Eoin Morgan enjoyed a summer this year that he will never, ever forget.
England’s One Day International captain played a pivotal role as the Three Lions secured their first ever World Cup triumph.
Morgan’s side beat New Zealand in the final courtesy of THAT Super Over, a match that should prove defining for the growth of the sport on English shores.
As part of his mission to get boys and girls picking up a bat and ball, Morgan returned to Finchley Cricket Club last week with the World Cup trophy in his hands.
GIVEMESPORT were lucky to catch up with the 33-year-old at the place where his cricketing career began.
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We asked Morgan about the impact the summer of 2019 will have over the sport he loves, especially after England’s memorable drawn Ashes series with Australia.
Morgan said: “We’re back here at my home club to show off the trophy to try and inspire the next generation of kids to try and pick up a bat or a ball.
“We have this rare opportunity at the moment that we’ve had such a big summer of cricket and it’s back at the forefront of peoples’ minds, in the public domain.
“We need to make the most of that by getting the next generation involved in cricket.”
Many are comparing the summer of 2019 to that of 2005, when England had the nation gripped during the greatest Ashes series of all time.
However, Morgan believes 2019’s edition of dramatic, quality cricket has eclipsed that memorable summer 14 years ago.
The England captain said: “This year has eclipsed it, with the combination of winning the World Cup and the fierce battle of the Ashes finishing in a draw, was absolutely epic.”
THAT SUPER OVER
England’s maiden World Cup victory was possibly the most dramatic game of cricket ever seen.
Ben Stokes’ memorable 84 – combined with Jos Buttler’s impressive half century – took the game to a Super Over, with England winning courtesy of scoring more boundaries.
It was a sporting event that many had never seen the likes of before and Morgan revealed that there were no pre-meditated plans for the Super Over.
When asked about the decision to pick Stokes and Buttler to bat, Morgan replied: “A lot of the decision was based on who was finding the wicket easier to bat on.
“I thought it was a tough wicket, low scoring game and the two guys who looked most at ease at the crease were Buttler and Stokes.
“The only question was, could Ben keep batting, physically? When he came back into the changing room he was exhausted, hunched over and breathing heavily.
“But he said he was ready to do the job, which was great for us.
“Jason Roy was going to come in next for a couple of balls and then we decided I was going to go in after.”
One of the key moments in the Super Over was Buttler’s four off the final ball, taking England’s tally to 15.
Morgan believes the wicketkeeper-batsman’s fantastic shot off of Trent Boult’s fierce Yorker was arguably the key moment in both Super Overs.
He said: “I think that was one of the biggest moments in both Super Overs that were bowled.
“There was a bit of indecision from New Zealand in the field and with Trent Boult with what ball he was going to bowl and Jos got it right on the money.
“Those four runs were crucial, if that ball doesn’t go for a boundary we don’t have much margin for error.
THE DRESSING ROOM WAS ‘CARNAGE’
“It was carnage,” Morgan replied when asked about England’s post-match celebrations. “But the thing that catches many people off-guard is the emotions that you go through.
“People think it’s just the team and they’re singing and dancing and enjoying themselves.
“But the emotions go from tears, to elation and to extraordinary inner-feelings of satisfaction that you don’t experience on any other occasion, that’s what makes it so special.”
Who’s your favourite person to bat with out in the middle?: “Joe Root.”
Is Jofra Archer scary to face in the nets?: “Yes, I don’t face him.”
Who’s the scariest bowler you’ve ever faced in the net?: “Brett Lee or Jofra Archer.”
Who’s the worst footballer on the England team?: “This is very controversial because everyone loves their football.
“The worst footballer we have, is Tom Curran. If his younger brother Sam is in the squad, Sam is the worst I’ve ever seen.
“If I was Sam I wouldn’t know whether to wear two right or two left shoes.”
Who’s the best footballer on the England team?: “[Chris] Woakes or Buttler. They’re very good and it’s evident, in a bang average game of football they’re better than anybody else.
Who’s the worst at FIFA?: “I could be a candidate because I don’t play.”
MORGAN IS ‘OLE IN’
In case you were unaware, Morgan is an avid Manchester United fan, so we simply had to ask whether he was Ole in, or Ole out?
“You have to back your manager,” Morgan replied. “I’m not an emotional fan and I hate to see managers get a short period of time and not get a chance to prove themselves.
“I don’t think it’s all down to him at the moment, it’s a string of continuous events that aren’t down to him.”
We decided to test Morgan’s love for United by asking: Would you rather United win the Premier League in 2020 or for you to lift the T20 World Cup trophy in Australia next summer?
“There’s definitely more chance of us winning the World Cup, that’s honest yeah,” the England captain answered laughingly.
English cricket will welcome an exciting new franchise tournament next summer, The Hundred.
Two teams will face 100 balls each in a short, action-packed game designed to attract new fans to the sport and rival the likes of the Indian Premier League.
“I think it’s going to bring a huge spectacle to English cricket,” Morgan said, with the England captain a big advocate of the new tournament.
“I think it’s going to attract the biggest names in the world and in turn it will involve the best players at home and abroad to create a huge showcase of our game.
“I think that’s really exciting because, since the introduction of T20 cricket I think every format of cricket has gone through the roof.
“T20 has had such a massive impact in every country that it’s played, particularly when franchises and specialist teams are involved.
“I think introducing an eight-team tournament for us is going to be a huge step forward and you’ll see the standard rise and rise.
“The benefactor of that is you’ll see country cricketers becoming household names across the country without having played international cricket.”
For more information on The Hundred, you can read our handy guide HERE.