MANCHESTER: England captain Eoin Morgan has hailed the combination of this summer’s Ashes and a home World Cup as a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” for his team’s...
MANCHESTER: England captain Eoin Morgan has hailed the combination of this summer’s Ashes and a home World Cup as a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” for his team’s players.
The one-day team will open their World Cup campaign on home soil against South Africa in a little more than two months, before the Test side takes on Australia as they bid to regain the urn. Morgan will captain a 50-over squad ranked as the number one side in the world, and as the pre-tournament favourites following an impressive run of results, with Joe Root, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes among a handful of players to have a foot in both Test and white-ball camps.
“The two teams are building up to a big summer, and you have guys who are in both squads that equally feel the importance of the Ashes and the World Cup,” Morgan told Press Association Sport at the Cricket World Cup Super Saturday event in Manchester.
“The recognition from those players to say there is not a lot of difference between the two, and that it is a massive year, and a once-in-a-generation opportunity, shows there has been a shift in emphasis to one-day cricket in this country. Our potential as a team over the last four years has certainly moved forward, with the desire to make 50-over cricket a priority, as opposed to an afterthought. That has really benefited not just our team, but the game too, and that has helped to raise the bar.”
Buttler, who scored an incredible 150 off just 77 balls in England’s spectacular win against the West Indies earlier this month, and team-mate Stokes, were both rested from the recent three-match T20 series ahead of their involvement in the Indian Premier League.
Both players will line up for the Rajasthan Royals, who open their campaign against Kings XI Punjab in Jaipur on Monday, and are among 11 qualified England players taking part in the tournament.
Despite opting out of the IPL season, Morgan added: “The tournament is ideal preparation for those England players that are involved. Stokes and Buttler will be guaranteed to play every game until they have to report home, and the preparation they will have out there by competing against some of the best players in the world in a high-pressure environment is absolutely outstanding. The conditions, the build-up, and putting yourself under more pressure leading into the World Cup is obviously going to help in the long run.”