IPL 2017: Eoin Morgan 'surprised' to have been picked up in the auction
England skipper insists he will be missing only four days of action in IPL 2017.
What’s the story?
England skipper Eoin Morgan has expressed surprise at being picked up in the recently completed 2017 IPL auction. The 30-year old went on to reveal his decision to return to the lucrative Twenty20 tournament after the 2-match ODI series against Ireland.
Morgan said, “I was pleasantly surprised to hear I'd been picked-up in the IPL auction. I wasn't expecting to be picked up so it was good news. The perception of things was that I'd miss a lot of the IPL but in actual fact I only miss four days. I'll only miss two games out of the 14 which is not very much.”
On the decision to return home for the Ireland ODIs, he explained, “It was a collective decision to come back. I think it's important for me to come back for those two because, while we might not put out a full-strength team, there are players involved who might then play in the Champions Trophy. It's a good opportunity for me to play with guys who are coming through.”
Morgan was picked up by Kings XI Punjab for INR 2 Crores (around USD 298,000). While fellow England stars Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes have been permitted by the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to miss the Ireland ODIs to extend their participation in the IPL, Morgan alongside Jason Roy and Sam Billings will be summoned back for those two games.
The heart of the matter
The Dublin-born Morgan had previously played for Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL. This time around, he will turn out for the Kings XI Punjab. After taking part in the initial stages of the tournament, he will depart for England on May 1.
The 2 ODIs against Ireland are scheduled to take place on May 5 and 7. Following their conclusion, Morgan will return to India for Punjab’s group matches against the Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians on May 9 and 11 respectively.
He should go back home in time for England’s training camp which is slated to begin on May 14. Apart from the final group game against Rising Pune Supergiant, the left-hander will also miss the knockout stages if his side were to qualify.
Morgan is currently in the Caribbean for England’s 3-match ODI series against West Indies beginning from March 3. He kick started the tour with a 84-ball 95 in the warm-up game against UWI Vice Chancellor's XI on Saturday.
Even though ECB’s decision to shuttle Morgan back and forth during the 2017 IPL could be quite hectic for the southpaw, the move allows him to take stock of those back-up England players who will be pushing for spots in the main eleven.
With the Champions Trophy around the corner, the slew of white-ball matches should also provide adequate opportunities for him to build on his limited-overs game.