Exclusive: Morgan previews T20 Blast-off

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England limited overs star Eoin Morgan has told GiveMeSport he cannot wait to start the new domestic T20 competition for Middlesex at Lord’s as the ECB try and catch up with the IPL and Big Bash.

The left-handed batsman will captain his county at the home of cricket in the first ever domestic double header in England on Saturday as they take on Essex and Sussex as the NatWest T20 Blast gets under way in style.

Both games are televised live on Sky while admission is £30 or £5 for under 16’s for the full day of entertainment and London is expected to reach the highest temperature of 2014 in a perfect day of cricket.

It kicks-off a hugely important few days for Morgan with im due to captain England against Sri Lanka at the Oval on Tuesday a good score will keep up his good form leading into the international summer. The middle-order batsman is fresh from scoring a century against Lancashire in the County Championship and has exclusively told GiveMeSport he can’t wait for the T20 Blast to start.

“I’m really excited about it, it will be the first ever double header in domestic cricket history, the fact the weather will be great and we are playing against two eye catching teams and me being a huge supporter of cricket it’s something I’d love to see from the outside.

“We have international stars across both games with the England captain Alastair Cook and Ravi Bopara in the first game while Chris Jordan, Yasir Arafat and Luke Wright for Sussex as long as the likes of Steven Finn and myself,” Morgan told GiveMeSport.

“It is going to be a huge day not only for Middlesex cricket but for English cricket as a whole.

“I think Twenty20 cricket in England for a long time has fallen to the wayside because Test Match cricket has become such a huge priority over the years and rightly so but there has been a big push for T20 cricket this year because the market is there.

Hopefully this will be the year it starts to really kick-off and we can push it alongside the Big Bash and the IPL.”

The fast scoring batsman is a seasoned pro when it comes to the shortest form of cricket. He has had four seasons in the Indian Premier League as well as competing in the Australian Big Bash league and he is hoping the English competition will soon be on a level playing field.

“There will be only one way of judging it and time will only tell this summer on how it goes. It is difficult to compare at the minute on derby days in Melbourne where the Renegades play against the Stars you get 40,000 there and that is phenomenal and if we can achieve anything close to that on any given day this summer it will be a success.

“One thing we need to see as a county is more people coming through the gates and turning up to support their local team on a regular basis and if that happens then the hype and expectation will come along with that.”

A big crowd is expected in north London with the spotlight firmly on the English competition for the day with so many international stars on show and Morgan wants to give his supporters something to cheer about.

“We are very privileged because we play here at the Home of Cricket and we are a well-supported county and have been for a long time. We have a great bunch of supporters that stick with us through thick and thin and it would be great to reward them with some silverware this year.

“We have a very strong squad and one that’s capable of achieving that. If we can put good performances in on a consistent basis we have a chance to be in a strong position.

“Personally I’ve had a lot of time at the crease and got some runs a long with it, it was nice to get a hundred this week and contribute to another championship win here.

“The guys have been in great spirits and we have had three home wins now with the guys in fantastic form and again this week has been no different. Tim Murtagh in particular was outstanding as he put his hand up on the last day which was really impressive.”

Middlesex squad: Eoin Morgan (Captain), Dan Christian, Joe Denly, Neil Dexter , Steven Finn, James Harris, Dawid Malan, Ravi Patel, Harry Podmore, Ollie Rayner, Toby Roland-Jones, Adam Rossington, Gurjit Sandhu , John Simpson , Paul Stirling.

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