Morgan created white-ball dynasty with England but right time to retire – Atherton

By Sports Desk June 27, 2022

England limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan has created a "white-ball dynasty" but has chosen the right time to retire from international cricket.

That is the message from former England captain Michael Atherton, who was speaking after news circulated that Morgan is expected to announce his retirement on Tuesday.

Morgan has endured a tough spell with the bat in recent times, managing to pass 50 just once in his past eight ODI innings and failing to score in his last two outings against the Netherlands.

England have still won eight consecutive ODIs, their longest such winning streak since a sequence of the same length in 2017, but Morgan promised to step down when he was no longer contributing as a batter.

Vice-captain Jos Buttler appears poised to take the captaincy from Morgan, who has rejuvenated the white-ball fortunes of England since being appointed as skipper in 2014.

England won the Cricket World Cup in the 50-over format with a dramatic victory over New Zealand at Lord's in 2019, three years after reaching the World Twenty20 final.

Morgan's side also reached the T20 World Cup semi-finals in 2021, and Atherton believes the 35-year-old is making the right choice to step down with his legacy still intact.

"He created a one-day dynasty. Having taken over at a low point – the 2015 World Cup, which went badly – he decided it was time to change England's approach," Atherton told Sky Sports.

"For seven years, England have been as good at white-ball cricket as anybody. And that's the first time really you can say that about our one-day side.

"He will go down as one of England's most significant captains, but I think he has picked exactly the right time to go.

"He said the other day, 'I'm feeling old', and he told Middlesex he couldn't play two T20 games in succession. If you can't do that, how are you then going to captain in a World Cup when they come thick and fast?"

 

Morgan is set to retire as the all-time leading run-scorer for England in ODI and T20I cricket, with 6,957 and 2,458 runs respectively.

Having also played 23 ODIs for Ireland, his 225 ODIs and 115 T20s are England records for appearances, and Nasser Hussain says Matthew Mott's side will lose their greatest ever leader and a brilliant batter.

"I had an interview with Rob Key when Rob Key got the job, and I asked him about Eoin Morgan and the white-ball side," former England captain Hussain added.

"He said that one thing about Eoin Morgan is that he will always do what is best for the team. If he's not contributing to the team and if he feels him being out of the team is better for that team, then he will go. That will be the decision that Morgan is making.

"He has been short of form, short of fitness and there are other people now – there are so many white-ball batters who could be playing. 

"It's not the 10 players he is taking on the field with him, it's in the one he's leaving behind because he's in that spot, and Morgan will always think of that one.

"One thing for certain is that he has been our greatest ever white-ball captain. He's a World Cup-winning captain, and he is a superb player.

"He was the one that was reverse-sweeping, reverse-scooping and playing all of these funky shots. He was way ahead of his time both as a player and as a captain."

Related items

  • Getafe 0-3 Atletico Madrid: Morata double steers Rojiblancos to opening win Getafe 0-3 Atletico Madrid: Morata double steers Rojiblancos to opening win

    Alvaro Morata netted a brace as Atletico Madrid got their new LaLiga season off to a winning start with a 3-0 victory over a spirited Getafe side on Monday.

    The Spanish international struck in both halves to help Diego Simeone's side kick off their campaign on a triumphant note at Coliseum Alfonso Perez, with Antoine Griezmann adding the third for the visitors.

    Quique Sánchez Flores could well feel the final scoreline did his side a disservice, but it will be the Rojiblancos who end this opening weekend with a smile on their face at a job well done.

    In stifling evening temperatures in the heart of the Iberian Peninsula, this local encounter proved a cagey affair throughout, punctuated by occasional moments of brilliance.

    It was one such sublime passage of interplay that saw Atletico carve out their opener, with Morata the recipient of a fluid succession of passes down the middle before planting a low finish beyond David Soria.

    Carles Alena returned fire seven minutes out from the interval with a ranged effort just wide of the mark, while Borja Mayoral rattled the crossbar, but otherwise both teams tended towards a more physical kind of encounter.

    Getafe remained fiercely competitive however – but when Joao Felix picked off a poor pass from the back to send Morata back through again just shy of the hour mark, the latter effectively sealed the deal.

