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ICC World Cup 2019 | England Are an Incredibly Diverse Team: Moeen Ali

Cricketnext Staff |July 16, 2019, 12:08 PM IST
ICC World Cup 2019 | England Are an Incredibly Diverse Team: Moeen Ali

Rarely at a World Cup would a defeat to Australia give a team the confidence to go on and win the tournament. England’s Moeen Ali however was confident and told his teammates at Lord’s that they would go the distance, but there’d be a massive amount of work to do before that.

“The moment we won the World Cup is one I will never forget and would do anything just to experience again. It was the most euphoric sporting sensation you could possibly imagine. Without thinking I just sprinted on to the field and people were just running off in all directions," Ali wrote in his column for The Guardian.

"Well, everyone apart from Jofra Archer who was flat out on the floor. Adil Rashid came towards me for a hug with Jos but it was just a blur to be honest – impossible to remember fully or recreate.”

A part of the narrative, unfortunately, that surrounded the England team was the presence of more than a few players who weren’t born in England or had roots elsewhere. The team was captained by Eoin Morgan, who is Irish and Ben Stokes was born in Christchurch in New Zealand.

“I saw Eoin Morgan mentioned in the press conference how Rash had told him that Allah was with us, and he replied that, for him, it was the rub of the green. You won’t be surprised to hear I was with Rash on this.

“Morgs (Morgan) was dead right to highlight how the different opinions on such things in this dressing room are actually part of our strength. We are an incredibly diverse team from different backgrounds and cultures but, crucially, we respect this and embrace it. We never shy away from it.

“It doesn’t matter where you come from or what you believe in, if you can come together with a common purpose – in our case winning the World Cup – and you show courage, unity and respect (our team mantra) you can achieve anything. Respect is having respect for the people you play with and against, and respect for the shirt. Unity is about sticking together but also uniting the country. That was always the bigger cause for us, not just the cricket,” Ali wrote.

The all-rounder, who turns out for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL, took note of the reactions about him and Adil Rashid rushing away from the celebrations because of the champagne being sprayed, and said that it’s about respecting beliefs and maintaining harmony.

“I find it weird that people still think it is strange that we do it. We respect our teammates and their desire to do this, they respect our beliefs. It’s really that simple. The amazing thing about our team is that guys took time out very early on to talk to us about our religion and our culture. They have made adjustments for us and we have for them. And we live in harmony,” the all-rounder writes.

Touching on the crucial overthrow that came from Stokes’ bat, Ali writes in jest that it was the all-rounder’s most important contribution. He further added that, sitting in the dugout, he was confident that England would go all the way even though Jimmy Neesham had clobbered Jofra Archer for a massive six.

“The Super Over was intense but even when Jimmy Neesham hit that six I still knew it would just need one good ball or one moment of inspiration and the trophy would be ours. As teammates, we have faith in each to perform under pressure and that paid off.”

The World Cup final was the only game that was free to watch for all of United Kingdom, and after the win Morgan had remarked that every kid would want to become Ben Stokes.

“Winning this World Cup will hopefully give us so many new fans and they won’t just be from the traditional backgrounds but from all communities across the UK.

“People have been saying life will change for us now but me? No chance. I may be a World Cup winner but I will always be the lad who played cricket with his friends and cousins in the park in Birmingham,” Ali signed off.

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2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3778 105
5 Australia 2640 98
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1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
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1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 India 8099 261
5 Australia 5471 261
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