Why England Winning the World Cup is a Welcome Change for Cricket
In the build-up to the World Cup, England beat teams like India, Australia and Pakistan in bilateral ties.
This was a story of the English Cricket team rising from its ashes. After the embarrassing group-stage exit in the previous edition of the competition, Eoin Morgan and company galvanised themselves as they went on to beat New Zealand at Lord’s in the final, to be finally declared champions in a game that they invented.
Though the way they won the final might have stirred a few talking points with people questioning the logic behind ICC’s Super Over rules. However, despite everything, England’s World Cup win was a welcome change in cricket.
Not So Great History
Having reached the World Cup finals 27 years ago against Pakistan in 1992, England made most of the conditions when they hosted the mega event in 2019. Before the start of the tournament, England were considered as one of the title favorites. And as it turned out, they didn’t disappoint.
England were considered to be a better Test-playing side all throughout the nineties and even in the decade of the new millennium.
In 1999, when they previously hosted the World Cup, England made a group stage exit. In the next edition in 2003, under Nasser Hussain's captaincy, England again made an early exit from the World Cup.
The next two World Cups, in 2007 and 2011, saw England failing to make an impact. Moreover, they lost against the likes of Bangladesh and Ireland.
However, four years down the line, the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, in 2015, saw England stoop to their lowest as a team. Bangladesh once again beat them, but this time it was a sucker punch to knock them out of the tournament.
Morgan was at helm back then also. The likes of Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Jos Buttler and Joe Root shared the agony of yet another failure with the skipper.
A Welcome Change
England's surprise World Cup exit made the selectors think hard on revamping their limited-overs outfit. It kickstarted a process of plugging the holes. Former England skipper Andrew Strauss was made the cricketing director and was given the responsibility to bring change.
England parted ways with Peter Moors after Morgan and his men’s quite remarkable World Cup exit. Trevor Bayliss was signed in as his replacement. Strauss also made sure that the England team were unaffected by Kevin Pietersen and his comments regarding the team.
Pietersen had a fall-out with Strauss, but the latter made sure nothing affected the England team and their process of regeneration.
At last, Pietersen retired from all forms of cricket in 2014, after a long deliberation which was ‘polluting’ the atmosphere in the England dressing room.
In came players like Ben Stokes, Adil Rashid, veteran pacer Liam Plunkett. With skipper Morgan still as captain, England started playing more 50-overs cricket and winning more games.
Cut to May 2018, England toppled India to take the number one spot in ICC ODI rankings. They had last topped the rankings for a brief period in 2013.
The team had started winning, players were performing and the dream to win the World Cup at home was looking more possible than ever.
In the build-up to the World Cup, England got the better of India, Australia and Pakistan in bilateral ties.
In July 2019, England lifted the World Cup under Morgan, erasing the nightmares of 2015. The turnaround was complete. This was definitely a welcome change in cricket.
Ended Australia’s Winning Run in SF, Beat India
England's win assumes added significance given the fact that they beat teams like India and Australia in the process. Both teams were considered superior not only in terms of composition and experience, but the rich legacy and recent history also played a big role.
What made their victory all the more meaningful was that they denied the likes of Australia and India from getting their hands on the title, once more.
Since 1999, the World Cup was won by only two teams – Australia and India. During this period, Australia won the trophy for four times while India won it once in 2011.
With the win, England also brought to halt Australia’s unbeaten run in World Cup semi finals.
England were beaten by their Ashes rival in the league stage and they returned the favour in the semifinal, as they knocked them out of the tournament.
The Overall Impact
The overall impact that this victory brought to the country is huge. England Prime Minister Theresa May thanked the England team for winning the showpiece event and ending a 44-year wait.
"You have helped the nation fall in love with cricket once again," May told the England players at her official residence 10 Downing Street, according to British media reports.
“The final was not just cricket at its best but sport at its best – courage, character, sportsmanship, drama, incredible skill and even the odd slice of luck – all combining to create a real thriller, one of the great sporting spectacles of our time.”Theresa May, England Prime Minister
England’s transition from being a Test specialist to an unbeatable force in ODIs was evident in the way they performed in this edition of the World Cup. Under Morgan, the freedom with which England have played their cricket speaks volumes about the work that went in behind the scenes.
“This has been a four-year journey. We have developed a lot over those years, especially the last two. We find it hard to play on wickets like that. To get over the line today means the world to us.” Morgan had said, after leading his team to a memorable World Cup win.
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