Daily Mail

We didn’t get a lot of sleep Sunday night!


THIS is what it is all about. The days, the nights, the time away from home and all the sacrifices you make. It is all worth it for that moment when you become world champions.

I said before the semi-final we hadn’t yet played our best cricket and maybe in previous tournament­s we peaked too early. Not this time. We timed it to perfection. Win four, win the World Cup, and that is exactly what we did!

I don’t think many of the lads slept on Sunday night. Trust me, we had some tired faces on the flight to Adelaide from Melbourne yesterday afternoon.

The party went on at the ground until 2am. It was one of the best celebratio­ns I’ve been involved in, full of jokes and songs and it carried on at the hotel, where coach Matthew Mott got a trim!

The deal was simple. He said if we won the World Cup, he would shave his head. Motty called me to the team room where we were all celebratin­g and I had the trimmer (of course, with my beard) so I got that honour. Expect Sam Curran to have his hair dyed over the coming days as part of the deal!

There are a few of us who don’t drink, of course, but our team culture is centred on respect for one another and we can still celebrate together. It’s common now and not a big deal but the players waited for me and Adil Rashid to leave before they sprayed the champagne.

That understand­ing goes both ways. We also respect what the boys want to do because it is a good moment and a tradition they enjoy.

The final was one of the best games I’ve ever played in. It had all those feelings — the nerves, the excitement and the atmosphere at the MCG.

I was desperate to win and it is the happiest I’ve ever been after a win. There has been some good ones but Sunday night with the boys and your mates were the kind of memories you never forget.

I was so glad the kids were there — it’s the best feeling in the world when you win something and you can celebrate with your loved ones. My son Abu Bakr was buzzing!

There was a sense of unfinished business after 2016 and last year’s semi-final defeat, but it was fitting Stokesey was there to take us home. The big moments find Ben Stokes. When you have got players like him alongside you, everything feels different. There are not many other players in world cricket you would want during that run chase. A special mention to Curran who was class again on Sunday. It is the big games where the big players step up. Rash is the best leg spinner in the world and he showed why against India and Pakistan. What a player. And for CJ

(Chris Jordan) to come in for the last two games, having not played all tournament, and perform the way he did — he is a true team guy and smashed it.

When I came in to bat, the nerves were there and we still needed 50- odd but experience helped. I knew Stokesy was determined to be there at the end. It was up to me to play some shots.

I’ve had a good winter with the bat and once he went after Iftikhar Ahmed, I sensed an opening to go big against Mohammad Wasim. We took 13 off the 16th and 16 off the 17th and that was pretty much job done. It was unfortunat­e to see Shaheen Shah Afridi go down. The ball he bowled before he went off surprised me because it was so slow. But he and Pakistan will be back.

Winning in 2019 was special, but this is one where I’ve had added responsibi­lity. Yes, I was dropped midway through the tournament in 2019 but that was the right call. At the time, Eoin Morgan told me the seamers were picking up the wickets so it made sense. Even though I didn’t play in the final, I felt I played a part in the journey.

I’ve played all the games this winter and it has been a long winter. We left for Pakistan in early September. Mission accomplish­ed with the T20 stuff but our next game is in a couple of days.

It is hard to be at your best always with such a packed schedule. I guess that is just how cricket is these days, but we want to leave a legacy as part of this golden era for English white-ball cricket.

Next is the ODI World Cup in India — that is the target now.

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 ?? POPPERFOTO ?? Special: Moeen lifts the World Cup with Rashid
POPPERFOTO Special: Moeen lifts the World Cup with Rashid

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