The transformation of the England team, from its dismal performance in the 2015 World Cup to becoming the runner-up in the 2016 World T20, has been sensational. Eoin Morgan, who has been at the helm, leading England over the past one year in limited-overs cricket, hardly had the time to reflect on his team’s defeat to West Indies by four wickets in the final of the World T20. A few days after the World T20 final, Morgan joined the likes of David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan at Sunrisers Hyderabad to try to help the franchise win the Indian Premier League.
In an exclusive interview to Sportstar, Morgan spoke about the World T20, playing with the greats in the IPL and the difference between the IPL and other leagues, among other things.
From playing in the World T20 to competing in the IPL, the transition was immediate. “It was very quick, to be honest. I didn’t have much time to think about things. I had a day with my family, who flew down for the World T20 final. We spent a day in Calcutta. Then I flew to Hyderabad,” said Morgan.
The England captain has been playing in the IPL since 2010. Over the last six years, he has played for multiple teams and shared dressing rooms with some of the legends of the game.
“The huge benefit of playing in the IPL is the privilege of playing with some of the greats of the game, especially with the likes of (Jacques) Kallis, (Rahul) Dravid and (Anil) Kumble. For me, that is the learning part of the IPL; you get to watch these greats on a day-to-day basis, Kallis in particular. For a guy like me, watching him how he goes about his business was an experience,” Morgan said.
The Irish, who was a member of the 2010 World T20-winning England squad, joined Sunrisers Hyderabad only in 2015. He now plays under the leadership of Warner of Australia.
“David and Tom (Moody) are open to any views that will help improve things in the side. Both of them are trying to pick the brains of all the overseas players. Kane (Williamson) and I are captains of our respective national sides. The likes of Trent Boult and Moises Henriques have enough experience too. Their views are also as much important to them (Warner and Moody) as ours,” Morgan said.
Besides Kevin Pietersen, Morgan is probably the only other English cricketer to have plenty of experience of playing T20 cricket around the world. While comparing the different T20 leagues around the world, Morgan pointed out the importance of commercial commitment in the IPL.
“I suppose in England it depends on the years of experience. With regard to the IPL, it is not India’s national sport, but it is very popular over here. There is a huge amount of commercial commitment that you have to make worthy in the competition. There are completely different challenges. You play a lot against spin bowling here. In Australia, it is lot of quick bowling. The surfaces are different. It presents different opportunities as well,” he said.
Despite being the birthplace of all forms of cricket, including the shortest format, England has not been able to develop and utilise T20 cricket as much as India and Australia have. Morgan was of the view that the T20 Blast — England’s version of the IPL — needs a makeover and it is going to happen soon.
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