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World Cup 2011

Morgan to miss World Cup with fractured finger

Andrew Miller at Heathrow

February 8, 2011

Comments: 77 | Text size: A | A

Eoin Morgan, England's star one-day batsman, has been ruled out of the World Cup due to a broken middle finger on his left hand, and Ravi Bopara has been brought into the squad in his place. England's coach Andy Flower announced the news at a press conference at Heathrow Airport on England's return from Australia, and confirmed that Morgan would undergo surgery that would keep him out of the entire tournament.

"His [Morgan's] finger needs to be operated on, so that's a serious loss to us," Flower said. "He's been a very influential limited-overs performer for us since he joined the England team. Ravi Bopara, who is a very exciting young cricketer in his own right, is going to be joining us and is flying back from the West Indies where he is playing with the England Lions. He'll be arriving in the country tomorrow and joining us on the flight to Dhaka."

The news of Morgan's unavailability comes as a serious blow to England as he has been one of their most valuable players in ODIs over the past two years, something his captain Andrew Strauss recognised. "For the last 12 to 18 months, he's been the stand-out batsman for us in one-day cricket," Strauss told the press at Heathrow. "We all see the World Cup as a forum for showcasing your skills, so he's bitterly disappointed to be missing out. But that's the nature of the beast: you are going to get injuries. Unfortunately, his has come along at a bad time, but thankfully he's a young bloke and is going to get opportunities in the future. For the time being we will have to make do without him, but it's something we are prepared for and I'm sure we'll be able to do."

Flower tried putting a positive spin on events, mentioning how Bopara's bowling might be an asset. "No-one is irreplaceable and Ravi is a very talented and exciting player, and brings a bit of medium-pace bowling to help the captain in those middle overs," Flower said. "We are confident that the 15 guys who we have will gel together and perform powerfully."

Bopara was not a part of the England ODI squad for the series in Australia, and played only four ODIs in 2010, with a best of 45 not out from 16 balls against Bangladesh at Edgbaston. He did score two half-centuries in India the last time England toured the country in 2008, and has played in subcontinent conditions during the IPL, in which he played for Kings XI Punjab.

"[Bopara] hasn't had a chance to play for us recently; he has been playing a lot of cricket around the world and he is desperate to get back in the ranks," said Strauss. "This is his opportunity and we like what he can bring to the game, his ability to clear the ropes in the middle overs is going to be important to us, and he is going to be a worthy addition to the squad."

Morgan sustained the fracture to the middle finger of his left hand during the fourth ODI in Adelaide, but carried on playing for a further two matches in the mistaken belief that it was merely bruised. "He didn't think it was serious at all, but it got worse the more he played and practised," said Flower. "The pain grew worse, and therefore the medical team got onto it and found that it was worse than the bruise originally suggested."

He met with a specialist on Monday, immediately after his arrival back in the UK, and it is understood that the fracture extends up to the knuckle, a problem which increases the risk of dislocation. Morgan was told that surgery was the only viable option, which would keep him on the sidelines for at least six weeks.

England are currently sweating on the fitness of five more members of their 15-man World Cup squad. Paul Collingwood received an injection on Monday, having suffered a back spasm during the penultimate ODI in Sydney. Tim Bresnan is stepping up his training having succumbed to a calf strain, while Ajmal Shahzad's hamstring injury is still causing concern.

Stuart Broad is believed to be on track having torn a stomach muscle back in December, while Graeme Swann is set to test his injured knee in the nets on Tuesday, having missed the latter stages of the Australia tour. "I'm not fully fit but I'm getting there," he told BBC Radio 5 live. "I haven't had a bowl yet. I'm a little bit nervous about it but I should be fine."

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 77 
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Posted by Andrew on (February 11, 2011, 4:52 GMT)

Very Hard Luck on Eoin Morgan - even though he wouldn't have been playing for Ireland I still would have liked to seen him doing well.

Great effort by Cricket Ireland to publicise their upcoming World Cup though, check it out here...


very funny viral of trent johnston

Wishing the Irish team all the best - please get behind us everyone!

Posted by joel on (February 10, 2011, 18:57 GMT)

Good luck ravi , i really hope you have a good tournment . Definetly a nice player to watch Bopara , just difficult to understand why he couldnt press on and secure a permanent position in the England squad . And honestly it would not be an upset to lose to Bangladesh , why even write that !

