Morgan to lead England in Clontarf


CRICKET:EOIN MORGAN will become the third Irishman to captain England after being given charge of an inexperienced side for Thursday’s RSA Challenge One-Day International at Castle Avenue in Clontarf.

Timothy O’Brien and Frederick Fane both captained England before the First World War, but the 24-year-old Dubliner will have the added pressure of leading out the side against the country of his birth in the sold-out encounter.

Morgan had been named as England’s Twenty20 vice-captain to Stuart Broad at the start of the summer, but with the England selectors resting many of their frontline players, including one-day captain Alastair Cook, they have decided to fast-track the left-hander.

Only Morgan and Ravi Bopara of the side taking on India in the fourth Test at the Oval will make the journey to Dublin, with four uncapped players named in the 13-man panel.

Seam bowlers Graham Onions and Morgan’s Middlesex colleague Steve Finn, who were both named in the squad for the Test, will also travel, as will Jonathan Trott after his recovery from injury.

Amongst the newcomers are the Durham pairing of Ben Stokes and Scott Borthwick, along with Yorkshire’s Jonathan Bairstow and pint-sized Leicestershire batsman James Taylor.

One player that Morgan will be more than aware of in the Ireland line-up is opening batsman Paul Stirling, who has taken up the mantle of exciting strokemaker since Morgan’s departure.

And that talent was on full display in Chesterfield yesterday as the 20-year-old from Belfast scored his maiden century for Middlesex in their CB40 victory over Derbyshire.

Stirling made 109 off 81 balls, taking full advantage of being dropped on 51 to bring up his century off 75 balls, hitting six sixes and six fours.

ENGLAND (Squad v Ireland): Eoin Morgan (Middlesex, capt), Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire), Ravi Bopara (Essex), Scott Borthwick (Durham), Jade Dernbach (Surrey), Steven Finn (Middlesex), Craig Kieswetter (Somerset, wkt), Graham Onions (Durham), Samit Patel (Nottinghamshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), James Taylor (Leicestershire), Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire).