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This has been a stupendous year – filled with a lot of action from around the globe. The Ashes have changed hands, two legends walked off into the sunset, and the exuberance of youth has become a talking point in cricketing circles.
ODI cricket has seen its share of highs and lows. The Champions Trophy bowed out of the ICC’s Future Tours Programme with World Cup winners India coronated as the eventual victors. Pakistan defeated South Africa in another bilateral series, while Australia gave the world champions a mighty scare with scores in excess of 300 in almost every game.
As the year draws to a close, here is a look at some of the outstanding performers with the willow in 50-over cricket who, by their exploits, have ensured that this format still retains its former glory.
10. Eoin Morgan
The former Ireland international has had a rather mixed year. From the highs of being England’s jewel of batting against the white ball to the lows of not getting his central contract renewed, the 27-year old left-hander has seen it all.
Morgan was awarded the ultimate honour of captaining the ODI side against the country of his birth & Australia, and he responded with a magnificent century in the game against the Shamrocks. His reflexes while batting, honed from hours and hours spent playing the Irish game of hurling, are exactly what the Lions need in the limited-overs format.
In a purist’s world, Eoin is a maverick.
If orthodox cricket has ruled the roost for much of the previous four or five decades, the 21st century belongs to the unorthodox form. Morgan is a pioneer of this art – yet, the ECB declined to renew his contract because of an indifferent 2013. His struggles in the longer format, especially against Pakistan in the UAE, may have played a factor in the board’s decision, but in the shorter versions, Morgan still remains England’s best bet in the middle order when quick runs are required.
With the Ashes out of England’s hands, the ODI series and the T20 internationals still provide them a shot at vengeance. The maverick Irish-born southpaw might just be the tonic that the struggling side needs right now.