New Zealand had a better World Cup than England but in the summit clash, the home team got the rub of the green, captain Eoin Morgan said lauding the gallant losers of what would go down as a final to remember in the history of international cricket.
Morgan had nothing but empathy for the Black Caps, who lost the title on countback of boundaries after both the regulation 50 overs and the Super Over ended in ties on Sunday. For England, it was their first World Cup triumph.
“They’ve been actually through a better tournament than we have. The fact a trophy is sitting here is, you know – like I mentioned, we got the rub of the green today,” Morgan said in the post-match press conference.
“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,” he added.
Morgan had the glittering trophy with him during the interaction but he doesn’t expect his life to change much even despite what many would consider a life-changing day.
“I hope it (life) hasn’t changed that much. I enjoy my life. I lead quite a quiet one, so I hope it hasn’t changed too much, he said as softly as possible and upped the grace quotient in one go,” he said.
But he won’t mind if it changes for a Jason Roy, Jos Buttler or Ben Stokes.
“I would love it to change for everybody else who wants it to change, but I enjoy my life,” he smiled.
So was it an Irishman’s luck that got them over the line?
“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 (smiling),” the humour just can’t be missed.
He is an Irish by birth, Ben Stokes a New Zealander, Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali are second-generation Pakistanis, Jason Roy, a South African.
For Morgan, its all about inclusivity. “It actually epitomises our team. Diverse backgrounds and cultures and guys grew up in different countries and to actually find humour in the situation we were in at times was pretty cool,” he said.
On a day when he has given England cricket one of its greatest moments, Morgan was asked about his future about four years from now and practicality belied any emotion that he might have been going through.
“We will let the dust settle, well celebrate as hard as we can. I think its deserved. And then we will look at things. Four years is a long time away. I think the big question I will have to answer is will I be in the team in four years, will I be good enough? These guys are improving very quickly. Will I be able to keep up with them,” it seemed he was thinking aloud.
England’s World Cup-winning football legend Bobby Moore and rugby icon Martin Johnson’s black visage is carved on Mount Rushmore. Does he expect his rocky sculpture on the South Dakota range, asked a scribe.
“Not at all. There’s no Mount Rushmore. Primrose Hill, that’s about it,” he made everyone laugh but also made it clear that he was aware about his stature.
And then he paid an emotional tribute to his teammates.
“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 signed off.