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Morgan explains how the IPL is ‘a vehicle’ for the benefit of England cricket

Wisden free-to-air
by Wisden Staff 2-minute read

Eoin Morgan, the England limited-overs captain, has revealed how he had to convince Andrew Strauss, the former ECB director of cricket, to allow England players to participate in the IPL in the lead-up to World Cup 2019.

After their disappointing exit in 2015, when England infamously lost to Bangladesh to be eliminated from the tournament at the group stage, Morgan, Strauss and Trevor Bayliss, the coach, oversaw England’s stunning turnaround in white-ball cricket, which culminated in their maiden World Cup title win at home last year.

Part of the overhaul was to reverse the policy regarding participation in the IPL, and Morgan and Bayliss, who has coached teams in the IPL, had to convince Strauss of the benefits of their players playing in the tournament.

“Playing in IPL was part of Strauss’s plan,” Morgan told Harsha Bhogle on Cricbuzz in Conversation. “I pushed him to make that call because in international bilateral series, it’s so difficult to replicate the pressure that’s there in Champions Trophy or the World Cup.

“He asked me what’s different? One, you play as an overseas player so there’s huge expectations. If you play in IPL, there’s different pressure and different expectation. Sometimes you can’t get away with it and you have to find a way to deal with it.

“It takes you out of your comfort zone. It is completely beneficial to play in IPL. That was a big mindset shift for us. And I hope Indian cricket is alright with us because we are using it as a vehicle to try and grow players.”

Strauss’s appointment to the ECB set-up, Morgan said, was hugely beneficial to how he wanted things to progress. “It really was the trigger to a lot of things happening in English cricket and one of the most important things was the appointment of Andrew Strauss,” said Morgan.

“He had watched everything in the two years leading into the 2015 World Cup and wasn’t surprised by the way we played and the outcome. It was humiliating the way we played and the fashion we were knocked out was humiliating.

“The two priorities were 50 overs cricket and Test cricket. And they would sit alongside each other, which has never happened before in England cricket. Him coming on gave me a boost. Keeping me on as captain, and then giving me a blank sheet of paper and what do we need to do to bridge the gap in between to where we are now in 2015 to being competitive in 2019.”

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