Morgan defends anthem decision

The 28-year-old left-hander was born and raised in Dublin but, after making his international debut for Ireland, has represented England since 2009.

Morgan was appointed one-day captain in succession to Alastair Cook in December 2014.

“It’s pretty simple,??? he said. ???I’ve never sung the national anthem whether I’ve played for Ireland or England.

“It doesn’t make me any less proud to be an English cricketer. I’m extremely proud to be in the position I am in and privileged to be captain of a World Cup side.”

When asked to expand on why he did not sing ‘God Save the Queen’, Morgan added: “It’s a long story. It’s a personal thing.”

A 119-run over Scotland in Christchurch on Monday got England’s campaign off the mark although the criticism of his long-held decision not to sing the national anthem is another unwelcome distraction.

Morgan, who has been steadfast throughout, has also been the subject of some ridicule in Australia with former Australia captain Steve Waugh suggesting this week he might be having second thoughts about quitting Ireland, who have won both of their World Cup matches.

“A couple of their players might have regretted going to England, like Boyd Rankin and Eoin Morgan – they might be wishing they’d stayed with Ireland,” Waugh said.??