The Hundred could save England international teams, says Eoin Morgan

Eoin Morgan says the often controversial novelty tournament The Hundred has the potential to save the England squad from the brain drain away from national teams and national tournaments and into lucrative international franchise events which are already beginning to have an impact on other sides.

After retiring from international cricket following England’s White Ball tour of the Netherlands in June and moving into the commentary box, Morgan has played just two legs in England this summer, both in the Twenty20 Blast. But in the Hundred, whose second season kicks off next Wednesday, the 35-year-old will combine continued Sky duties with captaining London Spirit, and he believes competition could become vitally important to retaining top talent. nationals.

“There are already tournaments in the world that are bigger than many countries’ fixtures, bilateral series and everything they play in between. [ICC events]”, Morgane said. “At the end of the day, this is already happening and we are probably behind the eight ball. We are very, very lucky that the Hundred has had the success that it has, so we can develop the product and involve the players.

Although the Blast has operated since 2003, Morgan said it took the Hundred to insulate English cricket against the prospect of its greatest talents being tried elsewhere. “For most of my career I’ve been a big advocate for players who go overseas and play in big tournaments and take on different roles, either as one of the senior players in the squad or as the “one of many foreign players in a team,” he said. “There’s a different level of expectation about that. But when we have such a good tournament at home now, there’s no there’s no reason for it to happen the same way.

Although the Indian Premier League, the world’s biggest and most lucrative franchise tournament, recently secured broadcast deals worth more than £5 billion, Morgan said “we’re still very early in the marketing of franchise cricket and T20 cricket”, and that their growth is likely to come at the expense of international play.

“For me, international cricket has always been what I have strived to play in, and I loved the opportunity to play for Ireland and England. It allowed me to play against the best in the world. If that changes and the scales are tipped, I think it’s tipped in one direction.

“The only thing the franchise model takes away from international cricket is a bit of control, and ideally a franchise would want to control the greatest asset of any country, which is the players. Once you have that, what does the international cricket What viability does it bring The only thing it brings at the moment is [the chance to] the best play against the best most of the time. But once you take that off…”

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One of the undoubted impacts of the Hundred last year was a career boost for Liam Livingstone, who had only made two international appearances before 2021 but whose success in various T20 leagues over the previous winter capped off with a series of astonishing performances for beaten runners-up Birmingham Phoenix and has since become a key member of England’s white-ball teams. Morgan believes there is a chance another player could use this year’s Hundred as a stepping stone into the T20 World Cup squad – but only if he is a bowler.

“I would be hard pressed to see the majority of the hitters involved in the setup being replaced,” Morgan said. “But Jos Buttler identifies death bowling as something we need to improve and in the spin department there are clearly question marks over replacing Adil Rashid. So through the Hundred is probably the biggest opportunity for guys to try and make a difference.

Eoin Morgan will take part in Sky Sports’ Every Ball Counts event in Manchester on Saturday from 12pm-4pm; for more details go here

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