Morgan promises no let-up against Ireland

Eoin Morgan (Getty Images)
Eoin Morgan (Getty Images)

Bristol - England one-day captain Eoin Morgan has insisted the absence of three first-choice players due to Indian Premier League (IPL) duty is not a sign they are taking this week's matches against Ireland less than seriously.

Dublin-born Morgan is set to captain against his native country in a two-match series, with Friday's fixture in Bristol and Sunday's clash at Lord's the first occasions Ireland have played England in England.

For England, the matches mark the start of their build-up to next month's Champions Trophy on home soil, with Morgan eager to lead his adopted country to their first global 50-over title.

"It's something with huge potential and which we've been building towards for 18 months now," Morgan told reporters in Bristol on Thursday.

"We've marked it as the halfway stage to the 2019 World Cup ... we're not taking this game for granted.

"The strength of the side we're putting out reflects that, and it's a really important summer for us - so we're taking it as seriously as any other fixture."

England, however, will be without all-rounders Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes, as well as wicket-keeper Jos Buttler, because of the trio's IPL commitments.

By contrast, Morgan has interrupted his IPL stint.

But with Stokes making a maiden Twenty20 hundred in the franchise competition on Sunday, Morgan was in no doubt the trio would gain more from playing in the IPL at this time than coming back to face Ireland.

"Yes, I think they will," he said. "That's the emphasis behind the decision.

"I think it's the right decision, part of our development as a side to get as many players (as possible) playing in the biggest and best tournaments in the world - albeit T20.

"This year we've had more players at the Big Bash, seven, and eight players at the IPL - which shows a lot of strength.

"To rub shoulders with some of the biggest and best names in the world and put in performances like Ben Stokes did the other night bodes well for our future development."

Morgan made his international reputation with Ireland before switching to England aged 22 in 2009.

But even if Ireland are granted their longed-for Test status next month, Morgan said there was no chance of him switching back..

"No, that's very cheeky," he said.

"No chance, no chance."

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