Injured Morgan to miss World Cup warm-up clash against Australia”

Morgan has been central to England’s rise since the dismal 2015 Cup campaign, whether that be through his tactical nous, efficient batting or ability to reform the dressingroom culture.

He said this week that his side was prepared to deal with any potential setbacks in a tournament the ECB hopes can re-energise the sport in their country.

“We’ve planned for instances when the [team] culture had been tested or individually we’d been tested. There’s still loads of things that we’ve planned for that might continue to crop up throughout the World Cup,” Morgan said.

“I wouldn’t say it’s been smooth, I’d say we’ve been better equipped at dealing with anything that’s cropped up, certainly as a group. Our prep and planning has been excellent and the guys have responded to that by performing on a consistent basis.”

Under ICC regulations, an injured player can be replaced in the 15-man squad but he cannot then return.

A crowd of 10,000 was expected for the warm-up clash between Australia and England. Each nation was expected to use 12 players, although only 11 could bat.

Australia will also have a warm-up game against Sri Lanka before the tournament opener against Afghanistan in Bristol next Saturday.

Afghanistan have been tipped as a nation which could surprise and they did just that by toppling Pakistan by three wickets with two balls to spare in a warm-up match in Bristol on Friday. In reply to Pakistan’s 262, with star batsman Babar Azam (112) leading the way, Afghanistan made 7-263. Their chase was sparked by a blazing 49 off 28 balls from opener Hazratullah Zazai in the initial power play.

Earlier, off-spinner Mohammad Nabi (3-46) and leg-spinner Rashid Khan (2-27) – well known to Australians through the Big Bash League – prospered on the dry surface and they shape as a major test for the defending world champions.

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