LONDON: England’s Eoin Morgan has retired from international cricket with immediate effect, the World Cup-winning white-ball captain said on Tuesday.
Morgan, who led England to 50-over World Cup glory in 2019, captained England in a record 126 One-day Internationals and 72 T20s. His 118 wins as skipper across the two formats is also a record.
He retires with a slew of records to his name, including most ODI runs for England (6,957), most T20I runs for England (2,458) and most sixes for England in both formats.
“To call time on what has been without doubt the most enjoyable and rewarding chapter of my career hasn’t been an easy decision,” Morgan said. “But I believe now is the right time to do so, both for me, personally, and for both England white-ball sides I have led to this point.
“I have been lucky enough to play in two World Cup winning teams, but I believe the future for England’s white-ball teams is brighter than ever. We have more experience, more strength and more depth than ever before.”
The 35-year-old, who made his ODI debut as a 16-year-old with Ireland in 2006 before he was called up by England in 2009, has played 248 ODIs and 115 T20Is, scoring 10,159 runs in total. He has also played in 16 Tests, scoring 700 runs.
But injuries and a lack of runs in T20s and ODIs had raised questions about his form ahead of the T20 World Cup later this year as well as England’s defence of their 50-overs title in 2023.
“To what lies ahead for me, I will continue to enjoy playing at a domestic level while I can,” Morgan added.
“I’m really looking forward to playing and captaining London Spirit in the second edition of The Hundred this year.”
Rob Key, the managing director of England men’s cricket, said Morgan’s career had been about more than the World Cup success.
“As with all great players and leaders, he has changed the way the game has been played, and he has changed the way an entire generation and generations to come will play this form of the game,” said Key. “His legacy within the game will be felt for many years to come. He is, without question, the best leader I have seen. I wish him well in the next chapter of his career.”
Morgan said while the 2019 World Cup was a “performance highlight”, if he could relive one moment in his international career, it would be the start of England’s limited-overs revival following the 2015 edition. “The journey since then has been absolutely incredible,” he added.
Morgan took inspiration for England’s white-ball revolution from former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum.
McCullum, now England’s Test coach, hit 77 from only 25 balls to inspire New Zealand’s thrashing of Morgan’s men at the 2015 World Cup. “Baz [McCullum] is one of my close mates and I spoke to him,” said Morgan. “I’ve spoken to him about retirement for a long time. He said ‘you will know. It will be a feeling that comes and hits you.’”
McCullum paid tribute to Morgan by saying: “The impact he has had on English cricket and world cricket has obviously been significant.
“World Cup winner, but the players he has brought through, superstars of the modern game.
“They might have got there anyway, but I think he got them there quicker because of the approach he took. He’s a tremendous leader, a fine human being.”
Published in Dawn, June 29th, 2022