World Cup winning England pacer Liam Plunkett wants to 'get excited about stuff again'

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Liam Plunkett says he wants to “get excited about stuff again” after experiencing low moods since England’s World Cup glory.

Plunkett was one of England’s heroes as they beat New Zealand in an all-time classic at Lord’s but has found the days after lifting the trophy tough.

While the majority of England’s squad have Test and Ashes commitments ahead, Plunkett, as a white-ball specialist for his country, has gone his own way and told the Telegraph that within two days of the final he was “sat on his sofa watching Netflix”.

“It was quite hard and honestly I felt quite down a little bit,” the 34-year-old said. “Everything was building up to that World Cup and it was the highest point of my career. I’m not sure anything’s going to happen like that again in cricket for me.”

Plunkett took three vital wickets in the final, the crowning point of a career which he admits has given him plenty of mental challenges, leading him to seek professional help.

“I’ve always been big into it [mental health awareness],” he said. “I had a panic attack a long time ago. I never knew what it was and I got anxiety around it.

“I struggled being in one-on-one situations and certain situations like travelling on a plane and I’ve always been conscious of that.

“I’ve never stopped speaking to anyone, but it’s just a natural thing. From winning the World Cup to sitting on your sofa it is a big drop.

“I think a lot of the guys felt the same, we spoke to each other about it but as I said you’ve got to go back to playing for your county, some guys are playing in the Ashes and the Test against Ireland.

“In the blink of an eye it was gone, as I say it felt like a massive low then.

“Everyone just disappeared everywhere else, so it was sad a little bit because you still want to be around people.

“You’ve just won the World Cup, you might never see that again never mind winning it so I felt a little bit down after. It was sad.”
Plunkett, now with Surrey after a highly-successful six years with Yorkshire, will return to domestic action on Tuesday night in a T20 clash with Middlesex.

He admitted to the newspaper that returning to ‘normal’ life would be a challenge, saying: “Not in a bad way, you just want to get excited about stuff again.

“It’s just hard from playing in such a magnificent game as that. I was a little bit down, I was still happy, but it’s just the ebb and flow of that game and the magnitude of it, it’s just a natural thing.”

Provided by Press Association Sport

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CWC 2019 review: Kane Williamson and Shakib Al Hasan feature in best right-handed v left-handed teams

Ashish Peter 22/07/2019
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Kane Williamson (l) and Shakib Al Hasan (r).

It has been a week since the 2019 ICC World Cup drew to a close but the tournament continues to linger on in the minds of cricket fans around the globe.

The tournament in England saw an even contest between bat and ball and was very much a throwback to ODI cricket of the 1990s. There was no dearth of stand-out performers in the World Cup with batsmen and bowlers alike making a mark.

Here, we compile the best possible right-handed and left-handed XIs from the tournament.

RIGHT-HAND BAT WORLD CUP XI

Rohit Sharma (India)

An unprecedented five tons in a single World Cup edition from the India opener who also finished as the top run-scorer with 648 runs at an average of 81.

Jason Roy (England)

Only twice did the England opener fail to register at least 50 runs in an innings over the course of the tournament. Registered a total of 443 runs which came at a strike-rate of more than 115.

Jason Roy.

Jason Roy.

Kane Williamson (c)

The New Zealand skipper was the tournament’s MVP with 578 runs at an average of over 82 and he led the Black Caps admirably before facing heartbreak in the final at Lord’s.

Joe Root

The England stalwart pips Virat Kohli to this slot after a stellar campaign where he registered two centuries and three fifties on his way to an aggregate of 556 runs. He finished as England’s highest run-getter in the tournament.

Babar Azam

The Pakistan stalwart would have ideally been batting much higher up the order but it is a stacked middle-order. Babar’s 474 runs at an average of 67 is the highest run tally by any Pakistan batsman in World Cup history.

Babar Azam.

Babar Azam.

Faf du Plessis

The Proteas captain should hold his head up high despite his team’s dismal display after registering one century and three fifties in the tournament.

Mushfiqur Rahim (wk)

The Bangladesh man pips Jos Buttler and MS Dhoni to the wicketkeeping gloves after a solid individual campaign for the Tigers where he averaged more than 52 with the bat.

