Eoin Morgan has said he will not put any timeframe on his remaining stint as England’s captain, after declaring himself “delighted” with his decision to carry on leading the team in the wake of this summer’s World Cup triumph.
Morgan, who turned 33 in September, took his time at the end of the summer to confirm his willingness to carry on leading England’s white-ball squads. However, he insisted he had not been tempted to bow out on a high at international level, after leading England to glory in the World Cup final against New Zealand at Lord’s in July.
And now, having had time to consider his options in the off-season, he is ready to face those same opponents again, when the first of five T20Is gets underway in Christchurch on Friday.
“I’m very comfortable with the decision I made,” Morgan told Test Match Special. “I’m delighted that I have made it because I feel it is the right one for myself and my team.”
With England embarking on a new era under Chris Silverwood, following the end of Trevor Bayliss’s stint as head coach, the continuity offered by Morgan’s vast experience and respected leadership was an important consideration, and one that Ashley Giles, England’s team director, had urged him to bear in mind in their discussions prior to his announcement.
And now, with England building towards next year’s T20 World Cup in Australia, the T20 squad for the New Zealand series features six potential new caps – the Somerset duo of Tom Banton and Lewis Gregory, Lancashire’s Matt Parkinson and Saqib Mahmood, Worcestershire’s Pat Brown and Surrey’s Sam Curran – all of whom can expect to feature at some stage in the coming five matches.
“We have a special group of players at the moment,” said Morgan. “I feel very lucky to lead that group and I think we can do something even more special down the line.”
While Morgan knows that he cannot carry on indefinitely – not least given the long-term fitness concerns that culminated in a worrying back spasm during England’s World Cup match against West Indies – he has hinted he may also seek to push on towards the subsequent T20 World Cup, in India in 2021.
“I still feel I have a lot to offer,” said Morgan. “I won’t say I’ll be finished after the next World Cup as I’d be afraid I’ll only creep over the line and maybe fall off.
“I don’t want to let anyone down. I want to drive through the World Cup in Australia and then make a call after that.
“There were questions over my fitness and how I would come back and play, but I think that was just lingering in my head because I was back playing county cricket two weeks after the World Cup final, and the decision was almost delayed because I didn’t have time to make it.
“I think if the season had ended after the World Cup final I would have made a decision in a couple of weeks, because once I finished playing for Middlesex, the next year or two became clearer.
“When you get to the back end of your career, very few people can make a decision themselves or be in a luxurious position to make that decision, because it’s more often than not made for you,” he added. “So I’m delighted to carry on and hopefully offer a lot more for English cricket.”