May 6, 2020 / 7:31 AM / a month ago

England's Morgan goes to bat for T10 format at Olympics

LONDON (Reuters) - England’s World Cup winning captain Eoin Morgan says cricket’s 10-overs format would be ideal for a global multi-sport event such as the Olympics as the entire tournament could be squeezed into 10 days.

Cricket - South Africa v England - Third T20 - Supersport Park, Centurion, South Africa - February 16, 2020 England's Eoin Morgan celebrates his half century REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Cricket featured at the 1900 Olympics and was played in the 1998 Commonwealth Games but has largely been absent from multi-sport events, which some say has restricted its growth beyond the traditional pockets.

The 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham will feature a women’s Twenty20 competition but Morgan says the T10 format would be a better fit than T20, 50 overs or test cricket.

“The one thing that T10 offers above the three formats that makes it so appealing to an Olympic Games or a Commonwealth Games is the fact that you can play a whole tournament in the space of 10 days,” he said in a video conference.

“To have a tournament in such a short space of time maximises the opportunity and the exposure that it will have for the sport.

“When you can play a cricket tournament in eight-10 days it really does make it appealing, and on top of that it really would be extremely entertaining,” said the 33-year-old, who captains Delhi Bulls in the Abu Dhabi T10 league.

Twenty20 has emerged as cricket’s most popular format, having spawned several franchise-based leagues around the world including the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL).

But Morgan, who plays for the IPL’s Kolkata franchise, said T10 has its own merits.

“The most important part of a T20 game is always overs 10 to 20,” said Morgan, who also captains Delhi Bulls in the Abu Dhabi T10 competition.

“But if you look at a T10 game, the earlier overs are the most important. You need to make the most of that very short powerplay, so who you put in those key positions and in the form that they’re in, is the most critical factor.”

Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Peter Rutherford

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