Morgan hails England supporters and says it would be ‘awesome’ and ‘iconic’ to lift the World Cup
Lord’s isn’t highscoring, so this match will be a
bit of a battle
ENGLAND’S skipper Eoin Morgan said it would be simply “awesome” to lift the World Cup – and thanked the fans for their brilliant support.
Morgan and his sensational side face New Zealand in the final at Lord’s as overwhelming favourites to lift the trophy for the first time.
“If we manage to win, it would be awesome for cricket,” said the skipper. “It would be great for the game and I think quite iconic, certainly in the memory of young kids if they are watching at home.”
It is 27 years since England last reached the final and they have never won cricket’s one-day tournament.
“The support we’ve had has been unquestionable,” added Morgan.
“And, as a team, that makes you feel extremely lucky. We’re very excited about the game.”
The home of cricket will be the perfect venue and, as he looked ahead to the match, Morgan displayed the qualities that have made him such an admirable and respected skipper.
Morgan has always been his own man, insistent on England playing one-day, 50-over cricket his way.
And former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum has been a big inspiration for Morgan.
“We are close mates and he’s taught me a lot about leadership,” said Morgan, who demands an aggressive, attacking style of cricket.
“The way that New Zealand played under him is very similar to the way we are playing at the moment.
“They proved to everyone that you can get to the top by being yourselves and not trying to be somebody else, or a different team, being a bit of a novelty for everybody else.”
What that entails for Morgan is an absence of both hype and promises of glory.
In the practice nets yesterday, he was a picture of joy, laughing and joking with Joe Root and Mark Wood. They were boys at play – relaxed and ready for today’s monumental occasion.
In front of a microphone, the poker face came out as he declined an invitation to consider how the ultimate victory would feel.
“I haven’t allowed myself to think about lifting the trophy,” he said.
“Sport – and cricket in particular – is very fickle. If you get ahead of yourself, it bites you on the backside.
“But I can say the match means a huge amount to me and everyone in the changing room. It’s the culmination of four years of hard work.” England were hopeless at the last World Cup in 2015, an anxietyracked outfit. The failure they feared so much was brutal in nature.
Morgan, along with reticent Australian head coach Trevor Bayliss, washed away the negative vibes, transforming the duffers into the world’s No.1-ranked team.
The final step to glory awaits today – on the grandest stage of all.
What kind of game will it be? Can England play their usual all-gunsblazing power game?
The skipper offered some words of caution to the hordes of expectant fans.
“Lord’s isn’t ever a high-scoring ground, so I’d say this match will be a bit of a battle,” he explained.
“Throughout the tournament, the scores have been a lot lower than previously here in the last three or four years and adjusting to that has been harder work than it normally is.
“New Zealand have been brilliant at adjusting and this is going to be a tough game. What will I say to the players? You never know until the morning of the game. You have to see what the mood of the camp is. If it’s down, you need to pick it up. If it’s too high, you bring it down.
“The majority of times over the last few matches it’s been right on point.”
England have played outstanding cricket to reach the final. They are a team with no weak link.
Every player has contributed – from thrilling new fast bowler Jofra Archer to leg-spinner Adil Rashid and opener Jason Roy.
But they would not be the same without Morgan’s leadership.
Roy offered this tribute about the captain yesterday, saying: “Oh, mate, he’s unbelievable. As you’ve seen on the pitch, he’s a very cool customer, very methodical and very good with his emotions.
“It doesn’t matter what someone’s done to him – he’s able to look forward and look past that for the best in everyone. He’s just a good guy.”
THEY SEAM HAPPY Spinner Adil Rashid has a laugh with paceman Jofra Archer
FINAL PLANS Bayliss and Morgan chatting yesterday