With an Ashes series on the horizon, England’s cricketers have laid down a marker by comprehensively and deservedly winning the 2019 ODI Cricket World Cup in their own backyard!
Moeen Ali didn’t even start the World Cup in the England team but after dislodging Jason Roy at the top of the order, the Worcestershire man finished the tournament by blazing an express paced 80-ball 112 in the final and set the hosts on course for global glory!
Like Moeen, Surrey’s Sam Curran came into the team during the tournament and excelled in the latter stages. Like Roy however, David Willey’s inconsistency led to him missing out in the latter stages. For both Roy and Willey, their exclusions could be terminal to their international careers.
In the runs stakes, Ben Duckett led the way with 562 runs @ 80.29 including three centuries. Liam Livingstone (405 runs @ 50.62) and Joe Root (344 runs @ 43.00) also formed part of England’s run-reaping middle-order. England’s numbers one to five all contributed at least one century during the tournament.
On the bowling front, captain Chris Woakes topped the charts with 20 wickets just @ 12.55 apiece. Yorkshire Spinner Adil Rashid (15 @ 23.40) was next whilst Durham’s Ben Stokes and the aforementioned Sam Curran claimed 12 wickets each.
Stumper Jos Buttler’s impeccable glove work (17 catches) also merits more than just a fleeting mention… but here’s just a fleeting mention!
The group stages, despite a defeat against India and scare against Namibia, were only a precursor of what was to come. The hosts just held off Australia in the quarters and got revenge against India in the semis. Having already defeated New Zealand in the round-robin, things went as expected in the final.
The decision to hand the ODI captaincy to Chris Woakes, a move criticised by many just two years ago, paid off handsomely. The Warwickshire man led the side superbly and has surely placed himself on the cusp of a Test recall.
The players are sincerey humbled by the kind suggestions that they should be knighted but maybe backing up World Cup victory with Ashes success this summer would be what truly merits such accolades and possibly make for English cricket’s greatest ever summer. No pressure boys!
For the record, England’s 2019 ODI Cricket World Cup squad was as follows: Alex Hales, Jason Roy, Ben Duckett, Joe Root, Liam Livingstone, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (w), Adil Rashid, David Willey, Chris Woakes (c), Luke Fletcher, Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran, Jamie Overton