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Cricket great Eoin Morgan retires from internationals

FILE - England's captain Eoin Morgan reacts during the Cricket Twenty20 World Cup semi-final match between England and New Zealand in Abu Dhabi, UAE, ...

FILE - England's captain Eoin Morgan reacts during the Cricket Twenty20 World Cup semi-final match between England and New Zealand in Abu Dhabi, UAE, ...

LONDON (AP) — Eoin Morgan confirmed his retirement from international cricket and stepped down as England's white-ball captain after more than seven years on Tuesday.

After England's dismal failure at the 2015 Cricket World Cup, Morgan spearheaded the team's white-ball transformation to a bold, attacking approach and unprecedented heights.

He led England's to its first global 50-over title at the 2019 World Cup, and the No. 1 ranking in one-day internationals and Twenty20s. They enjoyed series victories against every major team and 65% success on his watch.

“As with all great players and leaders, he has changed the way the game has been played, and he has changed the way an entire generation and generations to come will play this form of the game,” Rob Key, the managing director of England men's cricket, said. “His legacy within the game will be felt for many years to come.”

Morgan's teams have the three highest ODI totals; last week in the Netherlands they raised the world record to 498-4.

However, he scored consecutive ducks in the first two matches and missed the third with a groin issue, and told Sky Sports that he came to the sad realisation then that his time was up.

His form and fitness have been in decline. Over the last year and a half, the 35-year-old Morgan has only one half-century in 48 innings in international and domestic T20s and ODIs.

“To call time on what has been without doubt the most enjoyable and rewarding chapter of my career hasn't been an easy decision, but I believe now is the right time to do so, both for me, personally, and for both England white-ball sides I have led to this point,” he said.

England allrounder Moeen Ali, who won the 2019 World Cup with Morgan, wasn't surprised by the captain's timing.

“The team for him still comes first, which just shows how unselfish he is,” Ali told the BBC. “He’s done a remarkable job and he’s the best we’ve ever had, for sure.”

Morgan is the only England player to win both limited-overs World Cups. He was in the side which won the 2010 World Twenty20 in Barbados and captained the team to the final in 2016 in Kolkata.

He holds the team records for most ODIs (225) and T20s (115), and the most runs in both formats.

The Dublin-born Morgan was originally capped by Ireland a month before his 16th birthday in 2006. He was run out on 99 in the ODI debut. After helping Ireland qualify for the 2011 World Cup, he surprised nobody when he switched allegiance to England in 2009.

England gave him 16 tests from 2010-12 and he scored two centuries, but he was far more effective in white-ball matches. His inventive and audacious style inspired and thrilled, and he was the obvious candidate to replace Alastair Cook as the white-ball captain at the end of 2014.

Jos Buttler is expected to be the new captain. Morgan said he will continue playing domestic cricket.

Ali lauded Morgan's "massive achievement” in changing the team's mindset, as well as being a great captain.

"There were so many times where people were caught on the boundary and they were like, ‘I should have just hit a single,’ and he was like, ’No, no, next time you hit it out of the ground.’ We'd never come across a captain like that before.”

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