England captain Eoin Morgan expressed sympathy for Scotland over their failure to make next year’s World Cup but admits he “doesn’t have the answer” to how associate nations get more exposure to top-level cricket.
Morgan came through with his native Ireland before grasping the opportunity to pursue his ambitions with England.
“It looked like a really tough tournament,” said Morgan of the qualifying event in Zimbabwe. “Especially the way conditions were. The wickets were slow and turned quite a lot, and they were being reused throughout. It is tough when you don’t qualify for a tournament. They set out to achieve qualification and they didn’t, so it will be tough to take.
“I think you need to earn the right to be there. Whether you make more teams, I don’t know if that’s the right answer. Whether you’re trying to please people or develop the game, it depends on your agenda.
“It is difficult to answer because when I played with Ireland the fallback fixtures were against English counties in the C&G Trophy. The path associate nations have gone down is demanding more international cricket which is fine but it means they have no fallback which means less cricket which means less development which is disappointing.
“I don’t have the answer, but trying to squeeze in more games when it isn’t possible is tricky.”
Morgan confirmed Alex Hales will bat at No 3 today, with Test skipper Joe Root dropping down to four. Sam Billings is set to take the gloves for England despite Test keeper Jonny Bairstow’s presence.