England environment 'not good' for Morgan
Those championing the cause of Irish cricket have been heard louder than ever since their victory over West Indies on Monday and now a second voice has bemoaned the allegiance of Eoin Morgan.
Kyle McCallan, who played 39 ODIs for Ireland from 2006 to 2009, claimed the England environment is "not good" for Morgan and he would be excelling if he were part of the Ireland squad at the World Cup.
McCallan follows Ireland selector Alan Lewis in raising displeasure over Morgan's decision to play for England. Lewis described the situation as "irritating".
Morgan has seen the pressure ramp up since taking over as England one-day captain just before Christmas and has made four ducks in his last five innings - a score of just 2 breaking the sequence.
And the pressure created by the UK media is hindering Morgan, according to McCallan: "If Eoin Morgan was currently in the Irish side he would be excelling," he told the Slog Sweep podcast. "He is a world-class cricketer, we saw that only recently with a hundred against India.
"I just think the environment that the English cricket team live in, it's not good in terms of getting the best out of the players. The media build them up and then like to knock them down."
England were hammered in their World Cup opener against Australia, while Ireland enjoyed a not-entirely unexpected victory over West Indies. The Ireland squad have become used to punching above their weight with few changes from the side that tipped up England so spectacularly four years ago.
"Looking at the Ireland XI that played against West Indies there's only three that weren't there in 2011," McCallan said. "Whereas there were only three that were in the England squad. So there's flux and change in the England camp compared to the stability in the Irish camp, forced stability maybe because we don't have the resources they have.
"But I have no doubt that if Eoin Morgan were playing for Ireland he would be exhibiting a completely different brand of confidence compared to at the moment with the significant pressure he's under."
McCallan, who played for Ireland at the 2007 World Cup, had a further dig at the ECB and their reluctance to fully embrace their neighbours.
"We have a huge degree of admiration in the UK," McCallan said. "They agree here that these results are no longer a shock and we're no longer minnows. There's sympathy for the Irish cause and they see the progress that's been made since 2007.
"But the ECB have a vested interest in how much Irish cricket develops. We still have two of our own not available for Ireland because they've chosen the English route and it's another barrier. From the ECB's point of view, they want to maintain the status quo and have the best of both worlds."