Belfast Telegraph

Cricket World Cup: Morgan rejects Manchester United for England

By David Clough

Eoin Morgan has upgraded from the Champions League to the World Cup, and from Manchester to Chittagong.

England's replacement for Kevin Pietersen has also switched sports, of course, having given up on his plan to cheer on Manchester United against Marseille next week once he got the call to join his one-day international team-mates on the sub-continent.

Morgan is confident too that, despite having played no cricket since his broken finger forced him out of the final match of seven against Australia, he is ready to do his adopted country proud again.

The Irishman has had a snakes-and-ladders experience over the past month, pulling out of England's World Cup squad when the advice was that he would need surgery — only for his finger to heal much more quickly than expected.

He found himself back in the reckoning when England needed a batsman to replace Pietersen, whose hernia problem became too much to bear.

England have since endured further injury disruption, and yesterday confirmed their application for Chris Tremlett as the like-for-like replacement after Stuart Broad suffered a side strain.

Morgan heard on Monday that he would be required, and it appears to have been no great hardship to forsake next week's trip to Old Trafford.

“I was going to a Champions League match, but that has been cancelled,” he said.

Instead, England want him back at his scintillating best in their middle order.

Morgan is at ease with the expectation of filling Pietersen's boots, and becoming England's lynchpin again at number five.

“It doesn't really bother me at all,” he said. “I play the exact same role and try and execute my skills as much as I can.

“As long as England are winning I don't care how much expectation is put on mine or anyone else's shoulders. I know if I execute my plans, then what has happened in the past will continue.”

Morgan can’t wait to get started on a high-profile mission which seemed to have passed him by.

“It is a huge spectacle in everybody's career, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that I can put in some performances.

“Obviously I've been part of the squad in the past. But to come back in and be part of a World Cup squad is very exciting.”

The 24-year-old admits he learned a lesson, having failed to realise how serious his injury was when first hurt in Adelaide.

He played two more ODIs, before it was discovered the finger was broken.

Morgan has no doubt he is ready to play if needed against Bangladesh in England's penultimate Group B fixture tomorrow.


India became the first team to qualify for the quarter-finals of the World Cup with a five-wicket win over Holland in Delhi.

Chasing 190 to win, the home side were wobbling at 139 for five —thanks largely to Pieter Seelaar's three for 53 — and it needed a patient knock of 51 from Yuvraj Singh to see them through.

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