Chris Woakes

The England all-rounder might not have set the world alight with the bat in the tournament but he was a major force with the new-ball with 16 wickets in total. He really came into his own in the business end of the tournament for the eventual champions.

Jofra Archer

It was some maiden World Cup campaign for Archer who added a new dimension to England’s bowling attack. Twenty scalps in total for the Barbados-born pacer who finished as the third-highest wicket-taker.

Jofra Archer.

Jofra Archer.

Lockie Ferguson

One of the biggest surprises of the tournament was the performance of the Kiwi pacer who finished only behind Mitchell Starc in the wicket-taking charts. 21 wickets at an average of under 20 for Ferguson.

Jasprit Bumrah

The No1 ranked ODI bowler in the world lived up to his reputation with a terrific campaign that saw him fetch 18 wickets while maintaining an outstanding economy-rate of just 4.41.

Jasprit Bumrah had a magnificent maiden World Cup campaign.

Jasprit Bumrah had a magnificent maiden World Cup campaign.

LEFT-HAND BAT WORLD CUP XI

David Warner

The Australia opener wasted no time in stamping his authority on his return to international cricket after a one-year suspension. Three tons and as many fifties saw him finish just behind Rohit Sharma.

Quinton de Kock

While he was a shade below his usual best in the tournament, the Proteas opener remained a potent threat at the top with three fifties and an average of nearly 40.

Shakib Al Hasan

The Bangladesh all-rounder became the first player in history to register more than 600 runs and 10 wickets in a single World Cup edition. He scored two tons and five fifties in eight innings while also chipping in with 11 wickets.

Shakib Al Hasan is in the form of his life.

Shakib Al Hasan is in the form of his life.

Eoin Morgan (c)

The World Cup winning skipper had a decent individual campaign as well with a total of 371 runs while slamming a record-breaking 17 sixes in his 158-run blitz against Afghanistan.

Nicholas Pooran

The Windies youngster showed why he is so highly rated with some excellent innings including a fine ton against Sri Lanka. Averaged more than 52 with the bat.

Alex Carey (wk)

The Australia wicketkeeper was arguably the revelation of the tournament with 375 runs at an average of more than 62 while also effecting 20 dismissals with the gloves.

Alex Carey

Alex Carey

Ben Stokes

The star all-rounder was England’s man of the tournament from start to finish and registered 465 runs in total with the help of five fifties. Always got stuck in for the hosts when they were in trouble while also chipping in with seven wickets and some outstanding catches in the deep.

James Neesham 

The Kiwi all-rounder had a superb tournament and made important contributions with both bat and ball. His seamers fetched 15 wickets while he registered a fine unbeaten 97 in his side’s loss to Pakistan.

Mitchell Starc 

The Australia pace spearhead broke compatriot Glenn McGrath’s record of the most wickets in a single World Cup edition and finished with 27 wickets. Starc has now finished on the top of the wicket-taking charts two World Cups in a row.

Starc broke his compatriot Glenn McGrath's record.

Starc broke his compatriot Glenn McGrath’s record.

Mohammad Amir 

The senior Pakistan pacer more than vindicated the selectors’ faith in him by picking up 17 wickets an average of nearly 21. He also registered his maiden five-wicket haul in ODIs in the clash against England.

Shaheen Afridi 

The Pakistan teenager left a last impression in England after claiming 16 wickets in  just five games including a memorable Lord’s five-wicket haul in the win over Bangladesh.

Afridi was flying against Bangladesh.

Afridi was flying against Bangladesh.

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CWC 2019 review: Ben Stokes lights up the tournament opener and other top all-round displays

Ashish Peter 20/07/2019
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Stokes was brilliant in the tournament opener at the Oval.

The 2019 ICC World Cup will live long in the memory of cricket fans after the most epic finale at Lord’s which saw England pip New Zealand to a maiden title.

While the final was as thrilling a cricket match as they come, the entire tournament was also an eventful one with some sensational individual and team displays along the way.

Here, we look at the top five batting knocks of the tournament.

Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan)

52 and 2-33 vs India

The Afghanistan man was unfortunate to end up on the losing side after what was a fine all-round display from him at Southampton.

