T20 World Cup: 2019 World Cup win gave players a bigger platform to tell stories, says Eoin Morgan | Cricket News
That is only the tactical side of things though.
Being captain of a side with players of diverse backgrounds and faiths, the recent developments surrounding the racial discrimination allegations of former Yorkshire captain Azeem Rafiq and the shambolic way it was handled by the county also tested his leadership within the group.
Did he think it wise to shelter his players from these developments ahead of an important knockout game? “No, we definitely don’t shelter anything that’s going on, particularly things as serious and as relevant to our squad as anything that we’ve ever done, really,” Morgan defiantly stated, while addressing the media virtually in Abu Dhabi.
Through his style of play and that of his team’s, Morgan has been clear that he wants the future generations to remember this England team, fondly. He also wants people to remember this team because it embraces diversity.
“I think in a time of change, all opinions and examples need to be heard in order to find the best solution in trying to move forward and make things better for the future generations,” he said.
Morgan says as England players, they talk about discrimination a lot because “In our group there is a lot of diversity. We try and share our stories as much as we can.”
He says winning the 2019 World Cup placed a greater responsibility within the group to be strong role models. “After winning the 2019 World Cup and becoming a more formidable side with a bigger platform, that has allowed us to feel comfortable enough to continue to tell our different stories along the road and ultimately feel comfortable within our own skin to play great cricket on the field but also to be a really strong role model on the field,” he stressed.
Morgan knows that young kids from multi-cultural backgrounds will be watching Wednesday’s semifinal and dreaming about being in the players’ position one day.
“We all want to be able to share our dream that we’ve dreamt about for so long as kids and have been so looking to live that dream. We want young kids to be able to picture that but also picture a pathway in a way to be able to achieve it. So the things we do during this World Cup and beyond are very important in contributing to that.”
Back to the cricket. Morgan says even if his injury-ravaged side gets to the final, it will be a huge feather in its cap as it has lost key players like Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes, Roy and Mills. He says reaching the final will also help showcase the depth of English cricket.
“It would be a strong representation of what the 50-over side has achieved since 2015. We had a glimpse of that during our summer when we had to replace 15 players against Pakistan and they ended up beating Pakistan’s strongest ODI team 3-0. If we could achieve something like that ….we might only get to the final and lose, but getting to the final would be a hell of an achievement.”