Darren Gough picks the top five batters he bowled against in Test matches including Australia and South Africa legends

13 Aug

Darren Gough has named the top five batters he ever bowled against in Test match cricket.

The former England fast bowler took 229 wickets in 58 Test matches and 235 wickets in 159 one-day internationals in an international career that spanned more than a decade.

The talkSPORT host came up against some of the greatest batsmen during his career in the 1990s and 2000s.

Darren Gough picked the top five batters he faced

Gough made his selections on the eve of the second Ashes Test at Lord’s and two Australians made the list.

5. Brian Lara

The great batsman twice broke the world record for highest individual score in a Test match, both times against England.

He scored 375 in 1994 and then 400 not out in 2004 with both coming in the West Indies.

Lara scored 11,953 in 131 Test matches at an average of 52.88 during his illustrious career.

Brian Lara is fifth in Darren Gough’s list
Getty - Contributor

He also holds the record for highest individual score in first-class cricket, which was 501 not out for Warwickshire against Durham.

Gough said: “Number five because he got two massive scores, and I didn’t play in either. I joked with him about that.

“I had decent success against him but when he was on fire you would just have to get your tent out. When he’s in he becomes very difficult to bowl against.”

4. Jacques Kallis

The South African is one of the game’s greatest all-rounders with phenomenal records with both bat and ball.

In 166 Tests, he hit 13,289 runs at an average of 55.37 and took 292 wickets. Kallis also has 11,579 ODI runs with 273 wickets in 328 matches.

Gough said: “In terms of all round cricketer he is the greatest. Early on, you fancied him against the short ball. Once he got past the new ball he’d go on and make a big score.”

Jacques Kallis is a South Africa legend
AFP - Getty

3. Ricky Ponting

The Australian great is the current assistant coach of his national side after being appointed in February.

He is Australia’s leading run-scorer and is one of four people to surpass 13,000 Test match runs. He averaged 51.85 in 168 Tests and 42 in 375 ODIs.

Ponting is statistically one of the most successful captains in history with 48 victories in 77 Tests between 2004 and 2010. He also led them to World Cup victories in 2003 and 2007 while was also being involved in their 1999 success.

Gough said: “I had decent success against him but he took me to the cleaners on a few occasions. If he got in you couldn’t bowl short, he would pull me for six. Great competitor.”

Ricky Ponting is one of the most successful captains in history
Getty Images - Getty

2. Martin Crowe

Perhaps one of the lesser known players on the list but he still had a fantastic international record.

He averaged 45.36 in 77 Test matches with 5,444 runs during his New Zealand career between 1982 and 1995.

Gough said: “I faced him early on in my Test debut. He introduced me to Test match cricket. He had so much time and he played me like I was a medium pacer.

“He made me realise I would have to keep up my game. I realised the difference in calibre.”

Martin Crowe is second in Darren Gough’s list
Hulton Archive - Getty

1. Adam Gilchrist

Gilchrist is arguably the greatest wicket-keeper batsman to play the game and revolutionised the position.

His aggressive style of play made him difficult to bowl against in the Australian batting line-up.

In 96 Test matches, he scored 5,570 runs at an average of 47.60 while he scored 9,619 ODI runs in 287 games at an average of 35.89.

Gough said: “Every time he came in, I’d bowled 15 or 16 overs before he came in. He batted seven and averaged 50. He would come in and decide he would want to bat in a one day match.

“The reason England won the Ashes in 2005 was that Flintoff kept getting him out.”

Adam Gilchrist averaged 47.60 in Test matches
Getty Images - Getty

England all-rounder Ben Stokes calls for Kane Williamson to receive New Zealander of the Year prize

23 Jul

Ben Stokes has admitted he feels ‘flattered’ to be nominated for the New Zealander of the Year award but believes Black Caps captain Kane Williamson should win the prize.

World Cup winner Stokes was named man of the match as England beat New Zealand in a pulsating Cricket World Cup final at Lord’s earlier this month.

Stokes was England’s star player in an incredible final
Getty

The all-rounder, 28, was born in New Zealand but moved to England aged 12.

“It would not sit right with me to be nominated for this prestigious award,” said Stokes.

