Sport sometimes has very fine margins – Morgan | Daily News

Sport sometimes has very fine margins – Morgan

The new World Cup cricket champions England celebrate their victory.  - AFP
The new World Cup cricket champions England celebrate their victory. - AFP

LONDON, Monday – England World Cup winning captain Eoin Morgan said that sport sometimes has very fine margins and neither side deserved to lose.

England beat New Zealand in the one-over eliminator by scoring the most number of boundaries after the final had ended in a tie and also the Super Over in similar fashion in what turned to be an epic finish to the 2019 World Cup.

“I can’t believe we have got over the line. It has been an extraordinary day. It was the most incredible game of cricket with nothing between the sides. So sport sometimes is very, very fine margins. I think it was the finest of margins today (Sunday) and it could have gone either way, but I’m thankful it went ours,” said Morgan at a packed post-media conference after the final.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson reflects on the Cup that escaped his grasp. – AFP

“We had Allah with us as well. I spoke to Adil (Rashid), he said Allah was definitely with us. I said we had the rub of the green. It actually epitomises our team. Quite diverse backgrounds and cultures and guys grow up in different countries and to actually find humour in the situation we were in at times was pretty cool,” he said.

Speaking further Morgan heaped praise on his opposing captain Kane Williamson of New Zealand.

“I commend the Black Caps and Kane, they have been incredible, a hugely admirable team, spirit, the way they play, the fight they show and the fact they have done it for an extremely long time. We’re only newcomers to this and we want to be as consistent as them come the next World Cup, with aspirations like that. But to get over the line reaffirms everything that we have done over the last four years and justifies it as well,” said Morgan.

“New Zealand throughout the group stages were absolutely outstanding, very consistent and in the semifinal were very ruthless in playing against India, India are an extremely strong team. And I think the most admirable thing is the way they played their cricket, to consistently perform and compete against the very best on different stages throughout the year, they are the best, and they do it in a fashion that you’d have no qualms in turning around to your kid and saying, “Please idolise these guys, they are very admirable.” They are,” he said.

For England winning the World Cup for the first time in their history meant a lot.

“To me and to the team, and everybody who has been involved over the last four years, it means absolutely everything and the planning, the hard work, the dedication, the commitment and the little bit of luck today really did get us over the line,” said Morgan.

“It’s been an absolutely incredible journey to everybody around the country and around the world who has followed us and supported us, thank you so much. It’s been phenomenal.

“Right from the very beginning of the tournament, all the way through, regardless of our performance, people believed because we believed and I’m very thankful for that and everybody is as well,” he said.

England came into the World Cup ranked as the no. 1 ODI team and will remain in that position for quite some time.

Every final turns out a hero and in this instance it was their indefatigable all-rounder Ben Stokes whose knock of 84 not out saw England finish level with New Zealand on 241 to tie the final. And it was his power hitting in the Super Over that got England to 15, a score that was again tied by New Zealand when Martin Guptill was run out going for the winning run.

“To come through it is extraordinary. He’s almost superhuman. He is really carried the team and our batting line-up. I know Jos (Buttler) and his partnership was extraordinary, but to bat with the lower order the way he did I thought was incredible,” said Morgan.

“The atmosphere, the emotion that was going through the whole game, he managed to deal with that in an extremely experienced manner. Obviously everybody watching at home will hopefully try and become the next Ben Stokes,” he said.

Summing up his team’s emotions at losing such a tight contest Williamson said, “Yeah, obviously, just gutted. You know, the guys put in a huge amount of work to get this opportunity, to come here and play in another World Cup final and to pretty much do all you could and still not perhaps get across the line with some small margins and I think throughout this whole campaign in a lot of my press conferences I have spoken about ‘uncontrollables’ and there were a couple today that were pretty hard to swallow.

“The guys are really feeling it and I think it’s probably more down to some of the ‘uncontrollables’ that go on when they have put in such a huge amount of effort and we know in this game it can be fickle in its nature and there are parts that, as hard as you try, sometimes those cards don’t fall your way and today it ebbed and flowed.

“The guys stuck with it beautifully well and they showed that heart and that fight that we have shown throughout this whole campaign to get us into winning positions and we saw that again today, after perhaps 85-90 percent of that second innings, we had our noses in front and yeah, no doubt a lot of thoughts are going, well certainly through my mind, and obviously through all the other players as well, where, you know, it could have been this, could have been that, but it is what it is,” Williamson said.

Commenting on the boundary countback on which his team lost by the thinnest of margins, Williamson said, “Yeah, while the emotions are raw it is pretty hard to swallow when two teams have worked really, really hard to get to this moment in time and when sort of two attempts to separate them with a winner and a loser it still doesn’t perhaps sort of shine with one side coming through, you know.

It is what it is, really. The rules are there at the start.

“No-one probably thought they would have to sort of result to some of that stuff. But yeah, it’s very tough to swallow. A great game of cricket. We are looking forward to putting our feet up now and having a bit of a chat and reflection about our campaign.”

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