Waiting to know my IPL fate was nerve-wracking: Morgan


London : England batsman Eoin Morgan, who will play for Bangalore Royal Challengers in the third edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), said it was “nerve-wracking” and weird waiting to know his fate at the auction in Mumbai.

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“I am very happy,” said the Irishman who plays for Middlesex.

“I was at home watching it on the internet. I hadn’t planned to watch it and my housemate said he would watch for me but I couldn’t sleep this morning and I came in about 15 minutes before my pool,” Morgan was quoted as saying in the British media Wednesday.

Morgan, who will join his England teammate Kevin Pietersen in the Bangalore side, was, however, shocked to see someone like Shaid Afridi not finding takers.

“It was nerve-wracking. It was weird, it was like playing Championship manager, watching the text come up,” the 23-year-old said of the online coverage of the auction.

“The big shock for me was Shahid Afridi. After seeing him not getting a gig I thought I would struggle, but once it came up that Bangalore had bid for me I knew I was sorted.”

When the Pakistanis and most of the Australians were ignored by the eight franchisees, expressing doubts over the players’ availability for full six weeks of the Twenty20 razzmatazz, Morgan was quoted in the British media as saying that he is “pretty sure” of playing the entire tournament.

The auction was a low-key affair as there was a cap of $750,000 with the teams looking for only one or two players to fill the vacancies.

The Dubliner, the only England player to be bought at the auction, went for $220,000 when many big names went unsold, including his successful teammate on the tour to South Africa, off-spinner Graeme Swann, Australian wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin and some exciting Pakistani players who were part of their Twenty20 World Champions side.

Morgan, who has developed an excitingly innovative batting style, thanks to playing hurling during his childhood, can join the team well in time when the tournament begins March 12 as the third and final one-day international between England and Bangladesh is ending a week before that.

The left-hander has played in India three times, twice with his county and once with the England academy, but he still feels he is unfamiliar with most of his new team-mates. “I don’t know many of their Indian players but I have seen them play as I watched the previous IPLs. They have a very strong side, with the likes of Kevin Pietersen, Jesse Ryder and Jacques Kallis.”

The only other England-based player to be purchased was Hampshire’s Michael Lumb, but his $50,000 deal with the Rajasthan Royals was finalised outside the auction room, as he has never played international cricket.