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Ireland-born Morgan gets a CBE after England joy


World delight: Eoin Morgan has been awarded a CBE in the New Year Honours list
World delight: Eoin Morgan has been awarded a CBE in the New Year Honours list
Clive Lloyd

By Rory Dollard

The men behind England's historic victory at the World Cup have been recognised in the New Year Honours list, with Ben Stokes, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler and Trevor Bayliss all awarded titles for services to cricket.

One-day captain Morgan, whose measured leadership of the side was a key part of their journey from also-rans to world champions, heads the list with a CBE.

As a teenager, living in Dublin, Morgan would tell anyone who would listen that playing for his country was only a stepping stone to greater honours.

When he made his debut three weeks before his 17th birthday in 2003, he became the youngest to be capped for Ireland - in the same match as Boyd Rankin, another Irish player who would also play Test cricket for England.

After playing 63 times for Ireland, including all nine games at the 2007 World Cup finals in West Indies, England came calling in 2009 and, in an acrimonious departure, he left the Ireland squad during their World Cup qualifying tournament for the 2011 finals.

Just 39 days later, he made his ODI debut for England and has gone on to become the country's most-capped player. The World Cup final was his 170th ODI.

He was appointed England limited overs captain in 2015 and his mission was for his side to play without fear.

By the time of this year's World Cup campaign on home soil, England had climbed to the No.1-ranked side and were tournament favourites.

On July 14, after the most dramatic World Cup final ever, England and New Zealand not only tied the match but also the Super Over decider. But Morgan lifted the trophy after England were declared winners on a boundary countback.

Stokes is awarded an OBE after a golden summer which saw him drag his side to victory in the final at Lord's through sheer force of will, then follow up with one of the greatest Test innings of all time six weeks later during the famous Ashes win at Headingley.

Bayliss, the Australian head coach who helped Morgan revolutionise England's white-ball cricket over his four years in the job before leaving at the end of his contract in September, takes an OBE with him Down Under.

Buttler becomes an MBE, having been the man to guarantee England would lift the trophy for the first time when he gathered Jason Roy's throw and completed the match-winning run-out under extreme pressure in the World Cup final, while Root gets the same accolade.

Root was England's top run-scorer at the World Cup but has also been one of the sport's most prominent ambassadors in his role at Test skipper.

Pace bowler Jofra Archer is notable by his absence and may have been a worthy addition after claiming the most wickets for England in the tournament and, crucially, bowling the Super Over. He only made his international debut in May, though, and his time could come again.

Back in 2005, England's unforgettable Ashes success over a dominant Australia side saw every player earn a gong - including Paul Collingwood, who only took part in the final Test - not to mention some members of the backroom staff.

That ultimately came to be seen as excessive and this year's beneficiaries are in line with those from the England Women's side who won the World Cup at Lord's in 2017.

Back then there were five recipients - captain Heather Knight, coach Mark Robinson, player of the tournament Tammy Beaumont, player of the final Anya Shrubsole and director of women's cricket Clare Connor.

A knighthood has been awarded to Manchester-based former West Indies cricket captain Clive Lloyd (left), who skippered the side that came to dominate the sport in the 1970s and 1980s.

Gordon Greenidge, an opening batsman in that same all-conquering West Indies side, has also been knighted on the recommendation of the government of his native Barbados.

Colin Graves, the chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board since 2015 and a former executive chairman of Yorkshire, has been handed a CBE.

Alan Knott, regarded as one of the game's greatest-ever wicketkeepers, can now add an MBE to his record of 95 Test caps and 1,211 first-class dismissals.

Belfast Telegraph


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