London: An exhausted Eoin Morgan will go on holiday next week to contemplate his future and decide if he has the “drive” to carry on as England captain. Morgan was at Heathrow on Friday as one of the icon players at the draft of the Euro T20 Slam competition that will be played in Scotland, Ireland and Holland this summer.
An emotionally draining week has included chatting to the Prime Minister at Downing Street and taking the World Cup trophy to Lord’s to show it off to 28,000 supporters at the Middlesex vs Essex Vitality Blast match.
Speaking for the first time since winning the final on Sunday night, Morgan said in an exclusive interview he has to weigh up whether his body can stand up to international cricket and if he is still worth his place in the team before deciding whether to continue as captain.
I am going to get away from everything. Hopefully, that will put into perspective what has happened and my future.
There are tours to New Zealand and South Africa this winter (the trip to Sri Lanka is Test-only) and the next major event is the World Twenty20 in October 2020.
“I have tried to think about it the last couple of days but everything has felt emotional,” Morgan said. “If I was under pressure to make a decision, I would probably make the wrong decision. I don’t know what the right decision is yet but if I made it now I think I would look back and think I made it while I was all over the place.
“Thankfully, I am not under a lot of time pressure. I am going to get away from everything. Hopefully, that will put into perspective what has happened and my future.
“Family is at the forefront of it but also the team. I have also battled through the World Cup with my back and my fingers and mentally it has taken a huge amount out of me, and it has got to be the right decision.
“I also have to ask, ‘Can I add value to the team?’ Right now I think I can but will I have that drive this time next year? Will I have it in four years’ time? I don’t want to leave it too long. It is not fair on anybody. The schedule is to leave on October 20 and the squad will have to be picked two or three weeks in advance. Hopefully, I will have come to the decision by then.”
Morgan chatted at length to Theresa May when she told him she “might go on holiday for a while” after leaving office next week. He also revealed that the England team were cheered through the door at No 10 Downing Street by the Prime Minister’s staff.
“It was brilliant,” Morgan said. “When you are briefed, they tell you that when you walk down Downing Street you have to wait outside the door and she will come out and greet you. We got within 10 yards and she came out. We thought, ‘Wow, she is keen to meet us.’ She loves cricket. She and her husband are self-confessed Test match fans, but she watched all the World Cup [final] and loved it. One of the cooler parts was we walked through the corridors at No. 10 and all the staff were there cheering us. It was amazing.”
There was no repeat of the over-exuberance shown by the Ashes winners of 2005, when one player urinated in the garden at No 10. The newspaper revealed this week that Morgan had to quieten some boisterous singing as the team were leaving in order to avoid embarrassing their hosts. “We were making some noise and we needed to quieten down, but that was just excitement,” he said.
Morgan and the trophy had been inseparable since Sunday night but he has finally handed it over. “It reached a stage where I didn’t want to leave it somewhere [and lose it],” he said. “I left it in Angus Fraser’s office last night at Lord’s. It is probably back at ECB offices now. I took it to Lord’s on Thursday night because it was a cool thing to show it off to loads of kids. It might have been the first time they have been to a cricket match and they got to see the World Cup. It was brilliant.”
Andrew Strauss, England’s former director of cricket, warned this week of the dangers when a team reach their goal. England teams in the past have scaled heights such as the 2005 Ashes win and reached No. 1 in Test rankings, but the success has not lasted.
“We rectified a lot of things before this tournament. To get to where we did and get over the line means we should not shy away from anything now,” Morgan said. “As players, yes, there has been a lot of expectation. That has been a good thing. We embraced and enjoyed it. The challenge is to go into the next tournament as contenders. It would be the icing on the cake if we were considered alongside Australia and India.”
Morgan will be back where it all started later this summer playing in Dublin. He was signed as an icon player by the Dublin Chiefs for the first Euro Slam T20, a competition that will give a big boost to the coffers of smaller nations.
“People complain about too much T20 but the only recognised T20 in Europe is the Blast, so if we are going to grow the game outside the UK it has to be everywhere,” he said. “Scotland turned us over last year, Ireland pushed us close this year, so there is no reason why those guys should not be given the chance to play against some of the icon players. It will be good.”
— The Telegraph Group Limited, London 2019