England news

Root replaces Morgan in contracts list

Andrew McGlashan and George Dobell

October 22, 2013

Comments: 47 | Text size: A | A

The day before England fly out to Australia for the Ashes tour, the ECB have confirmed the recipients of central contracts for the next 12 months after protracted talks which began during the summer. There is one change among the 11 from the previous batch with Eoin Morgan losing his deal and Joe Root, who plays all three formats for England, included in his place.

The make-up of the current deals will run until 2019 - although individual contracts still last 12 months - and they are understood to be considerably enhanced terms which the Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA) were pushing hard for throughout the process. They had claimed in February that England players were "substantially underpaid" compared to their counterparts in Australia.

The initial timescale had been to announce the new contracts when the Ashes squad was named last month, but the final negotiations took extra time although there was no suggestion of talks breaking down at any stage. As part of the raft of alterations made to enable players to increase their chances of maximising their earning opportunities, England's home Tests will be pushed back to June from May to allow a longer period for lucrative IPL appearances.

Angus Porter, the PCA chief executive, said: "I am pleased that we have secured a fair and appropriate long term agreement, and have done so via amicable and constructive dialogue."

Joe Root flicks one away on his way to a fifty, England v Australia, 5th Investec Test, The Oval, 3rd day, August 23, 2013
Rapid rise: Joe Root is the one new face among England's centrally contracted players © AFP

Morgan's absence is of no surprise. Although he remains integral to both limited-overs formats - and captained England against Australia last month in Alastair Cook's absence - he has drifted well down the pecking order for a Test berth after opting for a full stint at the IPL and has not made a first-class 50 in more than a year.

His potential route back onto the Test side would be at No. 6, a position that no-one has cemented since Paul Collingwood's retirement after the 2010-11 Ashes. That the contracts list only includes five batsman confirms that the final berth in the middle-order remains up for grabs. There are three potential candidates in the Ashes squad with Gary Ballance, Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes vying for a place in the Brisbane Test.

Root's elevation to a full central contract is a natural progression after a year in which he has rapidly become a fixture in all three formats. This time 12 months ago he had not made his debut for England, but since his first appearance against India in Nagpur - where he scored a vital, composed 73 - he has produced key contributions in 20-over, 50-over and Test cricket even though his elevation to opener in the summer's Ashes proved a challenge for him.

England have resisted contracting extra fast-bowling resources, such as Boyd Rankin or Chris Tremlett, but despite his inconsistent year Steven Finn remains on the list.

Geoff Miller, the national selector who was presiding over his final selection of contracts before stepping down, said: "Contracts are on-going recognition for those players who have regularly been selected for England and have performed consistently, as well as those players we feel are likely to play an important role for England over the next year.

"Congratulations to Joe Root who is the one addition to the list of players awarded a central contract and this reflects the important role Joe has played for England since making his international debut last year and will I'm sure continue to play across all formats."

The outgoing managing director England Cricket, Hugh Morris, said: "We are delighted to have concluded a six-year deal and to have all contractual issues resolved in advance of what we all hope to be another successful Ashes tour. We thank the PCA, Team England Player Partnership and the ECB Board for reaching this agreement which now allows the players to focus solely on cricket, not just during this tour, but for a considerable period beyond."

Central contracts James Anderson, Ian Bell, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Steven Finn, Kevin Pietersen, Matt Prior, Joe Root, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott

Andrew McGlashan is a senior assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo; George Dobell is senior correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Hasan21 on (October 27, 2013, 2:23 GMT)

I can't understand why morgan was out listed from central contracts.If that is due to UAE tour ,all batsmen should be out listed except cookie!I remembered he hit a century against India before that tour. This is a heart breaking news for him.it will affect to his mentality in ODI's and T2o's also. England is bilking Irish players. I am not an England supporter.But I praise Morgan because he is one of few gentlemen in England team

Posted by Tigg on (October 24, 2013, 8:55 GMT)

No suprise. Morgan just isn't very good at multi-day cricket.

Posted by   on (October 23, 2013, 19:38 GMT)

Tremlett's in over Onions simply because he's tall. 70-odd wickets clearly means nothing compared to an extra few inches.

Posted by jb633 on (October 23, 2013, 17:10 GMT)

@nurdleoffpads, have you seen Tremlett bowl this year though. I was a big fan of his and feel sorry for the fact his injuries have prevented him from reaching his potential but those hazy days are over for him. He has lost about 5 mph and therefore the zip has gone. I watched a fair bit of him at Surrey and he failed to impress once all year. I can't fathom why he is in this squad. His last good performance was 3 years ago.