    Griezmann's breakaway finish moments after Mayoral steered a header past the wrong side of the post with a quarter-hour to spare confirmed the victory – and sets the stage for the potential of another great title battle this term.

  • Test and T20 balance 'like a Rubik's cube', says former England captain Strauss Test and T20 balance 'like a Rubik's cube', says former England captain Strauss

    Former England captain Andrew Strauss has likened the puzzle of balancing Test and T20 cricket to the complications of "a Rubik's cube" but is optimistic both forms can coexist together.

    The announced launch of new white-ball leagues, including the South Africa T20 League and International League T20 in the United Arab Emirates, has further outlined the dominance of the short-form game.

    England are set to return to Test cricket this month with a three-game series against South Africa, but the long-term future of the sport's five-day format remains a pressing question.

    Strauss acknowledges the challenges presented to balance the two forms are "complicated" within a fast-changing game, but still reasons there is a place for both providing officials do not bury "our heads in the sand".

    "The cricket world around us is changing unbelievably quickly," Strauss was quoted by the Guardian. "Every day, every week, every month, we're seeing a new example of how that world is changing.

    "We're having to ask ourselves in this country, where does our game fit into that? We [need to] make sure that we have incentives there for our players to play both red-and-white-ball cricket.

    "Of course, the ECB have put a lot of time and attention and effort into [giving] the Hundred the potential to be a global short-form event that matches any of these other leagues.

    "One of the things that we need to be conscious of in the game in this country is we have to be nimble and adaptable. We can't afford to be slow moving and have our heads in the sand.

    "We need to continue promoting all the brilliant things cricket in this country offers players – we want to have a strong domestic game, and we want to make sure the players are playing the right balance of formats.

    "I still maintain they can sit together comfortably, Test cricket and T20 cricket. But the challenge we have is, can we produce a manageable schedule that allows players to do both?

    "That is really complicated. It's multi-dimensional. It's like a big Rubik's Cube."

    Strauss will be on hand this Thursday for the second day of England's Test against South Africa, when Lord's will host its annual Red for Ruth day in memory of the ex-captain's late wife, who passed from lung cancer in 2018.

    Ben Stokes' side are looking to maintain their rich vein of form, with the team unbeaten since he succeeding Joe Root as captain earlier this year.

  • Elgar warns England 'I didn't come here to play second fiddle' Elgar warns England 'I didn't come here to play second fiddle'

    Dean Elgar is determined to "throw a bit more respect into the badge" when South Africa face "beatable" England in a three-match Test series.

    The Proteas have won three and drawn one of their past four series in the longest format, including a 2-1 victory over India.

    South Africa are also sitting pretty at the top of the World Test Championship table and are third in the rankings ahead of an opening match against Ben Stokes' side that starts at Lord's on Wednesday.

    England have enjoyed a dream start to a new era with Stokes as captain and Brendon McCullum head coach, whitewashing New Zealand 3-0 and beating India in a rearranged Test to draw the series 2-2.

    Yet visiting captain Elgar is backing the tourists to maintain the momentum and bring England back down to earth.

    The opening batter said: "I don't play to lose. I absolutely despise losing. And if we play an average brand [of cricket], or we're not putting our best foot forward, and we don't have results going our way, then that affects me quite a bit.

    "This is a massive series for all of us. I think we've got 17 players and it's massive for all 17 of us to go out there, play a brand of cricket that appeals to South Africans and ultimately gives us the best chance of winning in England. We've seen it happen in the past before, so we know it can be done."

    Elgar says South Africa will not cross the line with the verbals, but expects words to be exchanged in the middle.

    "In the heat of battle, there's always something that comes out," he said. "Let's put it that way. I just want to play three really, really hard Test matches and go out there and put the badge on the line and throw a bit more respect into the badge."

    He added: "We played against the best in the world last year [India, who were top of the rankings at the time], and I think we did things that we didn't quite expect to do at that time.

    "So the standard that we've set and the bar that we've raised since last year has happened pretty naturally just out of us doing good things on the field again.

    "It's gonna be a tough series, no doubt. They are a proud cricketing nation and I respect that. But I know they are definitely beatable. I didn't come here to play second fiddle. I came here to win a series."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.