England blow as Eoin Morgan is ruled out of World Cup

England's worst World Cup fears were realised today when their leading one-day batsman Eoin Morgan was ruled out of the tournament with a fractured finger.

Morgan, who has progressed from promising Irish recruit to his adopted country's most complete limited-overs player, will watch from home as Ravi Bopara takes his place in the 15-man squad.



Morgan initially sustained the injury in the fourth one-day international in Adelaide but played on before X-rays more than a week later detected the break in the middle finger of his left hand.



Such is Morgan's importance to England's one-day strategy, not least in the sub-continent where his array of innovative laps and sweeps are most useful, that consideration was given to carrying him through the group phase in the hope of utilising him in the knockout stages.



The injury is worse than hoped, though, and team director Andy Flower indicated he would not have been fit to play any part.



Speaking on the team's arrival at Heathrow Airport following an Australia tour that saw them retain the Ashes but surrender the ODI series 6-1, Flower said: "Eoin Morgan won't be going to the World Cup. His finger needs to be operated on.



"He'll be a huge loss to us. He's been a very influential limited-overs performer for us since he joined the England team."



Captain Andrew Strauss, who had been hoping to utilise his Middlesex team-mate's unique talents on the slow, low pitches of India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, was equally disappointed.



He added: "Over the last 12 to 18 months he has been the stand-out performer for us in one-day cricket.



"We all see the World Cup as the forum to showcase our talents and skills and he is disappointed to be missing out.



"Unfortunately that's the nature of the beast; you are going to get injured and his has come at a bad time.



"Thankfully Eoin is a young bloke who has plenty more opportunities but for the time being we're going to have to make do without him. That's something we're prepared for and something we're able to do."



Essex all-rounder Bopara has been summoned back from the West Indies, where he has been on duty with the England Lions, and will now link up with Strauss and company.



He played no part in the unhappy one-day series against Australia but is an experienced performer and, perhaps crucially, knows conditions well as one of the few Englishmen to feature in the Indian Premier League.



He is a destructive hitter, as he showed with a wonderful display against Bangladesh at Edgbaston last summer, and also offers an additional bowling option.



"Ravi is an exciting young cricketer in his own right and he's going to be joining us," said Flower.



"No one is irreplaceable and Ravi is a very talented, exciting player. He also brings a little medium pace that will help the captain in the middle overs."



Strauss, meanwhile, believes Bopara will be eager to assert himself again after a period out of the international set-up.



"He hasn't had a chance to play for us recently but he has been playing a lot of cricket around the world," said the captain.



"He is desperate to get back in the ranks and this is his opportunity.



"We like what he can bring to the game with his bowling and his ability to clear the ropes will be important to us. He's a worthy addition to our squad."



Morgan is not the only England player to suffer injury ahead of the World Cup, but the five other players with question marks over their fitness are all now expected to make the trip.



Tim Bresnan (calf), Graeme Swann (back), Paul Collingwood (back) and Ajmal Shahzad (hamstring) all had to leave the Australia tour early, while Stuart Broad (stomach) has not played since the second Test of the Ashes.



"We've got good news on most of our other players," confirmed Flower.



"The guys that came back early are progressing well."



Sport
football This was Kane’s night, even if he played just a small part of it
Travel
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
News
news
News
Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
media
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Threlfall says: 'I am a guardian of the reality keys. I think I drive directors nuts'
people
Voices
voices The group has just unveiled a billion dollar plan to help nurse the British countryside back to health
News
The Westgate, a gay pub in the centre of Gloucester which played host to drag queens, has closed
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss