Morgan trades sports and cities

ICC Cricket World Cup 2011

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Eoin Morgan

Eoin Morgan brings his individuality to an England net session in Chittagong, his first since belatedly joining the World Cup squad

Eoin Morgan has upgraded from the Champions League to the World Cup, and from Manchester to Chittagong.

He has also switched sports, having given up on his plan to cheer on Manchester United against Marseille next week once he got the call to join his England team-mates on the sub-continent.

Morgan is confident that, despite having played no cricket since a broken finger forced him out of the final match of the one-day series in Australia in early February, he is ready for action.

The left-hander heard on Monday that he would be required to replace Kevin Pietersen, who requires hernia surgery, and it appears to have been no great hardship to forsake next week’s trip to Old Trafford of the football variety.

“I was going to a Champions League match, but that has been cancelled,” said Morgan, who is instead hoping to feature against Bangladesh in Chittagong on Friday.

He is at ease with the expectation of filling Pietersen’s boots, albeit lower down the order.

“It doesn’t really bother me at all,” he added. “I play the exact same role and try and execute my skills as much as I can.

“As long as England are winning I don’t care how much expectation is put on mine or anyone else’s shoulders. I know if I execute my plans then what has happened in the past will continue.

“I have been very successful at number five in the past, and it is my favourite position to bat.

“I find coming in in the middle overs and being a left-hander and playing spin okay is one of the better parts of my game, so I love batting at five.”

Morgan can hardly wait to get started on a high-profile mission which seemed to have passed him by after the injury forced him out of the original squad.

Eoin Morgan

Under the spotlight: Morgan insists the added expectation of replacing Kevin Pietersen will have no bearing on his approach to the game

“It is a huge spectacle in everybody’s career, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that I can put in some performances,” he said.

“I’m delighted. Getting a call from (team director) Andy (Flower) a couple of days ago was a great feeling.

“I have played a World Cup for Ireland,” he added, referring to the 2007 edition when the minnows reached the Super Eight. But all through that World Cup, I said I wanted to play for England, which has always been the bigger picture and bigger plan.

"To come back in and be part of a World Cup squad is very exciting, so it is a dream come true.”

The 24-year-old admits he may have learned a lesson, having failed to realise how serious his injury was when he first hurt himself in Adelaide. He played two more ODIs before it was discovered the finger was broken.

Morgan continued: “At the time I didn’t feel it very much and thought I would be fit enough to bat and field. But as it went on the injury felt worse, and it turned out I had broken the finger.

“When I came back, the first day I arrived in London I saw a specialist and his diagnosis was that I would need an operation, but he wanted to wait a week to see if it would progress and heal.

“After a week he changed his diagnosis, and from there it healed up quite nicely. It is a difficult situation to be in when you want to play so much, and it doesn’t feel as if there is anything wrong.

“I didn’t see any need to stop. It was just when it got progressively worse and I wasn’t able to grip the bat.”

While Morgan insists he is ready to play if needed in England’s penultimate Group B fixture this week, he is also confident Chris Tremlett, who is set to be confirmed as Stuart Broad’s replacement, will be up to the task.

“To lose two world-class players in Kevin and Stuart is going to be a big loss,” Morgan said.

“But in the past - as we have seen, maybe in the Ashes series in recent times - guys have come in and filled other guys’ places, done very well and we have gone on to do exceptionally well.”

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