On a slow and tricky surface at Southampton, Nabi helped Afghanistan restrict India’s formidable batting order to just 224-8 by picking up the crucial wickets of Virat Kohli and KL Rahul.

He followed it up with a superb batting display that nearly helped Afghanistan pull of the biggest shock of the tournament. The right-hander’s quick-fire fifty put Afghanistan on the brink before a final over hat-trick from Mohammed Shami helped the Men in Blue pull off an 11-run win.

It was a heroic display from Nabi nevertheless with the Afghanistan managing to look the second most fluent batsman at the crease after Kohli on what was a really difficult surface to bat on.

Nabi nearly pulled off the biggest upset of the tournament.

Nabi nearly pulled off the biggest upset of the tournament.

Joe Root (England)

100 not out and 2-27 vs West Indies

The England stalwart’s part-time off spin was put to lethal use in the clash against Windies where he managed to grab the important wickets of the dangerous Shimron Hetmyer and Jason Holder.

Those two wickets helped England bowl out the Caribbean side for just 212 runs before the hosts chased down the target with considerable ease.

With Jason Roy tweaking his hamstring in the clash, Root was promoted to open the innings alongside Jonny Bairstow and the duo put on a commanding 95 run stand. Bairstow perished but Root continued to march on in effortless style before bringing up his second ton of the tournament in the closing stages.

Root’s brilliance meant England romped to victory with nearly 17 overs to spare in the end.

Root's off-spin did serious damage.

Root’s off-spin did serious damage.

Ravindra Jadeja (India)

77 and 1-34 vs New Zealand

That it ultimately ended in defeat for India was a shame but Jadeja’s heroics at Old Trafford in the semi-final against New Zealand is worthy of a mention.

The all-rounder was excellent with the ball to start up with his 10 overs going for just 34 runs while fetching the important wicket of the well-set Henry Nicholls. To top it, Jadeja took two fine catches and a brilliant run-out of Ross Taylor.

India were ultimately set a target of 240 but their top-order were completely disintegrated by the Kiwis at the very start of the run chase.

India were tottering at 92-6 in the 31st over when Jadeja walked in to bat and the southpaw immediately unleashed a stunning counter-attack on New Zealand’s bowlers. On a pitch where nearly every batsman struggled, Jadeja was in a league of his own as he smashed the ball to all parts of the ground.

His 59-ball 77 gave India a new lease of life but the run-rate pressure ultimately told on him and he perished in the pursuit of another big hit.

A valiant display from Jadeja went in vain in the end.

A valiant display from Jadeja went in vain in the end.

Ben Stokes (England)

89 and 2-12 vs South Africa

The star England man’s display in the Lord’s final will forever be his crowning achievement but his best all-round show in the World Cup came in the tournament opener against South Africa at the Oval.

Stokes arrived at the crease with England at 111-3 and was content to bide his time in the early stages before going on the offensive. The left-hander switched gears in the death overs to unleash a flurry of boundaries while the Proteas kept chipping away with wickets at the other end.

Stokes was the last England batsman to be dismissed but not before he had helped the side breach the 300-run mark. He then pulled off one of the best catches of the tournament with a one-handed grab on the boundary ropes before picking up two late wickets to cap off a complete all-round display.

Stokes pulled off a stunning one-handed catch in the deep.

Stokes pulled off a stunning catch to dismiss Andile Phehlukwayo

Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh)

124 not out and 2-54 vs West Indies

The Bangladesh stalwart was the all-rounder of the tournament with more than 600 runs and 11 wickets to his name. The No1 ODI all-rounder was brilliant from start to finish for the Tigers but his best arguably came in the clash against Windies at Taunton.

The southpaw’s 2-54 with the ball was a respectable effort with West Indies piling up 321-8 in their 50 overs. What followed in Bangladesh’s innings was nothing short of spectacular with Shakib’s whirlwind 124 (99) helping the Tigers chase down the stiff target with more than eight overs to spare.

The left-hander feasted on the short-pitched bowling approach by Windies to register what was a second consecutive ODI ton. That explosive knock helped Bangladesh equal their highest run-chase in ODIs with Shakib becoming the first batsman from his country to register 6,000 runs in the process.

Shakib and Litton Das made short work of a 322-run chase.

Shakib and Litton Das made short work of a 322-run chase.

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