The fourteenth of July in 2019 will go down in English cricket history as a special date. A Cricket World Cup victory is not for everyone.
Who would have imagined that England would make such a remarkable return and win the 2019 World Cup following the terrible 2015 World Cup?
Isn’t it the dream of every international captain to win the World Cup? However, only a limited are capable of accomplishing this feat.
The 2019 World Cup was England’s maiden title. For the English, it was made possible by Eoin Morgan. For England, Morgan was without a doubt, the best white-ball captain. His initiatives and tactics contributed to England’s double-super over dramatic triumph over New Zealand in the World Cup.
Morgan was born in the Irish city of Dublin. In his own country, he began playing cricket for the Rush club.
In 2006, the left-handed batter made his international debut against Scotland. On his debut, he became the first batter to get out at 99.
He was also the first Irish player to reach a double century in first-class cricket against the United Arab Emirates. Eventually, he got picked for Ireland’s 15-man World Cup team in 2007.
Now, you’re probably wondering what prompted him to move countries and play for England instead.
He, like other cricketing superstars, adored Test cricket, which led him to swap sides and play for the English.
Morgan began his career with Middlesex in 2006.
His impact on Middlesex is unparalleled.
In 2008, he scored his first century for Middlesex. Morgan was crucial in Middlesex’s Twenty20 Cup success in 2008. Morgan demonstrated his ability to guide Middlesex to a County Championship victory over Kent.
He was enjoying first-class cricket. So, he decided to join the England Lions in 2007 and played against international teams such as the West Indies and South Africa. Eventually, he made his test debut for England against Bangladesh in 2010. Unfortunately, his Test career lasted only three years.
He last played a Test against Pakistan in Dubai. He was subsequently discarded from the Test team after a disappointing tour to the UAE, where he scored 82 runs at an average of 13.4 in three Tests; his Test career was cut short due to a thumb injury.
Who would have guessed he’d feature in sixteen Tests, not more?
But gladly, English cricket had other plans for him.
Eoin Morgan’s limited-overs career took off when Matt Prior’s absence allowed him to keep wickets and bat in the middle order for England in the Champions Trophy in 2009. He then recorded two consecutive 60s, which impressed the ECB’s administration.
English cricket was struggling to find a white-ball captain after the retirement of Andrew Strauss.
Due to the Axing of Alistair Cook, then captain, Morgan was named the captain two months before the 2015 World Cup. Morgan had the idea of transforming English cricket, but he lacked the necessary time.
After a disastrous World Cup, ECB management stuck with Morgan and started building a destructive team.
All of us had a view of this destructive team in the T20 World Cup 2016. England made it to the finals but lost against the T20 professionals, West Indies.
Morgan not only created a brand of cricket but also created some big players who are taking English cricket forward at the moment.
Players like Alex Hales, Jason Roy, Jos Buttler, and Jonny Bairstow were given licences to express themselves and play naturally.
All of this seemed a great story in the works that would find ultimate glory. And thus came the “Glorious” year in the history of English Cricket: 2019.
The Cricket World Cup in 2019 was hosted by the inventors of the game.
From the start, England were the favourites.
Eoin Morgan created a jam-packed side for this occasion. His belief in his players showed his confidence in leading the side on the ground.
The promise he made to English cricket back in 2015 was fulfilled. England became the champions of the 2019 World Cup.
Morgan retires a true and successful leader.
Even his leadership skills attracted franchises from all over the world; he was bought by Kolkata Knight Riders a few years ago and later asked to lead them. Though, due to patchy form, he was released and wasn’t able to get the contract in the mega auctions.
A bat that chose the World Cup stage to obliterate Afghanistan of all bowling sides – and that too, single handedly- hitting seventeen sixes, not one less, on his own- remember the 2018 contest- it’s rather strange how suddenly his bat ran dry in the past one year.
One can’t help but scratch the head in thinking what might have happened if form had not deserted him; 150 T20 runs in 2021 from sixteen games and zero runs from 2 ODI’s in 2022?
Perhaps Morgan’s career is a smashing hit in that its best days lie in what has been.
Having said the above, let’s look at some outstanding achievements that rest in the ebb of Eoin Morgan:
148 vs Afghanistan, Cricket World Cup 2019
This knock was all about sixes. Morgan smashed 17 sixes and helped England reach a mammoth total. His innings came in just 71 deliveries.
121 vs Australia, Eng vs Aus 2014-15
A knock like this, prior to the 2015 Cricket World Cup, showed that a statement was made. A clear one, in which the left-hander scored a captain’s knock and helped his team reach a respectable total.
66 vs Pakistan, T20I
Pakistan posted a huge total in front of the English team. When Morgan came to bat, it looked impossible to chase down 195. But he scored 66 at a fiery strike rate of 200, and chased the total.
91 vs New Zealand, T20I
Batting alongside David Malan, the English skipper scored 91 off just 41 deliveries. The duo helped England put up a total of 241 runs in their 20 overs.
88 vs New Zealand, Eng vs NZ 2015
It was the second ODI after the disappointing World Cup. England then shifted to an aggressive way of scoring. The man himself, leading from the front, scored 88 off just 47 deliveries.
He was a part of the England squad when the team won their maiden World Twenty20 in 2010.
Captain of the World Cup, 2019 winning team.
He was honoured as Wisden Cricketer of the Year and as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2020 New Year Honours for services to cricket.
(Eoin Morgan sketch prepared by S.Rajnikanth for HoldingWilley)