Eoin Morgan: The Hundred is a huge opportunity to claim T20 World Cup spot
Watch The Hundred live and in full on Sky Sports from Wednesday August 3; women's competition starts on August 11 following conclusion of Commonwealth Games; Finals Day at Lord's on September 3; Southern Brave men and Oval Invincibles women are defending champions in 100-ball tournament
Last Updated: 03/08/22 11:15am
Former England ODI captain Eoin Morgan believes The Hundred provides "huge opportunities" for players to stake a claim for a spot in the England T20 World Cup squad, as the 100-ball format is the "closest" on a domestic level to international cricket.
As captain of the London Spirit, Morgan thinks there will be a wealth of talent coming through at this year's tournament and is excited to see how the limited format event can help England's ODI prospects grow.
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"It is the closest I have ever played at domestic level to international cricket," said Morgan.
"Everyone loves playing it, everyone loves watching it so it bodes really well for another good tournament.
"Over the course of the last eight to 10 years, all the major playing nations around the world have had established links with limited-format tournaments that our domestic players have done their utmost to play in to better their careers and ultimately to try and learn and become better players to play international cricket.
"Last year, there was huge evidence in the talent coming through that that was certainly possible and the tournament going from strength to strength, signing bigger and better names, a lot of England players available, all the white ball players available, there is no reason why it shouldn't be.
"If the English white-ball head coach (Matthew Mott) says there is, then there definitely is, so that is a huge incentive for the younger batter, bowler, fielder coming through to try and make his way into that World Cup team.
"We are not littered with death bowlers and it is an extraordinarily difficult position to fill, Chris Jordan and Tymal Mills have done it extremely well but they need back up, banging down the door and making them better cricketers and I think The Hundred can provide that opportunity as well."
The Oval Invincibles have Jason Roy in their ranks and Morgan believes there is no one better placed to shine at The Hundred this year despite the batter struggling for England of late, scoring just 76 runs across six T20i innings this summer.
"Anybody who has tracked Jason Roy's career in international cricket has seen the highs and lows of Jason but the one thing you get with Jason is that when he is on song, he can take any bowling line up down and that sends a huge message not only to the opposition but to your changing room when you are in it," added Morgan.
"It is great to see, certainly in the 2019 50-over World Cup, we missed him when he was injured and there was a huge difference in the team when he comes in and plays well.
"So, The Hundred is just an opportunity for him to go score runs."
Since Morgan has retired from international cricket, the white ball team have suffered a string of defeats, but the World Cup winner is not worried and knows head coach Mott and newly-appointed captain Jos Buttler will "have a plan" in place to head into the T20 World Cup on form.
"I think they have played against two really good sides and it is good to be tested against strong opposition pre-World Cup rather than getting there and getting smacked in the face first game or second game," he said.
"So, Jos Buttler and Matthew Mott have clearly recognised this as a learning opportunity to try and build something between now and World Cup selection probably in September which isn't that far away.
"The Hundred is as good a stake as anybody can make to try and get into that final 15."
Despite no longer playing international cricket, Morgan is still confident that he can "contribute" for the London Spirit as they launch their campaign on Thursday against the Oval Invincibles, live on Sky Sports.
"I have been practising with the team over the last couple of days, I have had a couple of hits during the course of the time I have been off and I have thoroughly enjoyed it.
"It is a different outlook, a different team, a different challenge and one that I am looking forward to.
"Whilst I am still contributing to the team, leading well, captaining well and in this particular format I think I can offer something."
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