May 18 2012 By Jon Batham
ANGUS Fraser will welcome home one of English Cricket’s forgotten men today (Friday).
While England do battle with the West Indies at Lord’s Eoin Morgan attempt to put a winter of discontent behind him with a one-day match for Middlesex's second XI against Surrey in the less glamorous surrounds of Old Deer Park, Richmond.
It will be the first competitive cricket in a while for the 25-year-old only given his first central contract by England last September.
Sadly for Morgan a torturous Test series against Pakistan in the UAE followed and any hopes of banishing those memories at the IPL with Kolkata Knight Riders were dashed as he spent the tournament warming the bench before returning home early.
But while ‘Morgs’ may have been surplus to requirements for Andrew Strauss and co and on the Sub-continent, Middlesex’s Director of Cricket Angus Fraser recognises the talented left-hander could be just the shot in the arm needed for a middle-order (four-seven) yet to set the pulses racing this season.
He said: “We will certainly welcome Eoin back and he’ll add spice to the selection issues in the middle order where Dawid (Malan) has played a couple of decent innings but generally the batsman have struggled in Championship cricket.
“I’m not sure how much practice he has had out in India, but I’m sure he will have been doing some.
He’ll play at Richmond today and be in the squad for the CB40 game at Leicester on Sunday.”
The match at Grace Road will bring back memories of Middlesex’s Division Two title clinching win last September, but more importantly it provides the chance for Fraser’s side to kick on having got their CB40 campaign up and running with victory in Holland earlier this week.
Fraser claimed the significance of the win, gained courtesy of Joe Denley and Chris Rogers’ century partnership, should not be under-estimated.
He added: “We were excellent in Holland.
“If you wanted to make show video to youngsters on how to build a partnership then the one between Joe and Chris would be it.
“The Netherlands are a good side who have already won a couple of games in the competition and no-one should be surprised about that as they will win a few more as well.”