“There are people who deserve this recognition more and have done a lot more for the country of New Zealand.

“I have helped England lift a World Cup and my life is firmly established in the UK.”



Stokes believes Williamson should be the recipient of the New Zealander of the Year prize
Getty

The New Zealand public nominates ‘inspirational Kiwis’ for the award – those who believe they have made a “significant contribution to our nation and make us proud of our country”.

The likes of former New Zealand rugby union captain Richie McCaw, filmaker Taika Waititi and mental health campaigner Mike King have won the award in the past.

Stokes did say he was ‘proud’ of his New Zealand and Maori heritage but believes Williamson – who was named player of the tournament at the World Cup – to win.

“He [Williamson] should be revered as a Kiwi legend,” Stokes said. “He led his team in this World Cup with distinction and honour.

“He was the player of the tournament and an inspirational leader of men. He shows humility and empathy to every situation and is an all-round good bloke.

“He typifies what it is to be a New Zealander. He would be a worthy recipient of this accolade. New Zealand, fully support him. He deserves it and gets my vote.”

England heroes Ben Stokes, Joe Root, Jason Roy and Jorfra Archer named in Cricket World Cup team of the tournament

15 Jul

Four England players have been chosen in the Cricket World Cup team of the tournament.

The host nation lifted the trophy after a thrilling final with New Zealand at Lord’s that went down to a super over.

Jofra Archer celebrated wildly as he help England win the World Cup
Getty

It is the first time England have ever won the Cricket World Cup after previously losing in the three other finals they had reached.

Eoin Morgan’s side justified why they went into the tournament as the number one ranked side and the favourites.

Cricket World Cup team of the tournament

1. Jason Roy (England) – 443 runs @ 63.28

2. Rohit Sharma (India) – 648 runs @ 81.00

3. Kane Williamson, capt (New Zealand) – 578 runs @ 82.57

4. Joe Root (England) – 556 runs @ 61.77

5. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh) – 606 runs @ 86.57, 11 wickets @ 36.27

6. Ben Stokes (England) – 465 runs @ 66.42, seven wickets @ 35.14

7. Alex Carey (Australia) – 375 runs @ 62.50, 20 dismissals

8. Mitchell Starc (Australia) – 27 wickets @ 18.59

9. Jofra Archer (England) – 20 wickets @ 23.05

10. Lockie Ferguson (New Zealand) – 21 wickets @ 19.47

11. Jasprit Bumrah (India) – 18 wickets @ 20.61

England’s hero of the final Ben Stokes is in the team along with Jofra Archer, Joe Root and Jason Roy.

Losing captain Kane Williamson was named as the overall player of the tournament and picked as captain of the best XI, which was selected by an International Cricket Council panel.

England captain Eoin Morgan lifted the World Cup after a nail-biting finale
Getty

Compatriot Lockie Ferguson was also included after taking 21 wickets.

There were two players each from the losing semi-finalists also picked.

From Australia, wicket-keeper Alex Carey was selected for his 375 runs and 20 dismissals.

Mitchell Starc was the top wicket taker at the tournament with 27 scalps and took a deserved place in the XI.

India stars Rohit Sharma, who scored 648 runs, and Jasprit Bumrah, who took 18 wickets, were chosen.

The only player outside of the top four teams to be picked was Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan for his remarkable 606 runs and 11 wickets.

Cricket World Cup final: Watch England fans’ crazy celebrations at Trafalgar Square after dramatic victory

14 Jul

England fans celebrated wildly in Trafalgar Square after the country won the Cricket World Cup for the first time on Sunday.

The hosts and New Zealand remarkably finished level on scores after 50 overs and so the tournament came down to a crucial, deciding super-over.

Both teams scored 241 from their 50 overs and each had to bat again in the rare super-over.

The six-ball shootout had only occurred 11 times in international history and never before in an ODI.

Remarkably, the teams went blow-for-blow once again, with Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler hitting 15 for England off Trent Boult before Jofra Archer conceded 14 off his first five deliveries.

The Barbados-born bowler, the least experienced player on either side, held his nerve as Martin Guptill forced the ball into the off-side and came back for a second that would have taken the trophy.

