The England cricket team seems to be making up for its footballing counterparts’ failure in collecting international trophies. Coming on the back of its 2019 ODI World Cup victory, the triumph in Melbourne on Sunday against a pugnacious Pakistan side will seem sweet for country that invented T20 cricket.
Pakistan fans hoping of a repeat for the 1992 ODI World Cup finals will be disappointed. For Ben Stokes the victory will seem even more satisfying as he has conclusively slayed the demons of the final over against Carlos Brathwaite of the 2016 T20 World Cup final. Stokes seems to have now emerged as England’s Talismanic player, given his stellar role in the 2019 ODI World Cup final as well as in that pulsating Headingley Test match against Australia where he shepherded England to victory in a 76-run 10th wicket partnership with Jack Leach. England, apart from that blip against Ireland at the group stages, played consistently good cricket. Given the England players’ experience in the IPL and the Big Bash in Australia they seemed to have cracked the formula for success in T20. Pakistan rode its luck in qualifying for the semi-finals after having lost two group matches – against India and Zimbabwe! But they were one of the pre-tournament favourites and their bowling attack is one the best going around. They fought hard in the finals and the match could have easily gone to the wire had Shaheen Afridi’s knee not given up at the most inopportune moment. Mention also has to be made about the marvelous bowling by England’s leg spinners – Adil Rashid and Liam Livingstone.
So will the English footballers be inspired by the cricketers and end their trophy drought at the upcoming FIFA World Cup at Qatar?
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