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Morgan lukewarm to the idea of new ODI league

England elect to field in first match at Trent Bridge

Image Credit: Reuters
England’s Chris Woakes (centre) celebrates with team mates after taking the wicket of Sri Lanka’s Kusal Mendis.
Gulf News

Trent Bridge: England one-day international captain Eoin Morgan has played down the need for a new world league in the shorter format of the game, adding that the World Cup and Champions Trophy remain appealing enough to attract audiences.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is set to discuss a new league of 13 teams at their annual meeting in Edinburgh this month, with the top two finishers playing off in a final in a revamp of the ODI format, according to media reports.

However, Morgan said that the current 50-overs format was exciting for viewers, despite being threatened by the emergence of the Twenty20 cricket.

“I am not sure it needs it [the world league]. Cricket is in a reasonable position at the moment,” the 29-year-old told, who also captains England’s Twenty20 side, British media.

“The Champions Trophy next year will highlight that, it is a great tournament whereby something is on every game. The World Cup goes on a lot longer,” he added.

Dublin-born Morgan added that while he was in favour of growing the game in associate nations such as Afghanistan, Ireland and Scotland, scheduling fixtures in an already packed calendar remained a concern.

“It is interesting to see how the ICC get those games in ahead of different series when the schedule is already jam-packed but I am all for growing the sport,” he added.

“The prospect of playing against associate nations more often and giving them as much cricket as possible is a really good way of growing your sport.

Meanwhile, Morgan won the toss and elected to field against Sri Lanka in the first one-day international at Trent Bridge. England included two wicket-keeper batsmen in Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler, with Buttler set to take the gloves.

Bairstow was recalled to the one-day squad after a superb return of 387 runs, including two hundreds, at an average of 129 during England’s preceding 2-0 Test series win over Sri Lanka.

Fast bowler Steven Finn, once second in the global ODI bowling rankings, was left out as England opted to play two spinners in Moeen Ali (off-breaks) and Adil Rashid (leg-breaks).

England’s team contained five players from county champions Yorkshire — Joe Root, Bairstow, all-rounder David Willey, Rashid and fast bowler Liam Plunkett.

Sri Lanka made one change from the side that beat Ireland by 136 runs to complete a 2-0 ODI series win in Malahide last weekend, a match in which opener Kusal Perera scored 135.