England skipper Eoin Morgan signs autograph to budding cricketers during a interaction with the budding players. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Captaincy in international cricket has never been a bed of roses and it’s getting increasingly difficult to being an England captain. White ball skipper Eoin Morgan is under the microscope for his lack of runs, Joe Root, who has been scoring runs in tons, has been criticised for his captaincy skills.

Morgan, who has led England to Twenty20 semi-finals in the UAE last year after giving the Three Lions their maiden 50-over World Cup title at home in 2019, said these criticisms don’t affect him.

“I don’t think I’ve been on there any far, so far I live on my own. Outside judgement is always going to be there, that’s part and parcel of the game, but if you are looking outside for acknowledgement, I think you compromise the morals. That’s not the way I was operating. It is in my own terms within the team’s terms, trying to make the best decision for the team,” the England captain said during an interaction with the media after his weeklong masterclass with the Zayed Cricket Academy pupils.

Fantastic values

Ireland star Paul Stirling and Morgan imparted their skills and shared their experiences with the young players aged eight to 19. “Our main aim throughout the camp is to inspire the next generation of boys and girls to become young cricketers and, over everything else, we want them to enjoy playing cricket,” said Morgan. “I’m a huge advocate of kids playing cricket as it’s a sport that has fantastic values such as discipline, respect and fair play, that stick with you throughout your whole life.”

The dashing left-hander is confident that he will overcome the lean patch that’s been plaguing him since last year, where he has not been among runs either for England or his Indian Premier League team Kolkata Knight Riders. He is also looking forward to the Twenty20 World Cup to be held in Australia this October-November and feels the recent five-match Twenty20 series against West Indies gave England the opportunity to test some new players.

“We did really well in the West Indies where we took it to the final game of the series and ended up losing 3-2. We’ve been building something for six to seven years now where we’ve identified several players for the World Cup, outside the 15 that we selected. We had the opportunities to do that in West Indies and guys like Liam Livingstone has now come through really well, which has been a great exercise.”

Strong comeback 

Talking about his personal form, Morgan says: “I have always done unbelievably well after taking time away from the game anywhere between five to 12 weeks. I take comfort in that and it’s something that works for me. I am looking forward to the challenge because once we start again, we don’t stop until the end of the World Cup.”

It’s going to be a busy summer for England where the hosts will be playing a three-Test series against New Zealand, India and South Africa and ODI and Twenty20 series against Netherlands, India and South Africa, which begins on June 2 and goes all the way to September 8.

“It’s a huge year. When we try and project forward to what our plans are. Test matches are our priority and then between the other two, you have to identify what you’re trying to achieve. We want to want to win a World Cup that’s where we have really good, world-class players who are in huge demand across the world. But until the World Cup in Australia our priorities will be T20,” he added.

Win-win situation

Morgan likes to keep a positive outlook on all aspects of his game, including not being picked by any of the franchises despite leading Knight Riders to the final in the last season.

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“It’s a win-win situation from my point of view. I’ve played cricket for a long time and through out the world, but there’s a lot of sacrifices that you make along the way. I’m fortunate enough to be able to be spend time with my family,” he said. “Kolkata are a team that always have a special place in my heart. I played for them in back in 2012, 13 and 14 and very fortunate that we won the championship then. Unbelievably fortunate in the last two years that I’ve been the captain there. I realised that things move on and things change and they’re doing brilliantly well,” he concluded.