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Morgan to captain Middlesex in T20 Blast
Posted by: Supporting Middlesex since 1999
Date: 08/01/2020 18:32
Middlesex have appointed Eoin Morgan as captain for their Vitality T20 Blast campaign in 2020, which is a role he has seemed to have performed on and off over the last few years, as I am sure that he has been appointed designated captain during at least one previous season, while he has also captained us on a stand-in basis on many occasions too.

One question this news poses is whether Peter Handscomb will play for us in our Twenty20 campaign, and thus take up an overseas player berth. The announcement of his signing did not make it clear whether he has signed for this competition, as it said that he will captain us in the County Championship and Royal London Cup, but it made no direct references to the Blast, leaving me wondering whether he would play in the Blast as a rank-and-file player or would sit the competition out. Handscomb’s career statistics suggest that T20 is the format in which he is weakest. He has played all seven of Big Bash leaders Melbourne Stars’ matches so far, scoring 86 runs at an average of 28.66 and strike rate of 111.68, and has also kept wicket. If Handscomb doesn’t play in the Blast, then that would open the possibility that we could sign either AB de Villiers or Paul Stirling. It is far from a secret that there any many at the club who would love to see at least one of those players once again represent Middlesex. Our other overseas player berth is due to be filled by Mujeeb Ur Rahman.

The other question this news poses is who will captain us for the matches Morgan will miss, as England will begin a series of limited-overs matches v Australia on Friday 3rd July, which is likely to rule him out of our final four group matches, although hopefully nothing will stop him playing in the other matches in our campaign. Maybe Handscomb will play after all and lead us in these matches, or maybe someone like Stevie Eskinazi or John Simpson will take the reins.

It is excellent news that we will be led by the man who captained England to the 2019 World Cup. However, our squad seems weaker than in 2019 due to the departures of Dawid Malan and George Scott and due to de Villiers and Stirlo not being due to return, so it will be a tough ask for us to match or improve on our feat of reaching the quarter-final in 2019.

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