Posted by M on (February 10, 2011, 4:10 GMT)

This is bad luck for Morgan and England ... As an AUS fan, you always had the sense that with Morgan still to come, anything might still happen... I think Bopara is a good player but doesn't instill the same feelings in oppositions... ... On the injury and scheduling issue, this injury had nothing to do with that... it isn't a fatigue or fitness problem, this was a bad misfortune that could have happened just as easily the first day of a tour ... I guess Bell is breathing easier as it looked for a long time he and Morgan would be competing come World Cup time. Bopara is a reasonable replacement ... but is he the finisher capable of holding it together for Eng ??? I have never got that sense from Bopara before, watching him, you always felt that it might be he would get you 20 - 30 quick runs, but then he would get out... Eng has some depth this time... maybe that will be enough. Again, bad luck on the loss of Morgan ... this WC - will be a war of attrition.

Posted by Anit on (February 10, 2011, 2:21 GMT)

With the kind of performance England showed in the recent one-day series, I don't think they have a chance of winning in subcontinent. They have may non-performers in the team. However, Bopara may do well in the WC.

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 9, 2011, 22:07 GMT)

I think one of tha major problems with the England selectors is that they seem to make judgements on "what might be" (e.g. ..Wright, Bopara, Pietersen, Prior) and "what was".(e.g. Collingwood, Pietersen,) . rather than current form.. Englands WC chances.... not very good.. But there again, no-one gave us a snowball in hells chance of winning the T20 WC... but we did.

Posted by Rod on (February 9, 2011, 20:32 GMT)

Why can't Luke Wright and Tredwell get injured? Surely they should put the team before themselves and allow Cook, Tremlett or even Woakes into the squad. Sheer selfishness on their behalf. Will Bopara help us win the World Cup ? Probably not! He'll fade into the background as usual. It's about time Strauss and Flower made some tough decsions about these serial non performers or do we have to wait for another World Cup to pass us by?

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 9, 2011, 18:44 GMT)

Mohaseen Khan.... All you had to do was click on Ravi Bopara in the article you commented on to ascertain that he was born in Forest Gate, London. How do you expect any comment you make to be taken seriously when you can't be bothered to check the facts before you give us the benefit of your opinion.. If it wasn't so ludicrous it would be hilarious.

Posted by Michael on (February 9, 2011, 16:44 GMT)

It's sad for the tournament as Morgan is arguably the most exciting batsman in the competition, or would have been.Thank God though Engand have other exciting players not least the replacement. For once we do not have to go back to the grey men of yore. I do have wonder why in India Panesar is not the no.2 spinner. There may be occasions when 2 spinners as well as Yardy could play.

Posted by Cricket on (February 9, 2011, 15:57 GMT)

Morgan will be missed greatly by Eng. English middle order might collapse under pressure against spin bowling in the subcontinent and style of morgan could be vital. For those who think england has good bowling attack, think twice. The english pace men are of no use in the subcontinent, specially in BD wkts. Relying too much on Swann can backfire as he is after all an off-spinner and can be attacked on low bounce wkts. I smell bad days for england.

Posted by Girik on (February 9, 2011, 12:31 GMT)

@Mohaseen Khan, Bopara is English not Indian. What you're saying is like saying Mark Taylor is English and Glenn McGrath should be playing for Scotland, not Australia. Or that Michael Jordan is West African.

Bopara is English as they get. Just because his skin colour is different from the majorty doesn't mean squat. We live in the 21st century and many, many people have family/ancestors who were migrants and further ancestors who were from another country. And no I am not English. I am an Aussie with Indian heritage and I follow the cricket for both countries keenly. But if I was talented enough I would represent Australia having been born here. Nobody cares where your parents came from.

Morgan is a different story. He actually is Irish (has an Irish accent, played for them 4 years ago and was born and lived there). So for him it is kind of a natural karma striking back at him. If he didn't switch allegiances he wouldn't have burnt out and will be playing the WC representing Ireland.

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Andrew Miller Andrew Miller was saved from a life of drudgery in the City when his car caught fire on the way to an interview. He took this as a sign and fled to Pakistan where he witnessed England's historic victory in the twilight at Karachi (or thought he did, at any rate - it was too dark to tell). He then joined Wisden Online in 2001, and soon graduated from put-upon photocopier to a writer with a penchant for comment and cricket on the subcontinent. In addition to Pakistan, he has covered England tours in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the World Cup in the Caribbean in 2007
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