Alastair Cook’s overriding feeling when watching England’s cricket World Cup final victory unfold was “disbelief”.
The 34-year-old, who retired from international cricket in September last year, could not watch all of the action as he was on County Championship duty, but he enjoyed the thrilling conclusion with his Essex team-mates.
Ben Stokes starred as England beat New Zealand on Sunday following a super over, and former Test captain Cook told PA: “It was amazing.
“I only watched the last hour-and-a-half really as we were playing for Essex, so to see that and share that excitement of England winning a World Cup amongst an Essex cricket team was fantastic.
“There was disbelief, disbelief at how a game of cricket after seven hours, eight hours can be a tie and still another tie, it was an incredible advert for the game of cricket.
“I was so happy for the England guys to win and obviously you feel a bit sorry for the New Zealand guys to lose by such fine margins. The way they handled that was spectacular.”
There was controversy when, in the last over, Stokes and Adil Rashid pushed for a second run when a throw from the boundary deflected off Stokes’ outstretched bat and away for four overthrows and six runs in total.
It has since been suggested that England should have only been awarded five runs, but Cook added: “I don’t make the rules and I don’t totally understand them, but it was a pure accident by Stokesy.
“He’s joked since that it was the only one he timed in the whole innings. It probably showed that we had the rub of the green, the luck of the Irish, it was just a fantastic way to finish.”
Former spin bowler Monty Panesar, who, along with Cook, was speaking at the premiere of cricket documentary The Edge charting the rise of the England Test team, hailed the strength of the current ODI squad.
He believes England will take the momentum into the Ashes later this summer, and said: “I didn’t play any white-ball cricket and when I played in 2007 we had a lot of weaknesses in our team, but this team just looks so strong.
“The two opening batsmen…if they produce a really strong partnership it allows all of the other batters to play with freedom, no fear, and that’s what I think Eoin Morgan has brought and it’s brilliant to see.
“All departments are really strong, I think England have set the benchmark in ODI cricket for all the other nations to follow. I don’t know if any nation can catch up with England at the moment.”
He added: “I don’t think I’ve ever seen England be so dominant against Australia.
“I’m really looking forward to the Ashes because I’m hoping they can continue that form in red-ball cricket and keep dominating Australia because we always like to see Australia lose on English soil!”
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Several batting records were broken in the just concluded 2019 ICC World Cup, but it didn’t really turn out to be the batting festival as predicted by many before the tournament began.
Ultimately, it ended up being a pretty even contest between bat and ball in England with bowlers making their voices heard loud and clear over the course of the six weeks.
Among the bowlers, it was the pacers who were the more dominant force compared to the spinners with conditions in England playing to their strengths.
What was more remarkable about the bowling display in the World Cup was the success enjoyed by left-armed pacers. Among the top nine wicket-takers of the tournament, as many as five of them were left-armed fast bowlers.
Here, we look at their incredible showing in the 2019 World Cup.
Shaheen Afridi (Pakistan)
The teenager was not an initial part of the Pakistan playing XI, but he seized his opportunity with both hands after Hasan Ali’s ineffective showings.
Afridi bowled with some venom in his five outings with his cleverly disguised slower delivery doing plenty of damage. Just over a year ago, the youngster was playing in the U19 World Cup for Pakistan and now he has his name on Lord’s honours board following his five-wicket haul against Bangladesh.
His figures of 6-35 against the Tigers was the best by any bowler in the entire tournament.
Trent Boult (New Zealand)
The New Zealand stalwart has consistently been up among the very best over the past four years or so and he did not disappoint in the World Cup.
Boult led the formidable Kiwi pace attack admirably in the tournament with his trademark inswingers to right-handed batsmen making plenty of appearances.
The southpaw was at his very best in the semi-final against India where he trapped danger-man Virat Kohli plumb in front of the wickets with another booming inswinger.
Mohammad Amir (Pakistan)
The Pakistan pacer couldn’t buy a wicket to save his life over the past two years, but they came at bucketloads for him in the World Cup.
Amir was back to his very best in England and showed some excellent control with both the new and the older ball. The senior Pakistan left-armed pacer was particularly brilliant in his side’s loss to Australia at Taunton where he returned with figures of 5-30.
All that and more from a man who was not picked in Pakistan’s initial 15-man World Cup squad.
Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh)
While he might have been slightly on the more expensive side, Mustafizur Rahman turned out to be Bangladesh’s best wicket-taking threat in the tournament.
The 23-year-old did extremely well to finish as the fourth highest wicket-taker in the tournament and managed to bag five-wicket hauls against India and Pakistan with the latter coming at the iconic Lord’s.
His canny slower deliveries in the death overs worked a treat and the youngster is starting to look like his former self once again after what was a lean period for him.
Mitchell Starc (Australia)
It was once again Starc’s tournament to shine with the Aussie pace spearhead finishing as the top wicket-taker for the second World Cup campaign in a row.
Starc created history in England by bettering his compatriot Glenn McGrath’s record of picking up 26 wickets in a single World Cup edition in 2003.
The southpaw hurried batsmen up with his express pace while also managing to generate some late movement with the white-ball. His booming yorkers were on point in England and his delivery to shatter Ben Stokes’ stumps in the round-robin clash was arguably the best delivery of the entire tournament.
