The 35-year-old Morgan on Tuesday left many in the cricketing world stunned with his decision to bid adieu to international cricket with immediate effect.
Reports of Morgan having decided to announce his retirement in fact did the rounds began doing the rounds a day before the actual announcement. According to a Sky Sports report. Morgan wanted to lead the English side in this year’s T20 World Cup in Australia, but decided to call time on his cricketing career after struggling with form and fitness issues.
In the 3 match ODI series that England played recently, Morgan fell for a duck in the first two games and missed the third with a groin niggle. In the last IPL mega auction Morgan went unsold. He had a miserable outing with the bat in the 2021 edition though he led KKR to the final. Overall, he is considered to have a fine cricketing brain in limited overs cricket.
But he had been struggling with both form and fitness issues for the last year and half or so. He had scored just two fifties in his last 28 international innings across the two white-ball formats.
Morgan himself called the timing of his decision to bring the curtain down on his international career – ‘the right time to go’.
“After careful deliberation and consideration, I am here (Lord’s) to announce my retirement from international cricket with immediate effect,” said Morgan in an ECB statement.
“To call time on what has been without doubt the most enjoyable and rewarding chapter of my career hasn’t been an easy decision.
“But I believe now is the right time to do so, both for me, personally, and for both England white-ball sides I have led to this point.”
The England Cricket Board has hailed Morgan as one of their best ever.
“I’m hugely proud of what I have achieved, but what I will cherish and remember most are the memories I made with s… https://t.co/GkdCupIAV3
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) 1656421380000
Morgan started his international career with his native Ireland in 2006 and earned plaudits from all quarters for his unorthodox shot-making abilities. His yearning to achieve success made him switch his allegiance to England in 2009.
The left-hander also made his intentions clear to only focus on white-ball cricket. He played only 16 Test matches with his last appearance in the longest format of the game being way back in 2012.
But in limited-overs internationals Morgan made a huge impact for the Three Lions. He has retired as England’s all-time leading run scorer in ODI and T20I cricket with 6,957 and 2,458 runs respectively to his name. His tally of 225 ODI appearances and 115 T20Is is another English record. He will always be remembered as one of the biggest impact batters in world limited overs cricket.
Record-breaker 📊History maker 📝Our greatest ever 🏏#ThankYouMorgs ❤️ https://t.co/jvvWprBSDK
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) 1656421502000
Morgan also holds the joint record with former India skipper MS Dhoni for winning the most number of matches (72) in T20Is as captain. He also led England in a record number of ODIs (126), winning 76 and losing 40 (tied 2 & NR 8).
Though a calm and composed character, what Morgan the captain brought in was an aggressive and at the same time selfless mindset, as England climbed up the charts in the ICC limited overs rankings. According to a report in ESPN – 36% of England’s ODI centuries were scored in the seven and a half years that he was captain. For many decades England were not really a force to be reckoned with in limited overs cricket. Now, they are one of the most feared teams in both ODIs and T20Is. The Three Lions are currently ranked number 2 in both the ICC ODI and T20I rankings. Overall he created an environment of trust and unity in the English dressing room.
He is liked by one and all.
Morgan was handed over the England reins on the eve of the 2015 World Cup but his captaincy stint got off to a disastrous start as England made a miserable first-round exit.
The critics wanted blood. They felt England was playing way too old fashioned cricket and needed new vision.
Morgan took that failure and the criticism head on and changed the landscape of England cricket and instilled the confidence of playing fearless attacking cricket that catapulted England to number one in the rankings. It was under his captaincy that England produced lion-hearted performances to own the top three highest totals ever of 498, 481 and 444 in ODIs.
England is the country where the game of cricket originated, but they had never tasted success at the World Cup despite making the finals on three occasions. But come 2019 and Morgan gave the English fans what they had been waiting for decades – their maiden ODI World Cup title with a scintillating win against New Zealand in the summit clash.
He is in fact the only England player to have won both limited-overs World Cups, having helped Paul Collingwood’s side emerge as the champions in the 2010 edition of the T20 World Cup in the Caribbean.
“Eoin has been the most influential white-ball cricketer England have ever had,” the cricketing fraternity will surely echo former England captain Nasser Hussain’s views on Morgan.
Many fans are calling Morgan’s decision to retire from international cricket with immediate effect a dignified and graceful way of exiting the game.
Jos Buttler is tipped to be the next limited overs captain of English cricket.