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‘Every time I watch it, it’s still tense’: Eoin Morgan looks back on the World Cup final a year later

‘It’s still exciting every time I watch it’: Eoin Morgan reflects on the World Cup final a year later, as he says England’s dramatic victory has ‘done wonders for the sport’

  • Eoin Morgan led England to victory in the 2019 Cricket World Cup
  • The final against New Zealand went all the way through to a dramatic Super Over
  • The Super Over was also right after Martin Guptill ran out on the last ball
  • England was crowned champion because it scored more borders

A year after the tumultuous day at Lord’s, England won the world championship with ‘the smallest margins’ as TV commentator Ian Smith said so memorable and Eoin Morgan has finally had time to sit down and watch the final that will define him.

“The past four months have been a bit of a challenge, but it means I have now been able to watch the entire final three times,” said Captain Morgan on the first anniversary of one of the most beautiful days in English cricket history.

“That allowed me to enjoy it and absorb it for the first time. It’s an incredible day to watch from start to finish. It’s still tense every time I look at it, with ebb and flow, but looking back on it now feels like a privilege to be a part of it. ‘

It's been a year since Eoin Morgan led England to victory at the 2019 Cricket World Championship

It’s been a year since Eoin Morgan led England to victory at the 2019 Cricket World Championship

It is still extraordinary to think that not only the final against New Zealand, but also the Super Over that followed ended with scores and England was crowned champion by crossing the line in a bizarre tie-breaker.

But that doesn’t diminish the triumph of a captain who has gone down in history as one of only three men, alongside Bobby Moore and Martin Johnson, to lift major World Cups for England. And the exciting final made it even more special.

“I think in life the harder you work for something, whether it’s a World Cup or an offensive defense, the better it feels afterwards,” said Morgan. “That is human nature and I felt that too.

“The dramatic nature of the day has really worked wonders for the sport. The final was actually bigger than cricket and became one of the highlights of British sports history. It is probably even more satisfying that the final will be remembered for a long time. ‘

Jos Buttler has removed the bail to claim the decisive wicket in the final against New Zealand

Jos Buttler has removed the bail to claim the decisive wicket in the final against New Zealand

Jos Buttler has removed the bail to claim the decisive wicket in the final against New Zealand

And the day has really changed the life of the Irishman who has become one of the most important captains England ever had. “I think the game’s profile has improved a lot,” said Morgan, on his first birthday.

“I just base that on people who come to me on the street or in a bar or cafe. It is also not alone at home. When we were on vacation, people told me they flew to the cricket during the tennis or grand prix.

“Or who heard someone shouting next to them and wondering what they were looking at. Cricket has certainly become more famous despite what has happened in the world since then and people recognize me much more.

“I feel very comfortable with that. It has always been good-mannered when people have come to me and everyone has always been nice. Something like that can only help the game. ‘

Morgan celebrates with Joe Root in the dressing room after England's epic victory

Morgan celebrates with Joe Root in the dressing room after England's epic victory

Morgan celebrates with Joe Root in the dressing room after England’s epic victory

Martin Guptill’s small advance by Jos Buttler after a pitch from Jason Roy was certainly the moment of the sliding doors for Morgan, who is now committed to leading England in the next two Twenty20 World Cups in Australia and India, even if delayed by the coronavirus crisis. It could easily have been different if England had lost.

Would he have lost his job if four years of hard white-ball work had ended in defeat with the smallest possible margins? “That’s a good question and one I don’t really have an answer to,” said Morgan. “Winning or losing was not the key to the decision I made to continue, but it would of course have been part of the thinking of Ashley Giles, Ed Smith and Tom Harrison about whether they wanted to get away from me.

“We’re looked at by performance, but the way we played that day embodied what we tried to do and how we felt in four years. It was part of the process, so I’m not sure it would have made a difference if we lost. We know what it’s like to win and lose big games and the modesty that both sides showed that day was amazing. ‘

Now Morgan is aiming for a 50-over and Twenty20 World Cup double. “T20 is the format we’ve deliberately neglected and it’s been in the backseat for the past four years,” he said.

“But that is going to change now. There has never been a team that has held both World Cups and it would be incredible to win any of the tournaments in Australia or India. And winning both would be greater than winning the 50 World Cup! ‘

For that time, Morgan wants to bring together the 15-person World Cup team for the first time since their triumph moment. “We found it incredibly challenging to get everyone in the same place since the day after the win,” added the Middlesex man.

“One of our goals is to do that sooner rather than later, to have dinner or have a party where we can get all the players, staff, friends and families together. It’s on the agenda. I like to celebrate. Any excuse is sufficient. It is important to do. ‘

And England is still celebrating the day they won the World Cup for the first time in many years.

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