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19th Jul 2019

Eoin Morgan: World Cup winning England squad can inspire next generation

Speaking at the Euro T20 Slam draft, England captain Eoin Morgan said Sunday's World Cup win made the past four years of graft worthwhile

Reuben Pinder

“Never in a million years did we think we would go to a super over.”

Five days on since England’s dramatic World Cup victory at Lord’s, the nation is still coming to terms with the fact that they’ve won a World Cup. The majority of us have not experienced such a thing, and therefore, have no idea how to deal with it.

Even for England captain Eoin Morgan, it is proving difficult to fully process. Speaking at the draft of the Euro T20 Slam, where he will represent his home city, playing for the Dublin Chiefs, he explained that “It hasn’t sunk in. It’s felt weird because everything has taken this madness to another level.”

“Since Sunday, I’ve slept a lot. I didn’t sleep the night after the game because I couldn’t. I literally couldn’t.

“I went to bed at about 4am and I couldn’t sleep. I was up for three hours just trying to understand what happened in different stages of the game. Both sides made mistakes, absolutely none of it has sunk in. I think it’ll take time.”

England’s victory came in the most dramatic of circumstances, by the barest of margins, after England’s hero Ben Stokes deflected an overthrow for four extra runs. It has since transpired that England should only have been awarded five runs from that ball, rather than the six that they got.

Morgan denies that this was a decisive moment, though, citing several other moments that swung the game in each team’s favour.

“I’ve watched the game back three times now and I don’t think there was one part of the game that actually won or lost the game. There were a number of times where we gave the game to New Zealand, I counted I think it was four or five. And then I counted New Zealand’s and I think it was similar.

“The fact that it went down to a super over actually epitomises the full 100 overs as opposed to one ball of what happened.”

For almost everyone watching this spectacle unfold, Sunday would have been the first super over they’d ever seen. For most of the players, it was the first, and probably the last, they’ll ever play in. Given this was the first ever 50-over match to be decided by a super over, you can forgive the England side for not doing too much preparation.

“It was discussed at the very beginning but not since. Never in a million years did we think, particularly in the later stages of the tournament that we would go to a super over,” Morgan says.

The cricketing world will be hoping that the theatre of Sunday’s World Cup final will create a lasting legacy of increased participation and viewership. However, England suffered a false dawn of this nature after their 2003 rugby World Cup victory.

Morgan is confident that this time, the hard work that he and the ECB have put in over the past four years, will pay dividends.

“This is new ground for all of us,” he says.

“We’ve never won a cricket World Cup, everything we’ve done throughout this tournament has been new ground that nobody’s ever played in before.

“We’ve made the last four years worth every moment – the planning, the hard work. We can plan ahead from here.

“What would really make the last four years worth it would be if we went into the next World Cup and the following World Cup, considered as actual genuine contenders. We don’t have to be favourites going in, but just on a consistent basis you raise the belief within the country, the cricketers and the ambition.

“And with that, it drags everybody along. I think, particularly the group of guys we’ve got at the moment, given the age that they are, the talent they possess, there’s no reason why they can’t do it.”