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Eng vs SL 2021 – Eoin Morgan defends rest-and-rotation policy ahead of T20Is against Sri Lanka

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Captain says England ‘can’t play players until they fall over’ in ‘unbelievably busy’ schedule

Eoin Morgan has defended the ECB’s rest-and-rotation policy ahead of England’s T20I series against Sri Lanka, calling the current international schedule “unbelievably busy” and insisting that England “can’t play players until they fall over”.
Morgan, England’s limited-overs captain, has had his full-strength squad available for both of their last two T20I series, away against South Africa and India over the winter. While Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes and Reece Topley are injured (Stokes was not deemed ready for selection despite playing for Durham on Sunday), Morgan otherwise has a full complement to pick from and his side appear to have been prioritised over Joe Root’s Test team once again as they build towards this winter’s T20 World Cup, with all-format players rested for the New Zealand Tests but available against Sri Lanka this week.
Morgan signalled in March, after the final T20I against India, that he thought it was unlikely that he would have a full-strength side available at any point this summer, but clarified on Tuesday that the IPL’s postponement and the “unexpected” rest period it had allowed for players like Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran and Chris Woakes had led to their availability for this series.

“Planning 12 months ago, or probably eight months ago, we didn’t foresee having the squad available in this manner,” Morgan said. “Given that the IPL was postponed, guys have had time away from the game and a little bit of a rest period, which was unexpected. As our white-ball summer progresses, we probably won’t have it available for very long.

“The white-ball and red-ball sides are both planning towards big events: ours is the T20 World Cup, the guys’ in red-ball [cricket] is India Test matches and the Ashes. We’ll see full-strength squads selected for them, and they take priority given the schedule and how busy it is.”

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