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May 20, 2011
Eoin Morgan will return to the IPL if he isn't selected in the England squad for the first Test against Sri Lanka at Cardiff. On the opening day of the England Lions match at Derby he hit an unbeaten 156 but it is unlikely to be enough to earn him the No. 6 spot.
His franchise, Kolkata Knight Riders, are well on track to reach the play-offs and Morgan revealed he'll be straight back on a plane to India if he isn't needed by his country next week. The tour game against Sri Lanka ends on May 22, and the England squad will be announced the same day. So, if not selected, Morgan could make it back in time for the IPL play-offs which start May 24.
"If I'm not picked I'll make other plans," he told reporters at Derby. "We are looking good at the IPL so if we make the final I'll fly back out."
Morgan hasn't made a huge impression at this year's IPL with 137 runs from nine innings and a top score of 66. He had limited opportunities with the bat but was then moved up to open which afforded him a little more time in the middle.
However, he is adamant that his experience in India has made him a better player. "The conditions out there are difficult and I've learnt a lot, but it was tough," he said. "I got very few opportunities early on so it was all part of the learning curve."
Although Morgan's return to the IPL will be with the blessing of the ECB, he is still taking a gamble because if any of England's top six suffer an injury in the days leading into the first Test he won't be around to take their place.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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