Mitchell Starc has now taken the most wickets by a bowler at a single World Cup; passing Glenn McGrath’s record of 26 wickets in the 2007 World Cup #CWC19 #CmonAussie #AUSvENG #ENGvAUS 🇦🇺 pic.twitter.com/Zag9j8TUGG— Fox Sports Lab (@FoxSportsLab) July 11, 2019
The dust continues to settle on the 2019 ICC World Cup after a six-week long tournament culminated with the most extraordinary final at Lord’s.
Hosts England capturing their maiden World Cup trophy in the most of dramatic of fashion was the perfect finale to an eventful and entertaining tournament that delivered on many fronts.
There were several players who rose to the occasion in England over the course of the World Cup while quite a few had disastrous campaigns to forget.
Here, we look at the five biggest hits and misses of the 2019 World Cup.
The Kiwi skipper won the hearts of cricket fans around the world with his immense grace and poise despite what was an extremely bitter pill to swallow for his side following their loss at Lord’s. His class was not just limited to gentlemanly behavior with Williamson also walking away with the player of the tournament award.
The right-hander scored almost 30 per cent of New Zealand’s total runs at an average of over 82 in their dream run to a second successive World Cup final. Williamson’s unbeaten ton to guide his side to win in a tough run chase against South Africa was arguably one of the best innings of the tournament.
Shakib Al Hasan
Nobody would have predicted that the Bangladesh man would end up as the third highest run-scorer in the tournament before the World Cup but the No1 ranked all-rounder managed to defy all odds and expectations with a stellar campaign.
Shakib became the first player in history to claim at least 10 wickets while also scoring 600 runs in the same World Cup in a record-breaking campaign. That 41 was the lowest score by the southpaw in eight innings tells you all you need to know about his magnificent tournament.
While Joe Root and Jofra Archer were the respective leading run-scorers and wicket-takers in England’s title winning campaign, it was Ben Stokes who was the heart and soul of the team.
The controversial all-rounder is now a national hero for England after his sensational display in the Lord’s final where he dug the team out from the jaws of defeat. From digging his team out of holes to pulling off some stunning catches in the outfield, Stokes was in the thick of things for England throughout the tournament.
He scored 465 runs overall and finished ahead of the likes of Virat Kohli and Jason Roy in the scoring charts while also picking up seven wickets with the ball.
While he will remain haunted by his semi-final failure for some time to come, there is no denying that Rohit Sharma was the best batsman on display in the tournament.
The India deputy skipper became the first batsman in history to slam five centuries in a single World Cup and he fell just short of overhauling Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 673 runs scored in 2003.
With Kohli not registering a single ton and Shikhar Dhawan exiting the tournament through injury, it was Rohit who led India’s charge with the bat to the semi-final.
The Kiwi pacer was one of the biggest revelations of the tournament with a fine campaign that saw him pick up 21 wickets in total at an average of just 19.47.
He finished behind only Mitchell Starc in the wicket-taking charts and was up there among the quickest bowlers in the tournament when it came to raw pace.
Ferguson’s biggest strength was his incredible consistency with the Blackcaps pacer not going wicketless in any of his nine outings in the tournament. It was some turnaround from him after his previous 86 ODI appearances before the World Cup had yielded only 59 wickets at an average of more than 43.
Six wickets in nine games was an extremely poor return for a leg-spinner of the calibre of Rashid Khan who will wish to quickly forget the tournament.
The Afghanistan star was made to look ordinary on several occasions and had a nightmare of an outing against England where he went for 110 runs in nine overs. The No1 ranked T20I bowler now hold the infamous record of the worst figures by any bowler in World Cup history and his stellar reputation has taken an almighty beating.
The New Zealand opener’s stunning direct hit to run out MS Dhoni in the semi-final, and his general superb fielding, will remain his only positive abiding memories of a campaign where he simply failed to turn up with the bat.
Guptill has always been one of the more reliable performers for the Blackcaps in limited-overs cricket but his World Cup showings were a far cry from previous displays from a man who has scored an ODI double-ton.
The right-hander registered an unbeaten 73 against Sri Lanka in the campaign opener but was able to muster just 113 runs in his next nine innings with the bat.
Plenty was expected from the Australian maverick in the World Cup after some promising displays earlier this year but it didn’t really happen for Maxwell in England.
The all-rounder had brief flashes of brilliance but they were too few and far between for Australia’s liking. He scored a fine, unbeaten 46 against Sri Lanka but his overall tally in the tournament stood at just 177 runs after 10 innings.
The explosive cameos down the order in the crux stages simply did not arrive.
It was not the swansong from ODI cricket that Shoaib Malik would have envisioned with the veteran bowing out from the format with barely a whimper.
The 37-year-old had previously averaged around 12 with the bat in ODIs on English soil and that statistic reflected his struggles to follow in the World Cup.
Malik was able to score just three runs in eight innings while bagging two ducks and he was deservedly axed from the Pakistan playing XI in the latter stages.
The hype around the Windies all-rounder before the start of the World Cup was immense after his MVP showing for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL. Russell had plundered sixes for fun the in the T20 competition and the same was expected in England but it turned out to be a disappointing campaign with the bat in the end.
Although he was quite decent with the ball in hand, Russell was guilty of some shoddy shot-making with the bat and could only register a high-score of 21 runs in four innings. His World Cup campaign ended in misery with the all-rounder leaving the tournament midway through due to his knee struggles.