England captain Eoin Morgan doubts T20 World Cup will go ahead in October
Eoin Morgan would be “surprised” if the T20 World Cup goes ahead as scheduled later this year but indicated any deferment will not shape his future as England captain.
The International Cricket Council on Wednesday rejected claims a decision had been made to postpone the tournament from its original slot of October 18 to November 15 in Australia and that all contingency plans are being explored.
However, the vagaries presented by the global coronavirus pandemic present significant obstacles, not least how the squads and support staff from 16 nations, including the hosts, can be accommodated without risking an outbreak.
And Morgan believes potentially exposing a country that has had just over 7,000 confirmed cases with a death toll of 103 presents a significant risk, as things stand.
Speaking to promote Chance to Shine, Morgan said: “I’d be surprised if it goes ahead.
“My reasons for that would be if you look at how Australia have handled the pandemic, they’ve shut down the borders pretty early, had a limited number of cases and deaths in comparison to the rest of the world.
“Their biggest worry moving forward – a small negative to a huge positive – would be they almost don’t know what the immunity would be like if the virus does have an outbreak.
“Having 16 teams across several venues has the potential to expose something.
“It might only be a handful of cases to be spread, but when you look at how quickly it escalates, you weigh up the chance of playing a World Cup or postponing it, (which is) probably a bigger positive.”
Any alteration to the calendar lends itself to speculation about the impact on Morgan, who considered his position after leading England to a historic 50-over World Cup triumph last summer because of a back injury.
Last winter he announced his intention to captain England at the 2020 and 2021 T20 World Cups and he reaffirmed the desire to do so on Wednesday after revealing the current hiatus has left him feeling revitalised.
He said: “It doesn’t change that view for the simple reason that I think there are a lot of players that would have benefited from this break.
“It’s not a physical break it’s a complete mental refresh from the game that we’re grossly involved in and have been for some time. I certainly have.
“I feel at that stage now where I want to pick up a bat again and I’m ready to go as opposed to picking up a bat because I’m playing in three weeks’ time. That’s always a nice place to be.
“When I talk about where I’d like to play too, I’m in a high-performance industry and when you’re not performing you can’t still carry on. My ambition would be certainly still to play the two World Cups.”
If the two sprint format competitions are delayed by 12 months and Morgan follows through with his aim of playing in both, then it would be mere months before England defend their 50-over crown in India in 2023.
Morgan was more guarded about the prospect of still being at the helm, insisting any decision would depend on his fitness.
He added: “I think a lot of that is going to be dependent on my body. And I think when you talk about last year’s World Cup and just about getting through – like just about getting over the line, physically, had that little hiccup with my back.
“If my back continues to get better, yes, that could be a chance. If it continues to deteriorate, you can’t look past the T20 World Cups.”
:: Eoin Morgan was speaking ahead of an online event to celebrate 15 years of the Chance to Shine charity. Since 2005, over five million children have been given the opportunity to play, learn and develop through cricket thanks to the work of the charity. This summer, donations to Chance to Shine are being matched by Charity Patron Adrian Beecroft. Please support today at chancetoshine.org/donate.
Pakistan shift Zimbabwe T20Is from Lahore to Rawalpindi
Zimbabwe are now set to play all six internationals in Rawalpindi.
CSA rubbishes reports of resignations at board level
Cricket South Africa insist there have been no resignations.
India great Kapil Dev stable after emergency heart surgery
The former all-rounder captained his country to a first-ever World Cup crown in 1983.
England’s male cricketers agree to pay cut to help deal with coronavirus crisis
Cuts will last for a year.
Middlesex committed to improving inclusivity and ‘addressing bias’
The Lord’s-based county confronted the issue at a recent board meeting.
Australian Event Awards honour Women’s T20 World Cup
The Women’s T20 World Cup has been recognised once again for its innovation and excellence in the field of event organisation.
India tour to Australia rubber-stamped by government
Cricket Australia have hammered out a deal with the New South Wales authorities to host the quarantining players.
England announce T20I and ODI tour to South Africa next month
England’s first tour since the coronavirus pandemic began will be played out amid biosecure plans agreed with the Proteas.
Morgan warns against long-term impact of bio-bubbles
England captain Eoin Morgan and his West Indies counterpart Jason Holder have expressed concerns about continuous use of bio-bubbles.