Morgan tries to solve IPL dilemma in Ashes year by tugging at fringe status

 

Ranchi

When it comes to England's centrally contracted players, the Indian Premier League is the competition that dare not speak its name. Unless you're Eoin Morgan, that is.

"I would like to be involved because I have learnt a lot from the IPL," said the 26-year-old Middlesex batsman ahead of England's third one-day international against India, which gets under way in M S Dhoni's hometown of Ranchi this morning.

Morgan is contracted to the Kolkata Knight Riders and has yet to make a decision on his participation this season. "If I am on the fringes, obviously things will have to be thought about quite deeply and we will go from there," said Morgan.

A life on the fringes is no life at all, especially not with back-to-back Ashes on the horizon. "I want to be involved this summer, it is two Ashes series and it's what everyone dreams of."

This year, every England player's pronouncements come with an Ashes caveat. Morgan is not about to put a gun to the selectors' heads but his involvement in the IPL hinges on whether he makes the Test squad for the tour of New Zealand, due to be announced on Thursday. Conversely, his involvement in the Ashes could hinge on his decision about whether to play in the IPL.

"I was fully centrally contracted last year, so again things won't change," Morgan said. "It will be assessed on whether I am in the squad for New Zealand if I am going to play [for Middlesex] at the start of the season."

After Morgan was dropped from the Test side following the 3-0 defeat to Pakistan last year, he shunned rehabilitation with Middlesex in favour of a stint in the IPL. He has not played Test cricket since.

The Irishman was selected for the Test series against India but was overlooked, first in favour of Samit Patel, then Jonny Bairstow and finally debutant Joe Root, who was preferred for the crucial fourth Test.

Morgan's average of 18 from five county games in 2012 understandably failed to convince the selectors of his suitability for the longer form of the game.

One player with no such IPL dilemma is India and Chennai Super Kings' captain Dhoni. Ranchi held its breath today as he was rapped on the thumb by India's bowling coach Joe Dawes during a nets practice. A city exhaled when it was reported he was uninjured and would be fit to play.

Clarke has no excuse for Aussies' flop

Australia captain Michael Clarke endured a "horrible day" as Sri Lanka dismissed their hosts for a paltry 74 on the way to taking a 2-1 lead in their one-day series.

Nuwan Kulasekara took 5-22 after Australia elected to bat at The Gabba in Brisbane. Sri Lanka had a shaky start themselves, slumping to 37-4 after captain Mahela Jayawardene was dismissed for one by Clint McKay in the first over; but they rallied to pass the Australian total with 30 overs to spare. Earlier Angelo Mathews had David Warner caught in the second over of Australia's innings before Kulasekara removed Phil Hughes, David Hussey, George Bailey, Clarke and Moises Henriques in succession to leave the hosts reeling on 30-6.

"No excuse for the way we performed," Clarke said. "I understand the public wants us playing consistently; honestly, if we play like that then the public wouldn't want to see us playing at all."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future