Morgan named in England squad


Cricket:Eoin Morgan’s 193 against Sri Lanka for England Lions convinced the test selectors he was the right man to face the tourists again in the first test in Cardiff. The Dubliner has been named in a 12-man squad with Ravi Bopara the man to miss out.

National selector Geoff Miller explained the reasoning behind Morgan’s elevation ahead of Bopara.

“Ravi has been getting a lot of runs for Essex, but the controlled innings that Eoin played just gave him the nod,” he said. “That innings really just showed us what he is capable of doing. It shows his strength of character.”

It appears Morgan did cause some consternation too, though, when he announced after making his hundred that he was planning to fly back to the Indian Premier League over the next few days if he was not selected by England.

Bopara fostered much goodwill when he announced he would be staying in England to play four-day cricket for Essex, in order to give himself the best preparation for a Test match summer — although it has since transpired he and his girlfriend have recently become parents, providing another obvious reason for him to stay in England.

Asked about Morgan’s decision to play in the IPL rather than for Middlesex over the past month, and his contingency plan to go back there if he were not required by England, Miller said: “We understand that situation. We have given them the window to go to the IPL.

“I would personally prefer it if they were showing the consistency and commitment to England. For us on this occasion it’s a consistency with what we did in Australia. But yes, it will be taken into consideration. We will understand that and have a conversation in that direction.”

There was some fanciful conjecture, meanwhile, that Kevin Pietersen’s place might be in doubt after a protracted run of mediocre returns — excepting, of course, his man-of-the-match double-hundred in Adelaide. Unsurprisingly, he was named in the squad this morning.

“We talked about everything,” said Miller. “Kevin’s situation is no different from others — we make sure we’ve got the strongest side. Kevin has shown in the past he’s a world-class player, with a very, very good average for England.

“I’m sure runs are just round the corner. But it counts that we’ve got strong back-up to take places if necessary.”