Eoin Morgan stepped in to prevent World Cup celebrations at Downing Street from getting out of hand to avoid Ashes 2005 scenes – The Sun

EOIN MORGAN and his players were in high spirits at 10 Downing Street on Monday evening but then the captain felt the need to intervene.

He sensed the revelry was reaching a tipping point between fun and potential embarrassment. Morgan did not want his boys to overstep the mark.

England’s World Cup-winning skipper recalled: “It was a brilliant evening.

"When we walked in, all the Prime Minister’s staff lined the corridor and were clapping and cheering. It was unbelievable, really.

“But, as we were leaving and outside the front door, the guys were getting a little excited. Celebrations can be perceived in so many ways and I didn’t want to get it wrong.

“So I had a quiet word and said we needed to calm down a little. We weren’t doing anything particularly untoward but we’d been welcomed so warmly and it was important to be respectful.”

The story is illuminating and, in many ways, sums up Morgan’s leadership.

He encourages merrymaking and risk-taking, but respect is important. And he wants his boys to be regarded in a positive light off the field.

Naturally, the players did calm down. Morgan had asked them. And, when Morgan asks, they listen and take heed.

He has guided England to the top of the world — culminating in one of the most extraordinary, nerve-shredding conclusions to any sporting event — and yet few know much about Morgan.

I definitely hold stuff back, I enjoy that. I don’t seek the limelight. I don’t like people knowing everything.

Sure, they know he was born near Dublin and played for Ireland before England. And they know he is calm and calculating in the heat of battle and whacks plenty of sixes.

Beyond that, however, character analysis is rare. “Bit of a cold fish,” seems to be the most common impression. That suits him just fine.

In his first major interview since England won the men’s World Cup for the first time, Morgan explained: “Cold fish? That’s good, don’t mind that at all.

“Maybe it’s because every time the camera pans to me, I have a serious face because I’m trying to make a decision. You might see the occasional smile!

“I definitely hold stuff back, I enjoy that. I don’t seek the limelight. I don’t like people knowing everything, otherwise they jump to conclusions.

“You won’t see me searching out red carpets or TV cameras. I’m more comfortable sitting back and letting others enjoy the spotlight.

“I’m not trying to sell anything or put myself out there. I don’t make an effort to advance my own profile, everything revolves around the team.”

Morgan’s team-mates say away from the public gaze he is warm and caring with an impish humour. He enjoys a drink.

But he also possesses natural authority and leadership qualities, as well as single-mindedness — displayed by his refusal to tour Bangladesh in 2016 because of security concerns.

He would not budge, despite widespread criticism and his own fear the decision might end his international career.

Less than three months ago, he endorsed Alex Hales’ discarding from the World Cup squad after a second positive test for recreational drugs.

Morgan has a protective, almost paternal, guiding hand over his players.

That is why, when Ben Stokes was arrested in September 2017, his first concern was his star all-rounder’s welfare.

Morgan loves his team’s diversity — he is Irish and players were born in Barbados, New Zealand and South Africa and there are two British Asians.

Morgan said: “We’ve been on this journey together. A lot of our partners are of similar age, going through the same things in life. The guys have gelled really well.

“But you can’t be one of the boys the whole time. As captain, you have to make decisions for the betterment of the team and that can compromise you if you’re trying to be one of the boys.

We try to make guys feel comfortable, particularly when we ask them to take risks and trust us that we’ll keep selecting them.

“Our diversity is important because, if guys didn’t feel comfortable to be themselves, they wouldn’t perform at their best.

“We try to make guys feel comfortable, particularly when we ask them to take risks and trust us that we’ll keep selecting them even if the risks don’t come off.

“So it’s great if Adil Rashid or Moeen Ali say Allah is with us. Faith is important, even if you’re not religious. You need to have beliefs in people or things.

“Every series we’ve won, we take pictures with the boys and they feel comfortable enough to say they don’t want to be sprayed with champagne.

“We want them in the photo but we respect their faith. Mark Wood, too, moves away because he is teetotal.

“Stokes is a massive part of this team, he wants to be at the forefront of everything.

"It’s been a big learning experience for him and he understands now the role he plays in cricket beyond actual performances.

“In many ways, he’s a different person after what happened in Bristol and a more learned one, extremely respectful.

“When we spoke about the culture and values we wanted to establish, he loved the idea that somebody wasn’t going to be judged purely on performance.”

Morgan enjoys horse racing and is so good at punting that he is up over his lifetime. He will not disclose his biggest win, of course.

He has bought investment properties with an eye to financial security and last November married Tara Ridgway, whose father David is a minister in the South Australian government.

Morgan added: “Politics? That’s a ruthless world and not a route I want to go down. I enjoy punting because it involves taking risks and thinking about things.”

He added: “I watched my previous captains closely and tried to learn. My favourite captain and leader is Andrew Strauss. He was brilliant to play under.

“He selected me, presented me with my first Test cap and backed me in the one-day side to play the way I did.

“He never asked anybody to do things he wouldn’t do himself. I try to do that — embody what I talk about and believe in.”

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