Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 15 October 2019

Abu Dhabi T10: Eoin Morgan to lead rebranded Delhi Bulls in capital

England's World Cup winning skipper links up with super coach Stephen Fleming at franchise previously known as Bengal Tigers

Eoin Morgan, who played for Kerala Knights in the T10 League, will now turn out for Delhi Bulls - previously Bengal Tigers - in Abu Dhabi T10. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Eoin Morgan, who played for Kerala Knights in the T10 League, will now turn out for Delhi Bulls - previously Bengal Tigers - in Abu Dhabi T10. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Eoin Morgan has been announced as captain of the rebranded Delhi Bulls in the Abu Dhabi T10.

England’s World Cup-winning captain had spent the first two seasons of the 10-over competition with Kerala Knights.

He led that franchise to the title in the first season of the T10 League in 2017.

He has been recruited by Delhi Bulls, the side who were previously known as Bengal Tigers.

The switch means the Bulls will have an enviable leadership team. Morgan is set to link up with Stephen Fleming, the coach who has enjoyed unparalleled success with Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League.

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“I’m delighted to join Delhi Bulls for the Abu Dhabi T10, and I look forward to working with Anis [Sajan, the team mentor], Stephen and the rest of the team in November,” Morgan was quoted as saying.

It had been speculated Morgan might give up international cricket after leading England to the 50-over World Cup title, and focus on playing in franchise cricket instead.

The fact he was named England’s captain for the T20 series in New Zealand, starting in October, suggests he plans to lead them at least until next year’s T20 World Cup in Australia, though.

The last match of England's five-game series in New Zealand is on November 10. The Abu Dhabi T10 starts five days later, at the Zayed Cricket Stadium.

Sajan, who manages a franchise that is owned by his brother Rizwan and fellow businessman Neelesh Bhatnagar, said he is “thrilled” to have signed England’s captain.

“I have watched the England team play a fresh brand of cricket ever since their failure in the 2015 World Cup,” Sajan said.

“At the helm of that change was Morgan, and to see that approach win them the World Cup this year is a testament to the leadership qualities he showed. I am thrilled that he will lead the Bulls out this season.”

With the team named after the capital of our country, we will reach out to the vast population residing in north India.

Delhi team owner Rizwan Sajan

The Bulls were one of the original six sides to play in the pilot edition of the T10 league in Sharjah in 2017, under their previous guise, Bengal Tigers.

They asked the league’s management permission to change their name ahead of the new season, in a bid to appeal to Indian supporters.

“We took this decision after careful consideration, but believe this change was necessary due to our business interests in Delhi,” Rizwan Sajan said.

“With this team named after the capital of our country, we will reach out to the vast population residing in north India.”

More than half of the sides in the eight-team, 10-over competition will either be new entities, or at least have new names, when the competition starts on November 15.

Updated: September 26, 2019 10:26 PM

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