Posted by nurdleoffpads on (October 23, 2013, 15:40 GMT)

@jb633 Not sure what there is to criticise about Tremlett's selection, who has performed better in tests Tremlett or Onions? Morgan has never proved himself in tests either.

Posted by Harmony111 on (October 23, 2013, 14:19 GMT)

I am not aware of Morgan's exact record in the last 1 year but I don't think he did too badly. A contract is a major boost to the confidence of a player and I think Morgan is an essential player in 2 of the 3 formats for Eng and so deserved some faith by the board even if his performance had dipped a bit. Guys like Morgan & Butler make the Eng LOC team quite innovative & reliable. I think Morgan should feel a bit sore after not being given a contract.

On the other hand Root should be very happy at getting a contract and I am happy for him. He is more mature than his age and has a very nice technique. If he is looked after well then he should go a long way. Making projections is tempting and Root has the looks of a top class player.

Healthy roots usually grow downwards & reach lows but if this Root remains healthy then he should grow upwards & reach many highs. :-p

Posted by JG2704 on (October 23, 2013, 10:44 GMT)

@IndiaNumeroUno on (October 23, 2013, 6:42 GMT) Out of these 11 players the only player IPL will definitely be interested in is KP. With his recent fitness record I could see England objecting to him playing in IPL despite it not coininciding with England tests. Finn may receive interest and maybe Jimmy but probably not. Swann is a player IPL franchises should be interested in but he went unsold last time and I can see Eng not allowing him to participate anyway. The players (SF specialists) I'm most interested in are the Notts duo Hales and Lumb (and whether Notts will allow them to do IPL next year as they objected this year) and Buttler. Buttler has said that he was desperate to play test cricket as a WK for England. IPL would improve his SF game and if on form he would light up the crowds but it will not help him get in the test side. Also would any IPL franchise have room for him as a WK?

Posted by   on (October 23, 2013, 9:46 GMT)

Send him back to Ireland...

Posted by JG2704 on (October 23, 2013, 8:19 GMT)

@landl47 on (October 22, 2013, 21:24 GMT) ctd This is why I said I'd not have been surprised had they given Morgan a CC - to keep him on side etc. I wonder how Morgan will react? He can't really look at himself in the mirror (like Nick/Onions) and say I put the maximum in to try and regain my test spot and I don't feel he should have any grievances. If he went back to Middx and scored regularly averaging 45+ then maybe he'd have more of a reason to be upset. I suppose if they gave Morgan a CC would they then feel they'd have to follow suit with Jos who is in a similar position - being a shoe in in ODIs/T20s but nowhere near the test side

Posted by JG2704 on (October 23, 2013, 8:19 GMT)

@landl47 on (October 22, 2013, 21:24 GMT) Morgan has only captained when Cook/Broad have been absent. But re the T20s to me it seems silly to give the captaincy to a guy who they'll rest alot. Personally I think the captain should be (barring injuries) playing every game and as I have said before I wouldn't mind seeing none of the test players playing ODI/T20s as opposed to chopping and changing so much. And it's totally against what they do with the test side.

Posted by JG2704 on (October 23, 2013, 8:18 GMT)

@voyrison on (October 22, 2013, 22:23 GMT) Yeah , I kind of agree but I guess you were ok about the Irish football side of the 90s - the most successful era of Irish football - made up mostly (and I mean mostly) non Irish players ? - mostly English.

Posted by   on (October 23, 2013, 8:00 GMT)

Test cricket will always be a tougher test for batsmen compared to ODI hit and giggle. That's why Morgan struggles at the highest level. No soppy restricted fields in Tests and the best bowlers play in Tests as opposed to a mixture in limited overs of proper bowlers and bits and pieces bowlers. This is where ODI and 20/20 rubbish has performed no service to proper cricket.

Posted by IndiaNumeroUno on (October 23, 2013, 6:42 GMT)

Now that an IPL window has been created in the ECB calendar it will be interesting to see if any English players actually get picked by any of the IPL franchises, or will it only be Welsh, Irish & SA origin ones.

Posted by class9ryan on (October 23, 2013, 1:30 GMT)

Not surprising, England have better Test batsmen than Eoin Morgan. We have to accept this. Eoin Morgan should fly to South Africa for one proper domestic 4 day seaso. The domestic season normally does not coincide with England's international season by much nor the IPL. In simpler words, he should be doing what Graham Onions has been doing.