Enter Jason Roy, who picked up cleanly despite unimaginable pressure and hurled a flat, decisive throw towards Jos Buttler, who scattered the stumps as Guptill scrambled.

While the super over scores were level, it was England who clinched the trophy having scored more boundaries in their innings.

At the fan zone in Trafalgar Square, this moment was met with crazy scenes as English fans celebrated the historic triumph.

You can watch videos of the moment the fan zone erupted above.

England WIN the Cricket World Cup: Ben Stokes the hero as hosts beat New Zealand in incredible final at Lord’s

14 Jul

England won the Cricket World Cup for the first time in dramatic fashion as they beat New Zealand in one of the most incredible matches of all-time.

After both teams had scored 241 from their 50 overs, they had to each bat again in a sudden-death super-over.

The hosts scored 15 from their six balls and New Zealand equalled that total but, as they scored more boundaries in their innings, it was England who clinched the trophy.

Jos Buttler celebrates after running out Martin Guptill to win England the World Cup
GETTY
Buttler is followed by his jubilant England teammates
Getty

New Zealand had won the toss and it took their captain Kane Williamson 12 balls to get off the mark, eventually off and running with a single from Jofra Archer.

In all England sent down 44 dots in the first 10 overs, keeping the score down to a sedate 33 for one in the powerplay.

Change bowlers Liam Plunkett and Mark Wood let the control drop slightly, offering up 22 runs in their first three overs.

With 20 overs gone the score had stretched to 91 for one, with Nicholls moving to 40 and Williamson up to 24 after taking the attack to Adil Rashid’s leg-spin.

Liam Plunkett celebrates taking the wicket of Jimmy Neesham
Getty - Contributor

The game was drifting, with the New Zealand pair looking increasingly settled in their task and the score reaching three figures in the 22nd over.

But Plunkett returned to bowl the next and struck gold with his fourth delivery. He went full outside off stump, tempting Williamson to feel for it but finding a touch of extra bounce.

He went up immediately, as did Buttler, but Williamson was unmoved. Morgan needed no invitation to review and technology confirmed a thin edge, sending the key man back for 30.

Nicholls moved to 50 shortly after the wicket, a hard-working 71-ball effort, with Ross Taylor in place as his next foil.

Plunkett delivered a second huge scalp with the penultimate ball of his sixth over.

Nicholls was the man to go this time, his stern vigil ended by a cutter which moved in and scattered the stumps off the inside edge.

Plunkett’s transformative second spell came to an end having yielded two wickets and just seven runs from four overs.

With 32 gone the Kiwis were 134 for three, Taylor and Tom Latham in charge of steering the remainder of the innings.

Plunkett celebrates taking one of his three wickets
Getty - Contributor

Wood returned for another blast at the Pavilion End and wasted no time ramming home the advantage, rapping Taylor on the front pad and persuading Erasmus to raise his finger.

The ball was high enough to have cleared the stumps but Guptill’s frivolous use of the review meant he had no recourse to challenge. At 141 for four, the visiting side were in trouble.

Neesham and Taylor put on 32 for the fifth wicket and were threatening to find some momentum when Plunkett, inevitably, parted them.

Immediately after being whipped for four by Neesham he offered up a slower cross-seamer, which the batsman could only lift gently to Joe Root at mid-off.

That left New Zealand on 173 for five and Plunkett with standout figures of three for 40.

Woakes drew Colin De Grandhomme into a false shot for a soft dismissal, the Kiwi batsman chipping straight to sub fielder Vince for a facile catch.

Chris Woakes also starred with the ball for England
Getty - Contributor

De Grandhomme departed for 16 from 28 balls with New Zealand slipping to 219 for six in the 47th over.

Latham chipped out in woeful fashion next, stubbing a full-toss from Woakes right down Vince’s throat.

That meant he fell three short of a half-century to trudge off on 47, with New Zealand down to 232 for seven in the 49th over.

Archer castled Matt Henry for four in the final over, conjuring a fine yorker to reduce New Zealand to 240 for eight, with three balls left in the innings.

New Zealand closed their innings on 241 for eight from their full 50 overs, leaving England requiring 242 to lift the World Cup trophy.

