In Brief

Morgan axe threat: England ODI captain would drop himself for Cricket World Cup

Skipper says he’s capable of making tough decisions to boost England’s cup chances

England’s one-day international (ODI) captain Eoin Morgan would have no problem dropping himself from the team if it meant they had a better chance of winning next year’s ICC Cricket World Cup.

The 2019 tournament will be held in England and Wales and Morgan’s side, who are No.1 in the ODI rankings, will be one of the favourites to lift the trophy.

Speaking ahead of the first ODI match against Sri Lanka in Dambulla on Wednesday, Morgan told Sky Sports Cricket that the team comes first.

“It is a brave call but we have come a long way with this team and we need to put ourselves in the best position in order to be contenders,” he said.

“If that means I am not good enough to be in the team as a captain or as a player I will be the first one to say it. I’m an honest guy. I’m more than capable of making a tough decision.”

The 32-year-old made it clear that no one was a certainty. “I’ve dropped myself in the past to create opportunities for guys and see if they can play at international level or given them an extra chance to prove themselves,” he said. “When you drop yourself as a captain it sets the tone and example of ‘nobody’s place is cemented’.

It also means the greater good comes first. “We are trying to build a squad of 16 or 17 to try and win a World Cup, that’s the objective,” said Morgan. “It’s not an individual trying to get runs or wickets – it’s a team collective everyone must be prepared to buy into.”

England have reached three World Cup finals – in 1979, 1987 and 1992 – but have yet to win the trophy. Australia are the reigning champions after they beat New Zealand by seven wickets at the MCG in Melbourne in the 2015 final.

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