Posted by   on (October 23, 2013, 0:41 GMT)

Yes; England do not need 'more guns'. Not even 'Kerry guns" . They just need to be 'rooted' to realities. Down to earth. Alastair has cooked up the right atmosphere to make the entire team well grounded. This is one of the best phases of England, in recent years.

Hope, they also get rid of a peculiar habit: the moment an ODI comes up, they had a tendency to turn back to Dernback! Of course, India's Dhoni sticking to the perennial non-performer Ishant Sharma, is the only other addiction in World Cricket, worse than this "Dernback Syndrome"

Posted by voyrison on (October 22, 2013, 22:23 GMT)

It is not right that Irish players can play for England. Ireland will never be a good side if its best players are always taken away.

Posted by Lmaotsetung on (October 22, 2013, 22:12 GMT)

@ Nutcutlet - Swanny more likely to call it quits after the ashes than KP although I've been preaching about KP's retirement post ashes for a year now. Swann is itching to make some money before he can no longer play as he hasn't had the earning power of KP and got a late start in the England team. His surgery this past winter might just have inched him towards being an IPL mercenary imo and unlike his best buddy Jimmy Anderson, he's not going for any significant records. Win lose or draw I feel a lot will be happening inside the England setup after the Ashes down under.

Posted by landl47 on (October 22, 2013, 21:24 GMT)

The surprising thing to me is that the PCA is apparently happy with England only awarding 11 contracts. As anyone posting here regularly knows, I'm a strong supporter of test cricket and Morgan is nowhere near the test side, but to give a player the England captaincy in two formats (he has also captained the T20 side several times, most notably in India in 2012) and yet not give him a CC seems outlandish to me. If he is viewed as important to England's chances in the WC in 2015, I would have thought a CC would be an essential part of the deal.

Otherwise, it's pretty much as expected. Root had an inconsistent Ashes, but he's only 22; he still top scored in two of England's innings and the lack of success of the opening partnership was as much down to Cook as it was to Root. I thought he played too much cricket this year and should have been given a rest, he looked worn out by the end of the Summer.

No-one else has solidified a test place, though YJB might be a little unlucky.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (October 22, 2013, 20:43 GMT)

re unrealistic hopes Morgan could play for Ireland again, I think that unlike Joyce Morgan is properly in the blood stream of England. There is no way back.It would be wrong for any number of reasons. He has to work hard and set his sights on achieving the required standard again. He would be very wise to do this.

Posted by JG2704 on (October 22, 2013, 19:59 GMT)

@jb633 - see your points with Compton seemingly banished from consideration and re Onions and totally agree that he should be in the touring party.Add to their non selection - choosing Tremlett and Carberry over them is to me baffling The difference between these 2 and Morgan is that Compton and Onions have been knocking hard to get back into the England side. Onions has been immense for Durham for years and Nick went away, knuckled down and even guested for another county in a bid to (at the time) keep his place. Can anyone say that Morgan has done the same for Middlesex? Re UAE - I said at the time that Bell was by far the worst of our bad batsmen and no batsman succeeded in that series. So for me you have to look at each player individually.Could Onions have done any more - definitely not.Could Nick have done more - Maybe but he's shown enough IMO. Could Morgan have done more - definitely?Also his test runs came vs a poor Indian attack.Even Bres scored runs in that series

Posted by Sigismund on (October 22, 2013, 19:31 GMT)

England committed with Morgan the howler of picking a player on the basis of his form in pyjamas. This was a golden opportunity - a long, secure run at 6, carried by a flourishing team - for the great middle order player of the future to establish himself. Morgan was given it at the expense of more talented and deserving young players. A shocking and obvious waste, and whoever is responsible will have a lot to answer for when, in a few years' time, the middle order looks thin on experience. The only consolation is that England seem to have learned from the mistake - one which Australia look set to repeat yet again in coming weeks.

Posted by Sigismund on (October 22, 2013, 19:20 GMT)

Frankly, it's astonishing it has taken them this long to push him out of the boat. He has been patent baggage for years. After bullying a few runs early on, it quickly became apparent that he hadn't the talent for the test. On a very strange (but in hindsight something other) first day at Trent Bridge in 2010, he was gifted a ton by Pakistan which extended his awful career a good deal. At the ground, I simply couldn't fathom the plan of bowling Kaneria and Malik, each leaking around 6 an over, all afternoon; meanwhile, Mohammed Aamer (rip), who had been hugely dangerous in the morning, spent the rest of the day with his hands in his pockets at fine leg. Then he was picked in 2011 ahead of Bopara, who had spurned the IPL to score a mountain of runs for Essex, on the basis of one bash against the schoolboys - and was awful thereafter (9th in Eng averages v India).

