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July 13, 2019

Morgan isn’t dreaming yet


Sat, Jul 13, 2019

LONDON: Pundits are predicting an England victory in the World Cup final here at Lord’s on Sunday but Eoin Morgan isn’t thinking about it, at least not yet.

The Irishman will lead England in their first World Cup final since 1992 just days after inflicting a humiliating eight-wicket triumph against old foes Australia in the semis.

England have been on a roll since surviving early hiccups that came in the form of losses against Pakistan and Sri Lanka and are now seen as hot favourites to win their maiden World Cup crown.

“I haven't allowed myself to think about lifting the trophy. Cricket and sport in particular is very fickle,” he told reporters here at Lord’s on Saturday.

“If you ever get ahead, it always seems to bite you in the backside.

“For us to win it, I think around the country it would be awesome, great for the game.

“It means a huge amount to me and everybody in the changing room (to be in the final).

“It's a culmination of four years of hard work, dedication, a lot of planning and it presents a huge opportunity to go on and try and win a World Cup.

“I think for everybody around the country, the support we've had throughout has been unquestionable and it makes you feel extremely lucky to be part of a team that has that sort of support.”

Morgan was seen chatting with Brendon McCullum, the man who captained New Zealand to the final four years ago.

“We just caught up outside. Brendon is a very good friend of mine,” Morgan said.

“He spoke about us making the final and playing New Zealand because he had to fly home for the semi-final, but he was flying back if New Zealand made it, so he's delighted that they did and he's in good form.

“I think he has had quite a bit to do with (our progress). You could say about world cricket. We are close mates and he's taught me a lot about leadership and I think in 2015 the way that New Zealand played, very similar to the way they are playing at the moment.

 “They proved to everybody that you can perform at the highest level and get to the top by being yourselves and not trying to be somebody else, or a different team.”

Morgan rejected the impression that Jimmy Bairstow was facing fitness issues, saying all his players fit for the final.

He expects a low-scoring final on Sunday.

“I think in general throughout the tournament the scores have been a lot lower than they have previously (in England) in the last three or four years. Adjusting to that has been harder work than it normally is.

“New Zealand have done it brilliantly and Lord's isn't ever a high-scoring ground so I'd say it will be a bit of a battle,” he said.