The Champions Trophy is around the corner, and it will be a tournament to savour as the top teams in world cricket get ready for an ODI bonanza that is sure to thrill.
Among most those looking forward to such a thrilling prospect is top batsman Eoin Morgan, who will be leading England’s pursuit for glory.
There has been concern over the decline of test cricket in recent times amidst the rise of the quick-fire T20 format with Morgan one of those to have prioritised the shorter formats.
Since taking over the captaincy of a washed-out England ODI and T20 side, Morgan has revitalized the white-ball game in the country, leading the side to some stellar performances over the last 18 months.
It is no secret that England have struggled to cope with cricket titans such as Australia, India and South Africa in the past, but Morgan has led his side to a T20 World Cup final as well as put in solid shifts as part of England’s top batting order.
Morgan, 30, has also played a decent hand in test cricket, scoring 2 centuries in 16 tests.
After a terrific knock that saw him post 76 from 79 balls to beat his native Ireland on Sunday, Morgan admitted he has little desire to return to the Test team.
“I am very realistic about things and I probably won’t play test cricket again," he told The Sun.
“The aspirations to play test cricket are not as high as they were six years ago when it was the be all and end all.
“That’s how it’s worked out and my career with go down a completely different path, which I don’t mind. “In order to get back into the test team, I’d have to give up white ball cricket to play County Championship – and that is not an option.”
Morgan is certainly kicking his white ball career into full throttle, being a prominent feature of both the Indian Premier League and the Australian Big Bash, while playing a leading role domestically for County Champions Middlesex, where he will feature in the T20 Blast later this summer.
Morgan’s enthusiasm for T20 cricket has been echoed by the ECB, who gained enough votes from the counties to stage England’s very own version the Indian and Australian franchises from 2020.
“I heard someone recently from a county describe domestic cricket in the UK as being “uncertain”.
“But I don’t think cricket has ever been more certain. T20 cricket is driving the game around the world forward.
“It has to work together with test match cricket to make it relevant and keep it afloat in countries where they struggle to get people through the gate."
“It has a huge role in the future of cricket and the sooner the better when it gets up and running in 2020 - it will be brilliant for the game.”
Next up on the limited overs agenda is the much anticipated Champions Trophy, but Morgan has played down England’s chances of coming away with the major accolade despite the country’s surge in recent form.
“I don’t think we are favourites for the Champions Trophy, more like third or fourth. Over the last decade India and Australia have always been favourites,” he added.
"The position we find ourselves in is an interesting one as we have well in the past two years in white ball cricket, with something to build on.
"But in order to be favourites, we have to earn a lot more respect against the bigger sides, and we are not there yet – so that is a challenge."
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