Posted by hhillbumper on (October 22, 2013, 18:13 GMT)

Morgan is a test quality batsman.By Australian standards anyway. Cheer up maybe you can get him a new passport and pretend he is an Aussie.

He is inventive but does not have the talent for the longer game.He should tout his wares round the world as should Hales.Would point out both are useless at First class level so what does that say re 20/20.

Posted by JG2704 on (October 22, 2013, 18:03 GMT)

I would not have been surprised either way re Morgan getting/not getting a CC. There are cases for there being even less players on CCs. As already pointed out Finn seems out of favour and Bres is currently out of action so we wait to see what he's like when he returns. There's also a case for Jonny being CCed - he seems to put the effort in and in my eyes was not as bad as some made out this summer

Posted by JG2704 on (October 22, 2013, 18:03 GMT)

@Colm Mooneyon (October 22, 2013, 14:23 GMT) I said several months ago that I could see Morgan reverting to play for his home side again. To be fair he's not deserving of a central contract as he has done little to even try to get back into the England side. Time will tell where he goes from here. If he's serious about playing test cricket in the foreseeable future then he has to stay and put the time/effort in with Middlesex. If he chooses IPL over Middlesex then to me that shows how serious he is about regaining his CC etc. It may be best for all parties if he does that as he'd also be free to play all the T20 tournaments. I guess it depends on how much he gets paid at such events compared to what he gets for playing SFs for England and how much he wants/backs himself for a test return

Posted by Nutcutlet on (October 22, 2013, 17:53 GMT)

Points arising: Morgan's Test future comes to an end with this withdrawl of a central contract. To me he seems half way to becoming one of those itinerant t20 specialists, like Gayle & Pollard. Good luck to him. The handful of England players who are picked up by the IPL (probably not more than three) had better make sure that there is adequate compensation available to the ECB in case of injury... I just wonder if the Ashes in Oz will prove KP's swan-song? He may join Morgan in dropping in for various t20s round the globe. Most IPL-ers will not be centrally contracted anyway: Hales, Lumb & Willey look the most likely. I'm delighted to see Test matches pushed back to start in June. Tests in May were always a nonsense & grossly unfair on touring sides. @ Posted by Auchithya Weerasinghe: your comments are hardly fair. No robbery has taken place as Ireland does not play Test cricket. Indeed, England has provided a number of Irish players the chance of playing Test cricket. Be positive!

Posted by whatawicket on (October 22, 2013, 17:35 GMT)

the central contacts named above are purely for test. morgan was thought enough of to be the odi captain. so his inclusion in the lesser over game is assured. it was surprising he was in the test contracts last year so cannot see that as been a problem. he will play more short form games for England, make more money. so why would he want to go back to Ireland

Posted by CodandChips on (October 22, 2013, 17:20 GMT)

I meant it loosens the grip on Morgan. Wouldn't have been a great surprise had Rankin been given a contract to keep him loyal, considering how much England rate him.

Posted by CodandChips on (October 22, 2013, 16:28 GMT)

Matt Prior is a surprise for me considering he only plays tests (and is struggling to do that at the moment).Most names (including Root) pick themselves. No problem with letting Morgan go but it does tighten our grip on him (which is probably partly why they made him captain for the ODIs). Glad ECB stuck by Finn because I believe he could be something special in a couple of years.

Posted by Harlequin. on (October 22, 2013, 16:01 GMT)

ECB 'dumping Morgan on the rubbish heap'? He did that himself when he opted for the IPL instead of concentrating on test cricket. He is still an important cog in the ODI team, but the central contracts are focused on test cricket not short form.

Posted by MarkTaffin on (October 22, 2013, 15:59 GMT)

Would have left Finn off the list until he'd at least proved himself an automatic choice on the bouncy pitches in Australia, incentivised him even. Because if Tremmers or Rankin leap-frog him - as is perfectly possible - he might end up a well-paid tabard-wearing drinks waiter for 12 months.

