LONDON: Eoin Morgan confirmed his retirement from international cricket and stepped down as England's white-ball captain after more than seven years on Tuesday. After England's dismal failure at the 2015 Cricket World Cup, Morgan spearheaded the team's white-ball transformation to a bold, attacking approach and unprecedented heights.
He led England's to its first global 50-over title at the 2019 World Cup, and the No. 1 ranking in one-day internationals and Twenty20s. They enjoyed series victories against every major team and 60 per cent success on his watch.
"As with all great players and leaders, he has changed the way the game has been played, and he has changed the way an entire generation and generations to come will play this form of the game. His legacy within the game will be felt for many years to come," Rob Key, the managing director of England men's cricket, said.
Morgan's teams have the three highest ODI totals; last week in the Netherlands they raised the world record to 498-4. However, he scored consecutive ducks in the first two matches and missed the third with a groin issue.
His form and fitness have been in decline. Over the last year and a half, the 35-year-old Morgan has only one half-century in 48 innings in international and domestic T20s and ODIs. "To call time on what has been without doubt the most enjoyable and rewarding chapter of my career hasn't been an easy decision, but I believe now is the right time to do so, both for me, personally, and for both England white-ball sides I have led to this point," he said.
England allrounder Moeen Ali, who won the 2019 World Cup with Morgan, wasn't surprised by the captain's timing. "The team for him still comes first, which just shows how unselfish he is. He's done a remarkable job and he's the best we’ve ever had, for sure," Ali told the BBC.
Morgan was also part of England teams that won their first global cricket title in 2010 at the World Twenty20 and captained the team to the final in 2016. Morgan holds the team records for most ODIs (225) and T20s (115), and the most runs in both formats.
Ali lauded Morgan's "massive achievement” in changing the team's mindset, as well as being a great captain. "There were so many times where people were caught on the boundary and they were like, 'I should have just hit a single', and he was like, 'No, no, next time you hit it out of the ground'. We'd never come across a captain like that before," he said.