England could field two teams at same time, says Morgan
April 02 2020 01:06 AM
Eoin Morgan
Eoin Morgan

AFP /London

World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan says he is open to England fielding two teams on the same day at separate venues if the coronavirus outbreak leads to a compressed home international season.
The England Test team, skippered by Joe Root, could face either West Indies or Pakistan, who are both due to arrive for three-match series, while Morgan’s white-ball side take on Australia in 50-over and Twenty20 matches scheduled in July.
“I see every option being viable during this extraordinary time,” said England limited-overs captain Morgan during a conference call on yesterday.
“Certainly I’ve never experienced anything like it and I don’t think anyone else has. I think the serious nature of the situation economically and financially for the game is something that we have never come across.”
All domestic cricket in England has been postponed until May 28 at the earliest, with the West Indies series still scheduled to start on June 4.
England and Wales Cricket Board chief executive Tom Harrison, announcing a £61 million ($76 million) aid package on Monday, said touring international sides were being “very flexible, innovative and massively understanding”, with Morgan indicating his teammates would adopt a similar approach.
“Certainly from a players’ point of view, we want to do as much as we can to try and keep things going,” Morgan said. 
“If there’s an opportunity to play as much cricket as we can, I’d like to think every player would be behind it. I certainly am. But obviously times are still uncertain at the moment... Realistically we can’t think about playing, when our first game will be, or how many we will play until the situation is downgraded from a pandemic.”
One consolation for Morgan during the outbreak is that the 33-year-old Dublin-born batsman recently became a father after his wife Tara gave birth to a son, Leo.
“My wife gave birth to our first child three weeks ago so we have been preoccupied looking after the baby,” said Morgan.
“We’ve been isolated for a bit longer than anyone else, which is really nice.
“We’ve been dealt a really good hand when it comes to things that are going on at the moment and have been bunkered away for a while, and haven’t been under pressure to go off and play cricket, which has been really nice.
“It’s been good fun and a very exciting time for us.”

Buttler auctions World Cup final shirt for hospital appeal

England’s Jos Buttler is auctioning the shirt he wore in last year’s dramatic World Cup final win in support of hospitals treating the coronavirus.
The 29-year-old wicketkeeper/batsman played a key role in England’s thrilling defeat of New Zealand at Lord’s in July, scoring a fifty, batting in the Super Over and then running out Martin Guptill off the very last ball of the match.
In a social media video posted on Tuesday, the 29-year-old said he would be posting the jersey, signed by all members of the World Cup-winning squad, on eBay.
All proceeds will go to the Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals’ charity. 
“As we all know, hospitals, doctors, nurses and the NHS are all doing quite an incredible job at the moment,” Buttler said.
“And in the weeks and months to come they are going to need our support even more.
“Last week, the Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals’ charity launched an emergency appeal to provide lifesaving equipment for those two hospitals, specialising in lung and heart conditions in preparation for the Covid-19 outbreak.
“To help with their fundraising effort I’m going to be donating this shirt, which is the shirt I wore in the World Cup final last year, signed by all the players who were members of the squad.”
British television personality Piers Morgan submitted a bid of £10,000 ($12,422) but the value of the shirt had soon passed the £12,000 mark. 
Cricket, in common with many sports, has seen its fixture programme brought to a shuddering halt by the global spread of the coronavirus.
Buttler was on England’s tour of Sri Lanka that was recently abandoned during a warm-up game and was due to play in the lucrative Indian Premier League Twenty20 event, which has been postponed until at least April 15.
There will be no cricket in England until May 28 at the earliest.

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