• Tuesday, May 28, 2024

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Winning World Cup in India would trump 2019 title: Morgan

Ex-captain says reduced support for white-ball cricket and playing in unfamiliar conditions mean title defence is more challenging

Eoin Morgan (Reuters/Paul Childs)

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

FORMER England captain Eoin Morgan said winning the Cricket World Cup in India would be a bigger achievement than when he guided the side to victory at the 50-overs showpiece on home soil four years ago.

Morgan, who retired from international cricket last year, said white-ball captain Jos Buttler had not been given the same level of support in the build-up to this World Cup that England has had in the past.

“Between 2015 and 2019, our sole focus was trying to win the ODI World Cup at home,” Morgan wrote in a column on Sky Sports on Tuesday (3).

“There was a clear emphasis on having your best players available in the year leading up and trying to get absolute role clarity in every position possible.

“Jos has not had that.”

While England are the reigning champions in both the ODI and Twenty20 versions of the World Cup, Morgan said there had been a switch in focus to the longer format of the game.

“There has been a complete change in mindset in English cricket where test cricket is now the out-and-out priority,” he said.

“Only on very few occasions in Twenty20 internationals and ODIs has Jos had his best side available. This has been an Ashes year, a huge year for Ben Stokes and his red-ball team.”

Morgan added that the reduced support for white-ball cricket, coupled with the challenge of playing a tournament in unfamiliar conditions, meant this year’s World Cup is a more challenging prospect for England.

“All things considered, it would without a doubt be a bigger achievement for England to win this World Cup than when we won in 2019,” Morgan said.

“The nature of the schedule has not allowed them to have the type of preparation they would like and being away from home, especially in India where India are so strong, is tough.

“Winning here would carry a lot more weight than winning at home.”

England begin their World Cup defence when they take on New Zealand in the tournament opener in Ahmedabad on Thursday (5).

(Reuters)

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