Byline: JON COATES and PAUL NEWMAN
EOIN MORGAN believes his childhood exposure to hurling could be England's secret weapon as he prepares to make his debut this morning against the West Indies.
The irony will not be lost on sports fans that a young man from Rush, Co Dublin, is about to lend his GAA skills to the English cause in a game that was a symbol of colonialism, but it is Morgan's ingenuity that has got him this far and he makes no secret of his thirst for the fame and wealth on offer across the Channel. Kevin Pietersen's absence from the three-match one-day international series makes it more likely that Morgan will bring his audacity to the middle order today. The former Sportsmail columnist, 22, played in the 2007 World Cup for Ireland but has now completed a four-year qualification period and is vying with Ian Bell for the final batting place at Headingley. If his fantastic 161 for Middlesex against Kent two weeks ago is anything to go by the West Indies will have trouble setting a field for the left-hander, whose reverse sweeps, paddles and flicks owe much to his sporting upbringing at Dublin's Catholic University School.
'I read somewhere that whatever sport you play from the ages of about nine to 12 you take with you and it was just a coincidence that I played hurling at school and the natural grip is the reverse sweep,' said Morgan. 'It's like a hockey stick, only you use both sides of it,' he explained to English reporters in Leeds. 'I've always looked to express myself, especially in one-day cricket, and it's something I'll continue to do. …