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Captain Morgan salutes Irish game

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Eoin Morgan & Will Porterfield

Eoin Morgan, left, said he is excited about leading England for the first time, against Will Porterfield's Ireland side in Dublin tomorrow

Eoin Morgan believes his selection as England captain for tomorrow’s one-day international with Ireland in his native Dublin is a “huge compliment” to Irish cricket.

The 24-year-old leads his adopted country for the first time in the one-off ODI, which precedes England’s NatWest Series versus India, in the city of his birth and against the side with whom he made his name.

Morgan had played 23 one-day internationals for Ireland when he was first selected for England in May 2009. He has gone on to become a central cog in their limited-overs batting.

His elevation to captain in the absence of the rested Alastair Cook and Stuart Broad represents another significant achievement but, while many in Ireland bemoan the loss of their country’s most talented player, Morgan thinks his own progress should be seen in a positive light.

“It’s a huge honour and privilege to be in the position I am at the moment, for this game in particular,” said Morgan, who led Ireland Under-19s against their England counterparts in 2006.

“I wouldn’t have imagined it (would come against Ireland). It’s exciting, though. I certainly enjoy playing against Ireland and I’ve done it a number of times.

“I think it’s a huge compliment (to Ireland) and I can vouch for that.

“I played with Ireland when Ed Joyce made his debut for England, played in a World Cup for England, scored a hundred in Sydney for England.

“They were proud moments for Irish cricket. You can pride yourself on producing guys who can play at the highest level.”

Eoin Morgan, Kevin O'Brien, Ian Bell & Niall O'Brien

Morgan, left, played for Ireland against England at Guyana in the 2007 World Cup Super Eights, a 48-run win for his adopted country

Morgan was absent with injury in March when a Kevin O’Brien-inspired Ireland defeated England in the World Cup at Bangalore.

His squad includes just one man who experienced that shock reversal, the fit-again Jonathan Trott, with a host of star names rested following the npower Test series whitewash over India.

Alongside Cook and Broad, the likes of James Anderson, Ian Bell, Tim Bresnan and Graeme Swann - not to mention team director Andy Flower - have all been excused the trip to Clontarf.

That leaves fielding coach Richard Halsall in charge of team affairs and four uncapped players - Ben Stokes, Jonathan Bairstow, Scott Borthwick and James Taylor - included. But Morgan rejected suggestions the selection betrayed complacency on England’s part.

“With the intensity of cricket we’ve played in the last 12 months and the cricket ahead of us, this game is a window of opportunity to give some of the senior guys a rest. There has to be an understanding,” he said.

“The cricket we’ve played and the level we’ve played it at takes a hell of a lot out of you.

“And take nothing away from the guys who are coming in. A lot of them have already played and the four new guys who have come in are the brightest and biggest talents in English cricket at the moment. No-one should be disappointed with the side we’ve come with.

“The side is always hungry. With our ethos in the team, we strive to win and to do it for each other. It’s why we thrive in the Test arena and what we’re looking to do in one-day cricket as well.”

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