Eoin Morgan in bid to return to England Test ranks

Former Ireland batsman withdraws from Indian Premier League auction

 Eoin Morgan has withdrawn from the Indian Premier League auction as he bids to relaunch his Test career with England. Photograph:  Daniel Munoz/EPA

Eoin Morgan has withdrawn from the Indian Premier League auction as he bids to relaunch his Test career with England. Photograph: Daniel Munoz/EPA

 

Eoin Morgan will play no part in this year’s Indian Premier League as the competition hots up to replace Kevin Pietersen in England’s Test team.

Morgan has announced via Twitter that, having played for Kolkata Knight Riders and Bangalore Royal Challengers in previous IPL seasons, he has thought again about entering this week’s annual player auction.

While Pietersen is free to go to the highest bidder on Thursday, Morgan’s name – one of 11 then England-qualified players initially listed for the auction – is no longer in the mix.

Morgan tweeted: “I would like to thank IPL for accepting my request to withdraw from this year’s auction. Good luck with the tournament.”

The Irishman last played Test cricket in early 2012, when he appeared to be the fall guy of England’s 3-0 defeat against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.

But the 27-year-old Middlesex batsman has continued to impress in the shorter formats, most recently as England’s most reliable batsman in their limited-overs series defeats against Australia this winter.

England’s management made it clear, after their Ashes whitewash, that all prospective Test players will be expected to demonstrate their credentials in county championship cricket before the first of this summer’s two series – against Sri Lanka in June.

Any involvement in the seven-and-a-half-week IPL in April and May would obviously have impacted on availability for the relevant county fixtures.

Morgan was also recently named Middlesex’s new limited-overs captain for this season.

His apparent readiness to play as much county cricket as he can follows a troubled week for the England and Wales Cricket Board, who on Sunday issued a statement explaining their reasons for parting company with South Africa-born batsman Pietersen.

In that press release, the ECB cited an issue of “trust” as the main reason for moving on from England’s record run scorer across all formats.

Test match certainty Ian Bell and hopeful Ravi Bopara, meanwhile, are among the England-qualified players still in this week’s IPL auction.

Morgan’s former Irish international team-mates Kevin and Niall O’Brien are both included on the list of players for Thursday’s auction.

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