Captain Morgan is up for auction after Test hopes dashed

England's Eoin Morgan.
England's Eoin Morgan.
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England one-day captain Eoin Morgan will enter this year’s Indian Premier League auction after admitting his hopes of a Test recall have been “scaled down”.

A year ago, with England’s batting order in a state of flux following their Ashes whitewash, Morgan was determined to return to the longer format.

Kevin Pietersen’s sacking, Michael Carberry’s dropping and Jonathan Trott’s stress-related illness created vacancies in the side and Morgan withdrew from the 2014 IPL auction to make his case.

But an indifferent start to the season with Middlesex failed to grab the selectors’ attention and Morgan was left to look on as Sam Robson, Gary Ballance and Moeen Ali slotted into the side.

Morgan has taken that as a firm hint he is not currently in contention to add to his 16 caps and will be among a long list of players hoping to earn an IPL deal on February 16.

The tournament clashes with England’s Test trip to the Caribbean, but Morgan’s hopes of travelling for that had already passed.

“I will be in the IPL auction this year and hopefully I will be picked up,” he said on the eve of his side’s Tri-Series shootout with India.

“It fits in fine (with England). The Test guys are unavailable for that period because of the Test tour of the West Indies.”

The Dubliner’s tacit acknowledgement that he no longer fits the bill as a ‘Test guy’ was telling, and he admitted: “I think they have been scaled down a bit, probably since the start of last summer.

“I suppose the opportunity I gave myself in missing the IPL last year was the potential carrot of the end of the road.

“I think it was three positions available at the start of our summer, and I didn’t manage to get any of them.

“So since then it has been scaled down a bit. The ambition still is to play Test cricket, absolutely, but given where I’m at the moment, I think the IPL is the best thing for me.”

England and India faced off at the WACA in the early hours of this morning, duelling for the right to meet Australia in the Tri-Series final 48 hours later.