Eoin Morgan sees first-class cricket as providing important groundwork for short format success

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Photo by Sarah Ansell

The rarely-sighted White-Clothed Morgan was thought to have been extinct, but there are now hopes that it could return to its habitat at Lord’s as early as this summer.

In a week in which Adil Rashid and Alex Hales both pressed pause on their first-class careers, Morgan has once again shown himself to be one step ahead of the crowd.

When Rashid announced his decision, we floated the idea that for all the talk of focusing and specialising, first-class cricket might actually provide important base training on which short format cricketers can build.

Morgan agrees. Speaking to Sky Sports, he said he was looking to play in the County Championship this season.

“The reason I’ve always worked trying to play red ball cricket is my technique isn’t very good and I always struggle my first 20 balls and I’m a slow starter.

“Striving to play red ball cricket always made me work on my technique a little bit more. My technique’s normally okay [against the red ball] and I tend to hit it further and play it later.

“That’s why I’ve been hesitant to make a decision [like Rashid’s]. It’s not been having aspiration to play Test cricket – I don’t.”

If others take a similar view, this would be good news for the County Championship and consequently the Test team. However, they should probably still trim the competition by a few matches to persuade the likes of Hales and Rashid that the workload would be productive and not counterproductive.


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  1. I do wonder where Ireland becoming a Test nation leaves Morgan. If the T20 work dries up for him (and it might just be starting to), post 2019 World Cup there might just be a door that opens for him to play all formats for Ireland if the ICC decide that the change in Irelands status allows a clean slate and he doesn’t have to requalify. Plently of ifs and ands there, but still…

    1. “That’s why I’ve been hesitant to make a decision [like Rashid’s]. It’s not been having aspiration to play Test cricket – I don’t.”

      With inspirational quotes like this, if work dries up he could become a motivational speaker instead.

      1. We take that as a fillip for the County Championship though. Morgan sees it as something worth sustaining independently of Test cricket, not just purely as some sort of out-of-sight prep school.

  2. I saw Eoin Morgan score a Test century once, at the Home of The Bears. At least I think I did. It may have been a dream.

  3. The cynic might wonder whether he made that decision before or after not being picked up in the IPL. Regardless, it’s Middlesex’ gain.

    1. Yes and no. Only three wickets went to seamers in the entire match, which suggests the pitches in the West Indies remain far more friendly to spinners than quicks, despite a lot of talk to the contrary. And unless Jomel Warrican has markedly improved since his last run in the Test side, him outbowling Cornwall doesn’t really say great things about Cornwall or England’s batting. Jack Leach took wickets, though, and Shane Dowrich’s 119 in the first match is certainly encouraging.

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