Captain Morgan reveals all about England’s World Cup heroics
Sick of England being sh*t at Test cricket? Here’s captain fantastic Eoin Morgan’s memories of England’s World Cup win, as reported by Sky Sports. Enjoy.
On that winning moment…
“Everyone went mad, running around, hugging each other, cheering. The only feeling I can relate it to is when you are a kid running or cycling down a hill as fast as you can. I jumped on about three people. I remember giving J-Roy [Jason Roy] the biggest hug and Adil [Rashid] as well. We didn’t know what to say to each other – laughing, screaming, smiles. I remember that feeling [of lifting the trophy] and I’ll never forget it. Everybody behind me, all the boys cheering, laughing and then screaming when we lifted it. It’s huge. Everybody up and down the country, around the world, that has shown unwavering support over that four-year period thoroughly deserves it and we are extremely proud to say that we won the World Cup.”
On the emotions of the final…
“For a very long period of New Zealand’s innings there was a pensive atmosphere at the ground. The game was quite cagey but you could feel everybody watching every ball. We were very comfortable chasing the total that was set  but we needed to continue playing the aggressive brand of cricket we had played in the semi-final win over New Zealand. At one point, I was sat on the balcony with Liam Plunkett and both of us were talking about where we were going to score the runs, how we were going to get ourselves over the line. And the one thing we always said was that if Ben Stokes was there at the end we had a chance.”
On the drama of the final regulation over…
“Having Ben on strike for the whole over was the only way were going to win and then he lands a blow into the Mound Stand that goes for six! The next ball you could not write, the ricochet – I could not believe it. I heard a massive roar from the changing room and Jason Roy and Jos Buttler lost themselves. I stayed quite composed. I didn’t know what to feel. I was trying to figure out what happened. Did it hit the keeper? Did it hit Ben? Did it come off his bat? It was the most extraordinary turn of events. I still ask Ben now why he didn’t hit the last ball for six. It was our game to win at the time, needing two off one ball, but the clear-thinking side of Ben came out.”
On his Super Over decisions…
“We thought the wicket was very difficult to score on. So people who scored runs in the game were probably the best to send straight back out. As I finished talking to the coach [Trevor Bayliss] and we decided Jofra was going to bowl the Super Over I turned to try and find him. He leant across a table and said ‘Morgs, it’s me, isn’t it?’ I said, ‘yes, it is mate!’ Fifteen is a great score in a Super Over, especially when you have one of the best yorker bowlers in the world at your disposal. I remember running up to Jofra when he complained about the wide being given by the umpire and he turned to me and said to refer it. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! I said, ‘no, Jofra, this is not how it works, you go back and bowl the ball’.”
On the must win group games…
“It was incredibly disappointing [against Sri Lanka]. Having bowled a side out for 230 I would have backed us nine times out of 10 to win that game quite comfortably. Having lost in the manner that we did and playing the way we did was more disappointing than the loss. We then spoke about, almost, how we wanted to lose games of cricket. We wanted to lose playing exactly the brand of cricket we wanted to play. I was then angry after the loss to Australia and things were starting to get a bit niggly. Two days out from our preparation for the India game we sat down at Edgbaston as a team and talked about exactly where we were and what we needed to do in order to win these next two games. Jason and Jonny at the top of the order were then a commanding force against India, with Jonny getting his first World Cup hundred, which was absolutely amazing to watch. Then the performance as a whole against New Zealand was exceptional in a crunch moment. The bowling unit had their best game.”
On smashing the Aussies in the semi-final…
“We were happy bowling first. The wicket looked beautiful and we don’t mind chasing – there is no stigma attached and we have a reasonable success rate when chasing, although playing in a semi-final there was always a little bit of a worry. Given the two games previous to that and the way we batted and the aggression we showed there was no doubt that we would go out and play positively. There was huge intent from Roy and Bairstow up front, they really imposed themselves and it pegged Australia’s fast bowlers back. The semi-final performance was our best ever in white-ball cricket.”
On the build-up to the final…
“We were in the final – it was unbelievable. The biggest thing for us is that we were playing our best game of cricket. I found it difficult to switch off, in particular the day before. Jos Buttler and I got together in the lobby of the hotel, had a cup of tea and a sandwich and talked about our journey to that point and how cool it was just to be there. Not one part of us was nervous, it was just the excitement of what was ahead. The build-up wasn’t the same as the others – it can’t be, it’s a World Cup final at the Home of Cricket, but we’d never felt more ready as a team.”
On England’s embarrassing 2015 World Cup exit…
“It was the lowest part, certainly in my career but I think in English cricket history. I found it difficult to compartmentalise exactly what had happened. It was absolutely humiliating and the most difficult time in my career. One of the most difficult things was my inability to impart any idea or thought I had on improving our game as a team. My influence on the team was minimal. Throughout the whole World Cup I kept a diary of what I thought a good team would look like and the attributes we needed. Leaving having been knocked out, I remember having a glass of wine on the flight back, reading my notes and making more just in case I managed to keep the captaincy. [Then England director of cricket] Andrew Strauss called me during the IPL and reiterated the direction he thought English cricket should and could go and that he wanted me to continue as captain.”
On England’s shit in mindset…
“For a long time we played a style of cricket that was extremely dated and for our senior players to hear that they were going to be given the freedom and trust to play an expansive brand of cricket for an extended period of time without having to worry about being dropped was extremely exciting for them. I have to say everybody embraced it. We played India a year out from the World Cup and beat them. Having beaten them at home in exactly the conditions we would play in the following year was a massive confidence booster. It was after that series that I believed we would be contenders in 2019. Handling being No 1 in the world and going into the World Cup with the favourite’s tag sat really well with us. We’d gone into previous competitions with the favourite’s tag and it was something that we thought we almost deserved.”
On the first game of the World Cup…
“There was a huge level of anxiousness going around the changing room. People were almost talking gibberish for a while but laughing about it. Jonny Bairstow very focused in one corner of the dressing room, Jason Roy in the other was jumping up and down like a school kid. He just couldn’t wait to get out there and do his thing. While I was waiting to bat I was trying to save energy. I walked around the changing room asking people random questions. When I walked past where Jofra sits, all I could hear was snoring! I couldn’t believe what was happening. Everyone was bouncing around and he was catching forty winks in the corner. It was absolutely remarkable.”
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