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Eoin Morgan has reiterated his desire to win back a place in Middlesex’s Specsavers County Championship side for the first time in almost three years.

The England white-ball captain, currently recovering from a broken thumb sustained facing team-mate Tom Barber in the nets, has not played four-day cricket since July 2015 – when he made a pair against Somerset.

But Morgan is keen to play a part in his county’s Division Two campaign once fit – and stressed that he has never made himself unavailable for red-ball selection.

“That’s certainly not been the case at all,” said the 30-year-old left-hander. “Where I’m at, I want to play red-ball cricket and I still think I’ve got something to offer.

“I have done for the last two years and I haven’t been selected, which is just the way it’s gone. This year I’ve trained hard and I did some red-ball stuff while I was away in New Zealand over the winter.

“Red-ball cricket helps my technique – the most vulnerable part of your batting is the first 30 balls. The sooner I can get back to batting, the better.

“I get the thumb X-rayed weekly, to make sure everything’s mending in the right place and there’s no need to pin it. When it’s firmly attached, I can start hitting balls again, probably in about two weeks’ time.”

The Lord’s side opened their season with a resounding 160-run victory over Northamptonshire, despite an inexperienced batting line-up shorn of Dawid Malan, Nick Gubbins and Stevie Eskinazi as well as Morgan.

While Middlesex have clearly outlined an immediate return to Division One as their top priority, the squad have also been set a target of reaching the knockout stages in both the Royal London One-Day Cup and Vitality Blast.

That objective might seem optimistic, given the club’s modest performances in limited-overs cricket during the decade since they were crowned national T20 champions.

Morgan added: “We’ve not been unlucky or anything like that, it’s just that we haven’t performed well enough and we’ve not been consistent.

“As a club we’ve always put forward our red-ball cricket as a preference and whether that’s right or wrong doesn’t really matter, but white-ball cricket is always playing second fiddle.

“One of the big differences in the England set-up is that Andrew Strauss came out and made a big deal about white-ball cricket over the last two years and that was a great directive for me and the coach to pass on to the players.

“That made a huge impact and it’s something we are trying to implement at Middlesex as well, but it will take time.”

Article provided by Ben Kosky of the ECB Reporters Network.

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