by RONNIE RUFF
ADIL RASHID and Moeen Ali have spoke of their joy of winning the World Cup with England – describing the experience as the “most euphoric sporting sensation you could possibly imagine”.
The British Asian heroes were reflecting on that unforgettable Super Over victory over New Zealand at Lord’s last Sunday (14), a result that saw England lift the World Cup for the first time.
Rashid and Ali were key men in the run to the final. Rashid took key wickets in the semi-final triumph against Australia while Ali, although missing out on the final XI, has been an integral part of England’s recent one day revival.
Writing in his column in The Guardian, Ali summed up the feelings of a nation watching the action unfold from the sidelines, including that dramatic last ball run-out of Martin Guptill that saw England crowned champions.
“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,” he said.
“I was sat in the dugout, roughly at third man, as the throw came in from Jason Roy. In that split second I knew Jos Buttler would take the ball cleanly.
“I knew that Martin Guptill was short of his ground and from there, with the stumps demolished, I knew it would be total carnage.
“Without thinking I just sprinted on to the field and people were just running off in all directions. 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.”
He added: “It was the greatest game I have ever seen or been a part of. The overthrows that flew off the bat of Ben Stokes as he dived for the crease probably go down as the best shot he hit all match – or certainly the one he middled the best.
“After that I thought we couldn’t lose the game. I was convinced that it was coming home.”
Commenting on the unity of the side, Ali added: “After the families came in and we spent
some time with them out on the outfield too. Adil’s mum was there for what was her first game of cricket, possibly at any level. Incredible, really.
“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.”
In an interview with The Telegraph and Argus, Rashid said the result was still hard to process. The spinner had economical figures of 0-39 off eight overs in the final before being run out for nought without facing a ball in the run chase.
He said: “It’s an unbelievable feeling. It’s not sunk in yet – it’s a surreal feeling, winning the World Cup for the first time for England in cricket history.
“It’s a big achievement for myself, family, wife, kids. But also, it’s a big achievement
from the team point of view.
“It’s quite emotional in the sense that it was all down to this final game, all down to the final over. It’s been a good ride, it’s been an emotional time, but ultimately it’s been a great feeling. It’s a dream come true.
“When you’re a youngster you watch the World Cup and and wish ‘one day I hope I play there.’ That became reality – not just playing it, but winning it. It’s all about the World Cup, people are remembered for their World Cup wins.”
Looking back on Stokes’ crucial innings that forced the Super Over, and his sacrifice run-out to keep him on strike late on, Rashid added: “When I came out to bat, we knew we needed 15 off the last over, something like that, Stokes was batting.
“In the dressing room, we had that belief if he stayed until the end, we’ve got a great chance. I knew what I had to do. I had to sacrifice my wicket for him to be on strike, that’s why the run-out came. That was the main thing.
“It was a good thing that happened because that then gave us the chance to win the game. Stokesy played a great knock for us to get to that.”