Ah, the ECB. So much money, so little sense

Posted by rubbada on (October 22, 2013, 15:50 GMT)

Morgan is out of the test picture for the moment. He is a central figure in the other two formats. It is unlikely in the extreme, that he will move back to Ireland until perhaps the twilight of his career.

Posted by   on (October 22, 2013, 15:40 GMT)

Morgan, betrayed Ireland and dumped by England. When will these associates learn to stay and FIGHT for the cause to end Cricket membership rather then sign up for Full Members? they will be the first to be discarded from any nation!

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (October 22, 2013, 15:30 GMT)

Absolutely no surprise at all - Morgan should be nowhere near the test team. England must pick test-standard players for tests, and leave short-format specialists like Morgan to short formats only. Not all players can play across all three formats, and it's a relief England at least are beginning to understand this.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (October 22, 2013, 15:17 GMT)

How much of this is based on number of appearances and how much on a decision making process? Has not Bairstow played enough matches? I suspect in Root's case he will get picked till he succeeds,as the identified 2nd opener. Morgan though a great player, has cooked his own goose by limiting first class appearances. Surely the other contract grades will appear. For one player the lead in games downunder will be critical-there will be three vying for the spot, but Bairstow is the man in possession.

Posted by   on (October 22, 2013, 15:10 GMT)

Good news for Australia that Root is in! Bunny! Bairstow too! It's a team of bunnies and wide machines that England are sending to Australia!

Posted by   on (October 22, 2013, 15:05 GMT)

Typical ECB, robbing Ireland of their finest players, exploiting them and then throwing them in the rubbish heap. First Joyce, now Morgan. I very much hope Rankin does not go the same way.

Posted by CricketMaan on (October 22, 2013, 15:04 GMT)

While ECB is certainly top professional unit, keen to see how long this juggernaut longs! All great teams (note, England is not yet great like Windies or Aus) have had great long run followed by long slump. Englang probably have had the greatest long slump before this small jump in thier status! They have certainly achieved respect winning in sub continent and all around the world, now the second phase of repeating those performances. At home, they for sure in current form and fitness will ease past most teams on any given day. Its thier sustainance outside will determine thier greatness. Also, they still are an average ODI team outside England and now have a chance to correct that in coming days. Good Luck.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (October 22, 2013, 15:01 GMT)

@Colm Moone, while it might be nice for Ireland to have Morgan back, I can't see that there's any motivation for him to return. If patriotism was a major factor then he never would have left. He's said that he wants to get back into the England Test side but his actions belie that and he looks well down the list. Even so, returning to Ireland would mean sitting out two years and then playing fewer games against inferior opposition for less money, so that's hardly an attractive package. Playing for England in 2015, Morgan has a chance winning the WC, albeit England won't be favourite. With Ireland the best that could be hoped for would be to maybe upset a full member.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (October 22, 2013, 14:57 GMT)

@Aqeel A Qureshi, not sure why it's ridiculous. Many thought it odd that Morgan was centrally-contracted last year, given that he didn't look close to making the Test side.

Posted by lankymanky on (October 22, 2013, 14:46 GMT)

So are the ECB scrapping the incremental contracts for the limited overs players like Morgan, Bopara and Buttler in order to pay the "considerably enhanced terms which the Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA) were pushing hard for throughout the process."??? If this is true I think it is a big shame and will start to create an us and them feel in the one day sides who no longer feel part of the ECB programme. Also paints the PCA in a bad light as it looks after only it's elite members.

Then again maybe I am jumping the gun.

Posted by EdGreen on (October 22, 2013, 14:46 GMT)

Seems a logical group - no other bat has shown enough in tests, and Morgan, who wash thrust into test cricket unwisely certainly failed to settle and rarely performed when the side needed him.

Posted by Vic010 on (October 22, 2013, 14:38 GMT)

@Aqeel A Qureshi - Aren't central contracts for people who at least play test cricket? I think this is why Morgan lost his contract. He at the moment is not playing well even for Middlesex at 4 day cricket.

Posted by   on (October 22, 2013, 14:23 GMT)

Would Morgan consider a return to Ireland? - He would only need two years to qualify again. Since the rule change, it had been reduced from four to two years.

Would be a considerable boost to have him for the 2015 WC

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (October 22, 2013, 14:16 GMT)

As you'd expect, Morgan is no longer in the test team. All the rest pick themselves.

Posted by   on (October 22, 2013, 14:02 GMT)

Ridiculous from ECB, player like Morgan has lost his deal,

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Andrew McGlashanClose
Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
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