over India.

Alongside Cook and Broad, the likes of James Anderson, Ian Bell, Tim Bresnan and Graeme Swann - not to mention team director Andy Flower - have all been excused the trip to Clontarf.

That leaves fielding coach Richard Halsall in charge of team affairs and four uncapped players - Ben Stokes, Jonathan Bairstow, Scott Borthwick and James Taylor - included.

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