Eoin Morgan has earned the right to decide his England future, says ex-captain Andrew Strauss

Duncan Bech 16/07/2019
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Andrew Strauss insists Eoin Morgan must continue as England’s one-day captain if he has the hunger to drive a period of sustained success.

Morgan presided over the nation’s maiden World Cup triumph following a dramatic victory over New Zealand at Lord’s on Sunday.

The 32-year-old, however, is considering his future as skipper knowing he is unlikely to be playing when the next global showpiece arrives in 2023.

With the T20 World Cup taking place next year, former England captain Strauss believes Morgan’s influential role in shaping a golden era of one-day cricket entitles him to choose the timing of his departure.

“Eoin has earned the right to do it,” said Strauss. “The question for him is what he wants to achieve here because he has climbed Everest.

“That is the question for all the players because we have made mistakes in the past.

“We’ve won Ashes series and got to number one in the world and thought that was the end in itself. We have to find a way of making this a launchpad for something bigger.

“I certainly hope that what Eoin is doing right now – unless he is clear he wants to carry on – is just taking a bit of time to reflect where he is at.

“To stay on as captain he needs to be driven and motivated to push people on, as he has done over the last four years. If he has the bit between his teeth then we’ve seen just what a fantastic leader he is.

“The rest of the team will follow him until the last day he is on a cricket field, and he needs to decide when that is.”

Acting in the capacity of director of England cricket, it was Strauss’ decision to retain Morgan as captain in the wake of a dismal World Cup group exit in 2015.

In reward, Morgan has overseen a radical transformation, with England now a swashbuckling side that has swept all before them.

Lord’s will be turning red for day two of the second Ashes Test on August 15 in aid of the Ruth Strauss Foundation, the charity set up by Strauss after his wife died of lung cancer in December 2018.

Provided by Press Association Sport

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Bangladesh rest Shakib Al Hasan, retain Mashrafe Mortaza for Sri Lanka ODIs

Sudhir Gupta 16/07/2019
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Bangladesh decided to rest star -rounder Shakib Al Hasan but retained skipper Mashrafe Mortaza for the three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka later this month.

Left-arm spinner Taijul Islam replaces Shakib while top-order batsman Anamul Haque comes in for batsman Liton Das, who has been rested for ‘personal reasons’.

“Now that the World Cup chapter is over, we are starting a new season. This series is very important for us,” selector Minhajul Abedin Nannu was quoted as saying by AFP.

“We didn’t make big changes from the World Cup squad. As we don’t have Shakib and Liton, we included two players in their places and dropped one player,” he said.

Bangladesh finished eighth in the 2019 World Cup after just three wins – against South Africa, West Indies and Afghanistan.

Bangladesh Cricket Board sacked coach Steve Rhodes after the team returned home last week and said it will not renew the contract of bowling coach Courtney Walsh.

Mashrafe claimed just one wicket in eight World Cup matches but the board has kept faith in him.

Bangladesh will be the first team to tour Sri Lanka since the deadly attacks in which 258 people were killed. The teams will play three one-day internationals on July 26, 28 and 31 in Colombo.

SQUAD

Mashrafe Mortaza (c), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarker, Anamul Haque, Mohammad Mithun, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riyad, Mosaddek Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Mehidy Hasan, Taijul Islam, Rubel Hossain, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mustafizur Rahman.

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Unlimited Super Overs, no runs for deflection off batsman among World Cup wishlist

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A deflection off Ben Stokes' bat gave England four extra runs in their World Cup final win over New Zealand.

Should one team lose an ODI despite scoring the same number of runs after 102 overs? How are boundaries a bigger differentiator than wickets? Should runs be allowed when no one is claiming it?

The 2019 World Cup final generated so much drama and bizarre incidents, it took the focus away from the high quality of cricket both England and New Zealand played and also threatened to put an asterisk next to England’s legitimate win.

However, what is done is done. Rules were followed – well, almost – and England did what was asked of them to win their maiden 50-over title. New Zealand must be crestfallen right now, but that is the nature of sport.

As is the case whenever we encounter such incredible turn of events – a 50-over World Cup final tied even after a Super Over and the winner decided on boundary count – it becomes important to take stock of the situation and ensure that a more acceptable set of rules are in place when the tournament next comes around in 2023.

While you can never please everyone, here are a few rule changes that should make for a more even playing field.

No additional runs for deflection off batsman

Ben Stokes apologised after the the ball off his bat to the boundary at Lord's.

Ben Stokes apologised after the the ball off his bat to the boundary at Lord’s.

Acceptability: Very high

This is one rule every team and player should be on board with. When the throw in the final over of England’s chase in ‘normal time’ deflected off a diving Ben Stokes’ bat and went to the boundary, there was nothing anyone could do. The umpires were forced to signal additional four runs as Stokes or England couldn’t refuse it.

Overthrows happen all the time but deflections off a batsman should not count for additional runs. No one claims those runs anyhow and it’s better to stop awarding them.

The only downside to that is – and this is taking things to the extreme – fielders deliberately targeting the body of a batsman while throwing in order to unsettle or hurt them.

Super Overs to continue until winner decided

Acceptability: High

This is the big one. Deciding a world champion on the basis of number of boundaries hit has stirred up a hornet’s nest. Some feel England and New Zealand should have been named joint winners. Others suggest number of wickets taken after a Super Over tie is a more apt differentiator.

We have to have a winner of a World Cup and any form of countback is unfair. It makes sense to keep playing additional Super Overs until a winner is decided. We are unlikely to get a Super Over tie in a World Cup final in our lifetime again. But if it does happen, we should spend the additional time to ensure there is a clear winner.

Super Six/Playoffs after league stage

Acceptability: Medium to low

As I have bemoaned twice before, the format of the 2019 World Cup – just like 1992 – was flawed to begin with; not that the last few ones were perfect. Playing the league phase for more than a month and having a highly inconsistent team – New Zealand in this case – go straight into the final after one win is wrong on many counts.

Hypothetically speaking, in the current format the semi-final loser can have a win/loss record of 9-1 and the title winner a 7-3 or 7-4 record. If knockouts matches have to be given greater importance, then it makes sense to reduce the league phase and have additional matches before the final.

Two groups of five teams each followed by a Super Six stage, semis and then final is one way to go. Or, we can retain the current everyone-plays-everyone league stage and then have an IPL style playoffs – which might not be acceptable to many purists. But it is still considerably more fair than the current format.

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