SYDNEY: As if England captain Eoin Morgan did not have enough to worry about leading his stumbling side at the World Cup, he has become caught up in a row over his failure to sing the national anthem.
Thumping defeats by Australia (111 runs), New Zealand (eight wickets) and Sri Lanka (nine wickets) have made it a largely miserable World Cup for England, whose lone win of the tournament to date has come against non-Test side Scotland.
Inevitably there has been widespread criticism of the team’s performance but Dublin-born Morgan has also been criticised in some quarters for failing to bellow out a chorus of “God Save the Queen.”
But the 28-year-old batsman, who played for Ireland before making his England debut in 2009, said he was not making any sort of statement by staying silent during the anthem.
“It’s pretty simple. I’ve never sung the national anthem whether I’ve played for Ireland or England,” Morgan said.
“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.”
Asked to explain his decision, Morgan added: “It’s a long story. It’s a personal thing.”
Former England footballer Gary Lineker came to Morgan’s defence by saying: “You show your pride with your performance. You give your all on the field. Singing is for show, an irrelevance.” AFP