The England team are hosting the cricket World Cup for the fifth time since tournament inception in year 1975 but this is the first time that they are termed as top favourites to win the tournament. The Three Lions are not only in a great nick but also the home conditions are expected to help them a great deal. England will play their first game of the quadrennial event on May 30 when they take on four-time semi-finalists South Africa at London’s Kennington Oval.
However, the hosts were in for a blow as their skipper Eoin Morgan sustained a finger injury during a catching drill ahead of his team’s warm-up match against Australia in Southampton on Saturday. He was hit in his left index finger and underwent a precautionary X-ray. The 32-year-old left-hand batsman is in a good form, scoring two half-centuries in the recent ODI series against Pakistan that England won 4-0.
The English squad was concerned over the captain’s predicament. Liam Dawson, who made it to the squad at the last moment, was quoted as saying by Sky Sports: “He’s (Morgan) is massive. The cricket that’s been played over the last four years has all been led by him. Hopefully, he’s fit and raring to go.”
ECB released a media statement, which stated that Morgan has suffered a “flake fracture” but confirmed that he will be playing in the opening clash with the Proteas next Thursday. England have their second warm-up match lined up on May 27 and their opponents are Afghanistan who put Pakistan under a good challenge in their first warm-up game.
The Irish-born Morgan is the highest scorer for England in the ODIs and T20Is and is just one short of playing his 200th ODI match as the first England player ever. He is also the first England captain to lead the side in two World Cups (after 2015) and is seen among the favourite captains to lift the trophy at the Lord’s on July 14.
England have hosted the cricket World Cup four times before and reached the final on three occasions, including the 1979 edition at home.