New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson had no complaints on the manner in which England beat New Zealand to the 2019 World Cup trophy at Lord’s.
A super over followed a tied game but a tie in that too handed the hosts the trophy by virtue of scoring more boundaries.
Williamson had absolutely no problem with a game of such high magnitude being decided in such a way.
“I suppose you never thought you’d have to ask that question and I never thought I’d have to answer it,” he said after the game.
“You know, it just is what it is really, the rules are there at the start. No-one probably thought that we would have to sort of resort to some of that stuff, but yeah, very tough to swallow.”
Liam Plunkett has become England’s lucky charm – and even when they looked dead and buried the veteran seamer knew they were destined for glory.
England are world champions for the first time in the history of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup – after a thrilling final victory over New Zealand at Lord’s.
Ben Stokes’ heroics rescued a chase that looked all but over and then performed more miracles in the super over alongside Jos Buttler.
The Blackcaps then fell agonisingly short in response, and Plunkett ends this World Cup unbeaten – England’s three group-stage losses happened with Plunkett left out of the XI.
And after a four-year journey under captain Eoin Morgan that has taken them to the top of the world – the 34-year-old believes destiny has played its part.
“The old lucky charm thing, I was riding with it. I was hoping the coach thinks that so I can get a game,” he said.
“What a day, it’s been a long journey. I played against Ross Taylor in the first World Cup I played, and now in the blink of an eye I am playing him at Lord’s.
“I don’t believe in the stars and all that stuff, but it was the first time that I felt: ‘This is meant to be.’
“We have played together as a group for the last four years and we have played difference countries and we have dominated teams.
“I just felt we did deserve it as a bunch of guys.
“We are good mates but we also work hard. Everyone else does but I felt it was meant to be. Especially when those overthrows went, that changed the tide.”
Plunkett was selected way back for the 2007 World Cup as a young tyro, but has since had to bide his time with long spells in the international wilderness.
But after this watershed moment on free-to-air TV he hopes the first Ashes winning team of 2005 that inspired a nation have been replicated 14 years on.
He added: “The last four years playing for England was the best time of my life.
“Even if we didn’t win the World Cup it would have still be a journey. We have been amazing, we have changed the culture of cricket in England.
“People expect us to win which is a lot different from a few years back.
“To watch guys like Jos, freaks like Jofra step up to the plate, it’s amazing for me to just watch it.
“What a day, it has changed the history of English cricket and everyone got to watch that. I hope everyone gets involved and loves it like when we won the Ashes. It was a special day.”
Plunkett has chipped in with big wickets all tournament – he dismissed Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and Quinton de Kock to name but three – but he got the biggest fish of all on Sunday.
Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson nicked off to Buttler as England tightened the screw, and Plunkett was delighted to return to England’s side at just the right time.
“Kane is a massive player and to get a crucial wicket is what I do pride myself on so it was nice to get that,” he added.
“As soon as I came up the hill (from the Nursery End) I felt comfortable attacking the crease, it felt a lot better.
“To get that wicket and close up and not go for many wickets. I was satisfied but I knew the job was half done.
“You cannot be too bitter (if you are out the team), you can be bitter and upset inside that you are not playing. Especially if you feel like you are doing well. But look at TC (Tom Curran), he has done nothing wrong, his stats have been class.
“You can be disappointed but you have to turn up and keep training. And when you get the nod, you have got perform.”
Former England spinner Graeme Swann led the congratulations to cricket’s new world champions saying he felt like crying, singing and screaming all at once.
England claimed their first ever men’s Cricket World Cup title at Lord’s in the most dramatic fashion, claiming victory by virtue of having struck more boundaries on the day when the match finished tied and a super over still could not separate the teams.
And Swann tweeted: “That’s the best game I’ve ever seen and the last hour was the worst and most nervous I’ve ever felt. WHAT A WIN!!!!! @englandcricket officially World Cup champions, I feel like crying/singing/dancing/hugging/screaming all at once!!!!”
Swann was joined in congratulating the winners by England’s key Test match bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad.
Broad said it was the “best white ball game of all time” while Anderson tweeted: “Wow!! What a game! What a team!!”
That’s the best game I’ve ever seen and the last hour was the worst and most nervous I’ve ever felt. WHAT A WIN!!!!! @englandcricket officially World Cup champions, I feel like crying/singing/dancing/hugging/screaming all at once!!!! 🏆🏆🏆😁😁😁❤️— Graeme Swann (@Swannyg66) July 14, 2019
Broad’s sentiment was echoed by a number of former England players, including Ravi Bopara, who described it as “probably the best game of cricket in history”, and Luke Wright who tweeted: “Huge congratulations @englandcricket. So special. Best match I’ve ever watched. Feel for @BLACKCAPS but let’s hope that this match has inspired so many young kids to get into cricket!”
Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen simply tweeted a trophy emoji, while Alec Stewart wrote: “CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD. How good does that sound? Congratulations @englandcricket.
“Every one of the playing and backroom staff are heroes. Celebrate like never before”.
There was huge disappointment from New Zealand with former Black Caps skipper Stephen Fleming describing the game as “cruel” and Neil Wagner tweeting: “Heartbreaking!!!!!”
Huge congratulations @englandcricket. So special. Best match I've ever watched. Feel for @BLACKCAPS but let's hope that this match has inspired so many young kids to get into cricket! Amazing. #WorldCupfinal— Luke Wright (@lukewright204) July 14, 2019
Former New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris said the match was a “stunning effort from two champion teams”, but was among a number of former players criticising the rule which saw England win thanks to having hit more boundaries than their opponents.
Styris described the ICC as “a joke”, while former India batsman Gautam Gambhir wrote: “Don’t understand how the game of such proportions, the #CWC19Final, is finally decided on who scored the most boundaries. A ridiculous rule @ICC.”
Dean Jones said the rules “need to be looked at” and fellow Australian Brett Lee added: “I’ve got to say that it’s a horrible way to decide the winner. This rule has to change.”
Elsewhere congratulations for both teams came in from around the world.
Former India batsman VVS Laxman said “cricket has been the winner” and Harbhajan Singh added: “Never seen a match like this and it will never be again.”
Former West Indies bowler Ian Bishop said: “Best finish imaginable to a World Cup final.”
And on a day when the Wimbledon men’s singles final went into a final-set tie-break, former South Africa bowler Shaun Pollock summed up the situation saying: “Sport.. the best form of theatre/entertainment.. their are no scripts involved here…!!!”
Congratulations to England!
Commiserations New Zealand.
I’ve got to say that it’s a horrible way to decide the winner. This rule has to change.
Congratulations to England!