LONDON — 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 actually been 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, which are an extremely strong team,” he added.
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),” he said.
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, it’s 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, we’ll celebrate as hard as we can. I think it’s 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,” he said.
He also 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.’,” he said.