Morgan unable to confirm whether he will help England defend World Cup

‘I have the best interests of the team at heart’: Eoin Morgan unable to confirm whether he will help England defend the World Cup in India next year as he focuses on helping coach Matthew Mott to assemble a squad to retain their title

  • Eoin Morgan was part of the team that thrillingly won the World Cup back in 2019
  • England are set to play a trio of ODI’s in the next week against the Netherlands 
  • Morgan, now 35, is unable to commit to playing at next year’s tournament 

England’s one-day team begin the long march to next year’s World Cup on Friday – with captain Eoin Morgan unable to say whether he’ll be in India to defend the title won so thrillingly at Lord’s in 2019.

A trio of ODIs in the next six days against a Netherlands side ranked 14th in the world ought to provide a gentle starting point, though Morgan has lost twice to the Dutch in the Twenty20 format – on his debut at Lord’s in 2009 and in Bangladesh in 2014.

But another upset now, even with Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes otherwise engaged in the Test series with New Zealand, would cause more than a ripple in the grachts that flow through the centre of Amsterdam.

Eoin Morgan is uncertain whether he will play any part in next year’s World Cup in India

Morgan was part of the ICC Cricket World Cup winning team at Lord’s back in 2019

Morgan’s main focus will be on helping the new coach, the Australian Matthew Mott, to assemble a squad of players capable of lifting the T20 World Cup in Australia in the autumn, then triumphing in India in October 2023. It’s a competition, though, to which Morgan – now 35 – is reluctant to commit.

‘That’s a long way away,’ he said. ‘I need to get to the T20 World Cup first. I’m going to take it as it comes, managing my contribution, my body. Am I still contributing on and off the field, within the team?

‘I will be as honest as I have been with everybody since I started the captaincy. At the moment, I still feel like I can contribute to a World Cup win. That’s an important driver for me. I genuinely have the best interests of the team at heart.’

Morgan’s main focus will be helping new coach Matthew Mott assemble a squad for next year

Morgan remains a hugely influential figure in England’s white-ball set-up, despite concerns that his batting is on the wane. But there are other senior players here to take up any slack, including Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali and Jason Roy.

‘One of the reasons for having our senior guys here is to grow that relationship with the coach,’ he said. ‘We don’t have many opportunities to do that with the likes of Stokes or Bairstow, and I think they are integral to big moments when you need leaders within a World Cup.’

As for the Netherlands, they are a good enough team to have made 288 against West Indies earlier this month, and have not forgotten those T20 wins at Lord’s and Chittagong.

‘A third win over England would be fantastic, and something we’re looking for,’ said their captain, Pieter Seelaar. ‘If I were to say we were looking to win the series 3-0, I would be stupid, we’re looking to compete in the three games.’

England team (possible): 1 Jason Roy, 2 Phil Salt, 3 Dawid Malan, 4 Eoin Morgan (capt), 5 Jos Buttler (wkt), 6 Liam Livingstone, 7 Moeen Ali, 8 David Willey, 9 Brydon Carse, 10 Adil Rashid, 11 Reece Topley.

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