England’s white-ball captain Eoin Morgan says his team will have to make do with limited opportunities that come its way to prepare for this year’s T20 World Cup after the COVID-19 pandemic forced a cricket shutdown in the country.
The coronavirus outbreak has forced the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to suspend professional games in the country till July 1 and has put in doubt Australia’s ODI and T20I tour of England in July.
Morgan feels converting England’s three-ODI series against Ireland into a T20 rubber in September will be their best chance of getting some practice ahead of the T20 World Cup.
“For the last month, everybody has struggled to get a sense of what’s possible and what might or might not happen,” he told reporters via Zoom during the launch of the Abu Dhabi T10.
“We may have to make do. If Tests were going on, there would be ways and means we could have meaningful practice games in and around those Ireland games in a similar environment.
“We could have proper opposition and maybe use the England Lions there too to make it as highly competitive as possible.”
The global health crisis has also put under threat the T20 World Cup, which is scheduled to be held from October 18 to November 15 in Australia.
“If the T20 World Cup goes ahead in the slot that it’s been allocated at the moment, we’ll have certainly played a limited amount of cricket before then,” Morgan said.
“Given the circumstances, we’ll have to see how much cricket we play and the opportunities that land on guys’ laps. They’ll have to make the most of them.”
Talking about Alex Hales, who was dropped from last year’s World Cup after failing a second test for recreational drug use, Morgan said the “door is still open” for him to get into the T20 World Cup squad, provided he rebuilds the trust that he lost.
“What happened was actually quite considerably harmful to the environment, which obviously led to the breakdown in trust between Alex and our players, so to say,” he said.
“How long that will take to regain, we don’t know, but certainly the door is still open for that trust to be built back up…that’s not just with me, that’s with every member of the squad, the backroom staff, the selectors.
“And that does take time. We’re in May, so it’s 11 months ago that the incident happened with Alex, so it’s actually not that long ago that it happened,” he added.
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