Eoin Morgan could be set to announce his retirement from international cricket this week, with England’s World Cup-winning captain having pondered his future in recent days.
The 35-year-old has struggled with form and fitness issues this year, most recently recording two ducks in the one-day international series against the Netherlands in Amstelveen before pulling out of game three with this which has been officially described as a “groin post”.
But the Guardian has since learned from separate sources that he could be set to draw strains on a career that has revolutionized England white-ball cricket over the past seven years and helped deliver the FIFA World Cup. 50 years at Lord’s in 2019.
Morgan played a company game on the pitch on Saturday – something of a surprise given last week’s injury – but has since pulled out of a scheduled appearance for cricketing charity Chance to Shine at a school in Hackney on Tuesday.
Should Morgan call time on either or both formats, Jos Buttler is expected to become captain, having been vice-captain since 2015 and captained the team 13 times. Moeen Ali, another alternate in recent times, would also be a candidate.
Morgan pondering his future ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year – and defending the 50+ title in India in 2023 – is understandable, having created one of the most feared in world cricket and a well of talent in reserve that left little room for passengers.
He was supported by Matthew Mott, the new white ball head coach, and Rob Key, England men’s cricket manager. But he’s only made two half-centuries of his last 28 international innings in both white-ball formats.
In interviews ahead of the Netherlands tour, he admitted he was feeling his age and struggling to recover physically after games, telling Sky Sports: “If I don’t think I’m good enough or I don’t feel like I’m contributing to the team, so I’m going to finish.”
Morgan’s place in English cricketing history is already assured, having switched allegiance to Ireland in 2009 and initially slotted into the English middle order as a dynamic southpaw with a then unique ability to hit all sides ground.
He then took over the captaincy of the ODI side from Alastair Cook on the eve of the 2015 World Cup in Australia and, although that campaign fell through, he kept the role and became the catalyst for a revolution alongside former head coach Trevor Bayliss. .
If the time is indeed right in both formats, Morgan would retire with almost 7,000 runs and 13 centuries for England from 225 ODIs, and just under 2,500 runs from 115 T20s. He also won 16 Test caps between 2010 and 2012, scoring two centuries.
India will be next for England’s white ball teams, with three T20s and three ODIs starting at the Ageas Bowl on July 7. South Africa will then follow for six more matches.
India will also face England next week in the rescheduled fifth Test of their 2021 series, and could be without their captain, Rohit Sharma, who tested positive for Covid-19. Sharma did not strike in Saturday’s second inning for India in their warm-up game against Leicestershire and is now in solitary confinement.