There aren’t many things that unite the various 51allout writers, apart from an apparent unwillingness to actually, you know, write articles. On almost any topic there’s inevitably disagreement. Simply trying to ascertain the best David Bowie album led to several weeks of drawn out tension, only resolved when Editor Steve bravely brokered a peace treaty between the Station To Station gang and the Ziggy Stardust brigade. With such an innocuous topic leading to full scale warfare in the office, surely any cricketing topic Steve could come up with would lead to the holy grail of 1,000 words, plus a few pictures?
Or that’s what he thought anyway. Despite the offer of some free biscuits, no-one really wanted to talk about Eoin Morgan, presumably because giving gingers the oxygen of publicity doesn’t help anybody. Steve’s latest brilliant idea – talking about Eoin Morgan’s place in England’s ODI team – was a roaring success and in no way required constant nagging of the 51allout collective to actually write something.
Nichael Bluth: In a recent article in the Daily Mail, that bastion of quality journalism, Oliver Holt wrote that Eoin Morgan should essentially be hung, drawn and quartered for not going to Bangladesh with the rest of the ODI side, his remains to be cast out to sea, far away from ever wearing England colours again. While we couldn’t be seen to endorse anything the Daily Mail says, for fear of being cast in the role of massive racists, do we generally agree with the sentiment?
Matt H: Not really. There are things called contracts that give employees terms of employment. Unless Morgan breached the contract, which seems unlikely given that players were informed they could opt out of touring Bangladesh for security reasons, he is entitled to remain as a player and indeed as captain.
NB: And with that I think we’re done.
Aussie Matt: Whilst I try and avoid the habit of praising Cricket Australia too often, I felt they took the right approach in taking the decision away from the players and making it at the board level. The very obvious consequence of allowing each player to choose individually whether to tour or not is that whilst the ECB might say they wouldn’t be held accountable, obviously people are just gonna end up doing that anyway. Especially hack journalists with a bone to pick.
So it’s the ECB who should be hung, drawn and quartered. Or at the very least paraded through the streets of Durham whilst tied backwards to a donkey.
NB: I’d have to agree with Aussie Matt – allowing players to make the decision just creates these complexities. For me, the real issue isn’t that Morgan shouldn’t come back into the side because he couldn’t be arsed to tour Bangladesh; he shouldn’t come back into the side because he’s been pretty rubbish for quite a while.
NB: So does Morgan even fit into England’s best XI these days? And if not, who gets his role?
MH: He probably shouldn’t have been in the side before he was appointed captain. However as he has been captain for the period that England have been as good in this format as I can remember, I would say he does fit into the best XI. Though as I have said before, England shouldn’t really have a permanent ODI captain until a global tournament comes around.
AM: I’m secretly hoping that the fallout over Morgan will trigger a schism between the ECB and Trevor Bayliss (the dirty, filthy traitor). I think Morgan ought to be in the team, even if purely based on his performances against Australia, but would love to see an attempt to remove him from within that sends everything to shit. Because I am bitter like that. But he seems to be the sort of player Bayliss would want around the team. Even if only because Morgan is probably one of the few players Bayliss knows on a first name basis.
I’ve no idea who would be in the frame to potentially replace him. Presumably it would be someone with IPL and/or Big Bash experience, but nobody in particular comes to mind.
NB: Jos Buttler? The guy with IPL and Big Bash experience who was captaining the side in Morgan’s absence?
AM: I s’pose, but the danger is you could end up with a team that is a microcosm of the Aussie ODI setup; all aggressive hitters with only one really solid batsman (Root, Devereux) to build things around. And England don’t have a Starc to bail them out when things go tits up. I think Morgan is the sort of player Bayliss would wanna keep around, because while you might not think much of him whilst he’s there, you could end up really, really, missing him when he’s not.
NB: I doubt it, he’s shit.
MH: James Taylor would have been the obvious rock in the batting order, plus he had captaincy experience, and he is an adorable little fella. *sad face* Anyway, looking to have a few ‘solid’ batsmen to counter the aggressors is such a Olde England kind of attitude. This is New England, where records are broken and dreams come true.
NB: What an unusual turn of phrase.
NB: To finish then, imagine that in a Freaky Friday scenario, you wake up tomorrow in the body of Trevor Bayliss. Put aside your general confusion at finding yourself in the body of a 53 year old Australian and pick your preferred top seven for the first ODI against India please.
MH: Hales, Roy, Duckett, Root, Buttler, Ali, Stokes.
I literally don’t care. I care greatly about this topic. If anything too much, rendering me unable to give an opinion.
NB: Check out Barry Glendenning there. I agree with the Matt who actually made an effort – there’s just no place for Morgan in there. Unless he bats at eight and bowls a few overs, but he doesn’t strike me as the sort of person who could be arsed with that.
And so, with the 1,000 word mark finally reached, Editor Steve sighed and agreed to unlock the doors. The writers were able to sneak off into the night, leaving Steve with the unenviable task of going back through our disinterest and trying to subtly make it like we
gave a shit thoroughly enjoyed debating this particular fascinating topic.