The Daily Telegraph - Business : 2020-07-14

Sport Cricket : 17 : 9

Sport Cricket

9 The Daily Telegraph Tuesday 14 July 2020 *** Heroes acclaimed from Downing Street to a pound shop in Bradford By Nick Hoult and Steve James M iss Pennys discount shop in Duckworth Lane, Bradford, had never seen anything like it. The pound shop selling everything from saucepans to sticky tape was the venue for the homecoming of a local World Cup hero. Javid Bashir, owner of the shop, is Adil Rashid’s uncle. He asked him to pop down when he returned from London two days after the World Cup final because a few of his friends wanted to say hello to the city’s famous son. Hundreds turned up at the small shop to greet Rashid, who was wearing his World Cup winner’s medal and who, 24 hours earlier, had been at Downing Street for a very different reception with the Prime Minister. Eoin Morgan led the team on their walk down Downing Street but he was more impressed by the homecoming for Rashid, for it proved true the words he said in the moments after the World Cup victory. Morgan, an Irishman, had constantly talked about the diversity of his England team. Sitting at the post-match press conference with the World Cup trophy to his left on the desk next to him, Morgan was asked if England had enjoyed the luck of the Irish that day: “We had Allah with us as well,” he replied. “I spoke to Adil and he said Allah was definitely with us. It actually epitomises our team. It is quite diverse background­s, cultures and guys have grown up in different countries and now to find humour in the situation we were in at times was pretty cool.” Family and friends were invited into the inner sanctum of the England dressing room to continue the party before Morgan called all the players together for a few moments. They all sang the team song as each placed a hand on the World Cup trophy before rejoining family and friends. Jonny Bairstow said: “I don’t know what time I got to bed. Time lost all meaning.” Ben Stokes had been presented with an expensive watch by sponsor Hublot for winning the man-of-the-match award. In the excitement, he left it in the dressing room (someone took it back to the hotel for him). Stokes was told he was now a national treasure and his life had changed. “Whatever, I’m not bothered. I’ve got this medal around my neck so it’s all good,” he said. England cricketers have history at Downing Street. In 2005, one of the players famously urinated in the rose garden and they asked Euan Blair, son of the Prime Minister, to go out to buy some booze when they realised only soft drinks were on offer. It would be different on Morgan’s watch. A couple tried to sneak into the Cabinet Room for a drink but it was only a half-hearted attempt and they never pulled it off. When they started to become a bit lairy after a few drinks Morgan cut them off before it got out of hand. He told them to shut it. They did. Players went back to the hotel to continue celebratin­g. On the Tuesday morning they drove to Lord’s and picked up their kit bags. They thanked the Lord’s stewards for looking after their gear. And that was that. Over to Stokes for the last word. “It’s cool, but the best thing about it is that we won what we wanted to. We deserved to be in the final for what we’ve done over the last four years. It’s an amazing thing to be part of.”

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