It was only fitting that England won the Cricket World Cup.
It was only fitting that England won the ICC Cricket World Cup against the side centering whom their monomaniacal proposition of ODI revolution was built, when introspection followed humiliation in the ICC 2015 CWC after they were knocked out of the Group Stage by underdogs Bangladesh.
It was only fitting that England won the World Cup at the Lord’s Cricket Ground, in the Media Centre of which Eoin Morgan looked at Andrew Strauss in the eye to say that England desperately needed to change the brand of cricket they played, and dumped the biggest stalwarts of their game to opt for fifteen young, carefree, free wills who tonked the ball from scratch.
It was only fitting that England spattered champagne in the walls of the Lord’s Long Room, where Eoin Morgan as an Irish immigrant in the English ODI side questioned the great Kevin Pietersen on why momentum as a force had deserted English cricket altogether, and found residence in the change-rooms of other teams that had begun playing cricket a few hundred years after them.
It was only fitting that London offered its home side a green top, and England were made to scrap, and scrap hard at that, after their ODI revolution had rendered them incapable of playing with circumspection and wariness on pitches that didn’t suit their style of play.
It was only fitting that England won the World Cup barely chasing 241, after they posted scores in excess of 350 regularly in all the years leading up to the tournament, and heaved sighs of agony after being robbed of the opportunity of recording history by making 500, against a hapless Australian attack on a track that made the Earth look flat rather than round.
It was only fitting that England won the World Cup by a nanometer, a nanosecond, a nanocandela — call it what you will — after they had drubbed all the cricketing nations in the world, away from home and in, in the lead-up to the World Cup, by the most jaw-dropping margins, ever since they initiated their no-mercy-marauding plan on the others.
It was only fitting that Adil Rashid’s Allah was with them, that Irish luck was with them, and that Jonny Bairstow edged it on the inside and edged it on the outside and still managed to find a way to survive an agonizingly hostile spell of fast bowling, still managed to outlive a masterclass rendition of new-ball bowling from Boult and Henry, and lived long enough to add an asterisk to all the pace-bowling-connoisseurs’ eulogies, and made it read ‘albeit yielding only one wicket’.
It was only fitting that England’s gun opening batsman who’d carried them on his shoulders through the entire tournament lasted only 20 balls, and left the rest of the job to be done by England’s more technically adept batsmen, who were ultimately thrusted with the heavy mantle of having to strike the long handle at the death (read in singular, perhaps in the Virat Kohli slang.)
It was only fitting that it all came down to Ben Stokes, and that he erased those vampire-ish scars of 2016, when Carlos ‘We Do Remember The Name’ Brathwaite spanked him for four sixes in a row to win the World T20 Final off the last over and left him on his knees at the Eden Gardens with tears in his eyes as reality dawned upon him and made him wish the seas would just take him away with them. It was only fitting that he struck off the Bristol Pub Brawl from the first line of his yet-to-be-written biography and replaced it with a World Cup win. It was only fitting that he weeped like a child after it all.
It was only fitting that New Zealand ran out of the very same fortune that had kept MS Dhoni’s bat to a centimeter of the crease, when they needed it the most with that mordacious overthrow. It was only fitting that destiny had written its tale light years before, and had destined the English to lift the most prized trophy in international cricket. Because fortune favours the brave, and Morgan couldn’t have been braver on that fateful day when he looked at Strauss in the cornea and did not flinch.
It was only fitting that this final frontier at the Lord’s — that was vanquished by Morgan and his ODI revolution, by Adil Rashid and his Allah, by Jonny Bairstow and his luck, by Ben Stokes and his genius — was undergoing lateral inversion. That England did it in the most un-English way you could ever imagine, that England scrapped through the greenest surface of the tournament, that they made the semis on the back of hurt from two inexplicable defeats, that they put Pakistan to shame with their newly found unpredictability.
Take your screenshots of this —
This England side is one of the greatest limited-overs sides of all time. And they’re only due for more.
It was only fitting that England won the World Cup.
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