England's Eoin Morgan reacts as he leaves the pitch at the end of the T20I match against India at Old Trafford. / AFP PHOTO / Lindsey PARNABY
England's Eoin Morgan reacts as he leaves the pitch at the end of the T20I match against India at Old Trafford. / AFP PHOTO / Lindsey PARNABY

London: England’s limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan on Wednesday said that the ‘unlikely alliance’ between Sunrisers Hyderabad openers Jonny Bairstow and David Warner has shown that IPL is really valuable in breaking down the barriers that exist between international rivals.

“The two of them are team-mates for the moment but that is the beauty of playing franchise cricket, you do get to rub shoulders with guys you never thought you would play with,” ESPN Cricinfo quoted Morgan, as saying. “Thinking about it since in different sports, in football it happens all the time. Compare Portugal’s game where Ronaldo got Wayne Rooney sent off [at 2006 World Cup], and had to go back and play for Manchester United two weeks later. It’s trickier circumstances, but I’m sure Jonny is learning a huge amount from other guys that he’s rubbing shoulders with,” he said.

England players are having a great run in this year’s edition of IPL and Morgan believes that the success of the players is a vindication of the England Cricket Board’s more relaxed policy towards franchise cricket. “In the last three or four years it’s been a huge step forward for us, we have not only had a lot of guys in demand for IPL teams, we have had guys go out and be contenders for MVP of the tournament, and that says a huge amount about the cricketers we are producing and the guys going out there with aspirations. It really does raise the standard of our own game within the international team,” Morgan said.

The England skipper who went unsold in this year’s auction was seen praising Sam Curran who took a hat-trick against Delhi Capitals on Monday allowing Kings XI Punjab to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. “Playing the first game and then getting dropped for the second was a huge test for him as a character, and having to come back in and perform, clearly Sam was up to it and was in the right headspace. The IPL is a great opportunity, not only for him but for other guys who’ve spent some time out there to gain experience,” Morgan said.

Morgan hopes that the English players are able to continue their IPL form into the upcoming World Cup. England take on South Africa in their opening match of the World Cup on May 30.

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