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Wisden at CWC19

The greatest-ever World Cup final – in quotes

Ian Smith (World Cup final)
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

The magnificent theatre of the greatest-ever World Cup final put into words – by its protagonists and the audience, in the 2020 Wisden Almanack.

Jimmy knows the pain …

The atmosphere

“I just remember it being so much fun. Myself and Ben, we’d get to the end of an over and be like, ‘How good is this atmosphere?’”

– Jos Buttler on his partnership with Ben Stokes

Ian Smith calls it as he sees it

“This is the moment – it’s Archer to Guptill. Two to win. Guptill’s got to push for two, they’ve gotta go! The throw’s gotta go to the keeper’s end. He’s got it! England have won the World Cup – by the barest of margins. By the barest of all margins. Absolute ecstasy for England. Agony, agony for New Zealand. Wow. It’s all yours Nasser – it’s your cup.”

The tension

“What was scaring me was, if we lost, I didn’t know how I’d play cricket again.”

– Jos Buttler

Behind the scenes

“I wasn’t sure it was possible for England to win the World Cup when I started, but I thought I’d give it a go.”

“There was a lot of singing, as the English like to do. They can string a few words together, unlike the Aussies, who just go ‘Oi, Oi, Oi!’”

– Trevor Bayliss

The game-changer

“Hopefully everyone at home will want to be the next Ben Stokes.”

– Eoin Morgan

“I don’t want this taken out of context, but he is a real fighter.”

– Trevor Bayliss

“I’m probably the most hated father in New Zealand.”

– Ged Stokes

Yeah, it’s timeless!

“I went to bed just after four and I couldn’t sleep. I was up for three hours just thinking, trying to understand what happened in the game… and absolutely none of it has sunk in.”

– Eoin Morgan a few days later

“We still have our WhatsApp group, where each day we greet each other with ‘Morning, champions’.”

– Mark Wood

Despite the heartbreak, there’s plenty to be proud of

“We actually had quite a good party. Obviously it was quite a sombre mood for a while, but then we realised we were part of one of the greatest games in cricket history, so we got over it fairly quickly.”

– Martin Guptill

One of the better ways to heal the pain

“I’m gonna go home for the first time in about four months. Probably gonna walk my dog along the beach and try and put it aside. I’m sure he won’t be too angry at me.”

– Trent Boult

A perfect ambassador for the sport

“My little boy has suddenly gone cricket mad. He’s in the garden until the sun goes down saying, ‘Dad, can you bowl a few at me?’”

– Golfer Justin Rose

First published in the 2020 Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack

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