England’s World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan is set to announce his retirement from international cricket.
The PA news agency understands Morgan, 35, will officially call time on his England career on Tuesday, with Jos Buttler primed to take over as skipper of the Twenty20 and ODI teams.
Morgan, who oversaw the transformation of England’s white-ball side from also-rans in 2015 to 50-over world champions at Lord’s four years later, has been struggling for form and fitness in recent times.
He led a one-day series in the Netherlands this month but his dual issues were exposed as he was dismissed twice for nought in high-scoring matches before missing the concluding game with a groin niggle.
Morgan had hoped to stay the course long enough for one last tilt at the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia this October, a final shot at unifying cricket’s two biggest trophies, but he has now accepted his time is up.
Buttler’s first assignment will be a high-profile series against India, comprising three T20s and three ODIs starting on July 7, before the same against South Africa. He has already captained his country on 14 occasions as Morgan’s deputy.
Buttler was one of a handful of players to throw their support behind Morgan during the recent trip to Amstelveen, though the man himself did sound a more cautious note at the start of the series.
“I’m going to take it as it comes, managing my contribution, my body (and asking) am I still contributing on and off the field, within the team?” he said.
“I genuinely have the best interests of the team at heart. To be in the position I am in at the moment is a privilege.”
Dublin-born Morgan began his international career with his native Ireland in 2006 but switched his allegiance to England in 2009, citing a lifelong desire to play Test cricket.
The left-hander went on to play 16 Tests, scoring two centuries, but did not cement a place in the five-day side and went on to be seen as a limited-overs specialist.
As a sparkling and innovative stroke-maker he was ahead of his time and was catapulted into the captaincy when Sir Alastair Cook was sacked on the eve of the 2015 World Cup.
The tournament was a debacle, with England knocked out in the group stages, but Morgan was identified by then director of cricket Sir Andrew Strauss as the man to reboot an ailing team.
Taking the driving seat alongside new head coach Trevor Bayliss, who acted more as a facilitator for Morgan’s ideas, he ushered in a new generation of players and established England as the standard bearers for attacking limited-overs cricket.
The project culminated in dramatic fashion at the home of cricket in 2019, with Ben Stokes’ heroics and a tied super over against New Zealand in the World Cup final, as England triumphed on boundary countback.
The success cemented Morgan’s place among the pantheon of English sport’s greatest leaders but he also leaves a considerable legacy as a player. He retires as the country’s record one-day and T20 run-scorer, posting 6,957 and 2,458 in the respective formats.
Moeen Ali, a key player throughout the Morgan era and part of the World Cup winning squad, reacted to the news during a commentary stint with BBC’s Test Match Special.
“He’s done a remarkable job. It is a shame. It is strange to comprehend the side without him,” said the all-rounder.
“Things move on and you have to get used to it, but it is sad. I’m not surprised at the same time because he is a very selfless person and probably is thinking about the team more than anything. We’ve been so strong over the years and he probably feels like his time is done and that he’s given enough time for Jos, or whoever the captain is going to be, to embed his way.”
Former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, who is now the England Test coach, also paid tribute to Morgan.
McCullum said on Sky Sports: “He’s going to go down as one of the most influential figures, not just in English cricket, but in world cricket, for the approach he has taken as England captain and what he was able to do with that side.
“He changed the entire attitude and style of cricket they played. It didn’t just affect their cricket but had impact around the world.”