There was drama with the first ball of England’s reply, umpire Marais Erasmus unmoved after Jason Roy was caught flush on the pads by an inswinger from left-arm seamer Trent Boult.

New Zealand immediately reviewed and Roy was only reprieved by umpire’s call on leg stump.

Roy played and missed off successive Henry deliveries, drawing gasps from the crowd in a tetchy start from England.

However, the in-form opener, who has registered at least a half-century in eight of his last nine ODIs, crunched the seamer down the ground for four.

Bairstow inside edged Boult past his stumps while the left-armer was unfortunate not to make contact with anything, nut-megging Roy with a yorker.

Roy advanced down the track and sent a skier over the mid-on fielder, who was unable to take the catch as the ball bounced safely.

Bairstow, who had made two off his first 10 deliveries, crunched Boult for two authoritative off-side fours in the space of three Boult balls.

Roy was loose on the drive, playing and missing off Henry, who eventually had his man when another punch from the batsman took the outside edge and was taken low by wicketkeeper Latham, bending forward to snaffle the chance.

Colin de Grandhomme celebrates taking the wicket of Joe Root
AFP or licensors

Roy and Bairstow had contributed three successive century stands since the former returned from a hamstring tear but England lost their first wicket with 28 on the board.

In going past four, Bairstow went beyond 500 runs for the tournament. England ended the first powerplay on 39 for one.

Bairstow was given a life on 18 when De Grandhomme shelled a relatively simple return catch from the Yorkshireman’s drive.

Bairstow’s tuck to square leg in De Grandhomme’s next over saw England claim a comfortable single, their first run in 20 balls, following three successive maidens.

Henry continued into a seventh over following an impressive start but went too full to Bairstow, who assuredly clipped off his legs for four.

Another boundary followed off the next ball but in far more fortuitous circumstances, Bairstow once again inside edging narrowly past his stumps.

Root was unable to make it out of double figures. The ball after coming down the wicket and missing a swipe across the line off De Grandhomme, he aimed another booming drive at the seamer and only succeeded in feathering behind.

It was the shot of a man under pressure to keep the scoreboard ticking over, and he departed having contributed seven off 30 balls. He left the crease with England on 59 for two.

Bairstow’s punch through the covers off Lockie Ferguson seemed to allay any nerves but the Yorkshireman’s luck finally ran out when he chopped the paceman on to his stumps.

Bairstow departed for 36, having contributed just over half his side’s runs, as England slipped to 71 for three.

The tension was slowly building as the England batsmen struggled on a pitch where slower deliveries were proving difficult to get away.

Morgan, whose technique has been questioned under the short ball, took evasive action from a rising delivery from Ferguson, the ball clipping the England captain’s helmet on the way through to Latham.

Another lifter cleared Morgan as well as New Zealand’s wicketkeeper on its way to the boundary, gratefully accepted by England.

England were in major strife when Morgan, perhaps sensing the need to accelerate, carved Neesham’s first ball in the air to deep point, where Ferguson took a fantastic catch diving forward.

Jos Buttler had a couple of moments of fortune, initially as the penultimate delivery of De Grandhomme narrowly missed bat and stumps.

Off the very next ball, England’s wicketkeeper sliced into the air but bounced short of third man as De Grandhomme finished with astonishing figures of 10-2-25-1.

When Boult offered some width Buttler could not resist, cutting uppishly beyond the diving Guptill.

However, the outstretched right hand of New Zealand’s gun fielder at backward point was unable to pouch the chance.

Jos Buttler plays the ramp shot against New Zealand
Getty - Contributor

The partnership had passed 50 when Buttler was struck on the front pad by Henry, leading to a New Zealand review, only to go to waste as technology showed the ball would have bypassed leg stump.

However, the asking rate was up to seven an over at the end of the 36th.

The tension was palpable as the overs ticked away, Buttler diffusing some of it with an outrageous trademark scoop after stepping across his stumps off Henry.

The equation came down to 65 runs from the final eight overs.

Stokes was left on all fours by a fantastic yorker from Neesham, which England’s all-rounder was just able to dig out with his bat before dropping to the floor.

Buttler was the first to his 50 off 53 balls, thumping Boult over the cover fielder for four and taking his and Stokes’ partnership into three figures, the first century partnership of the match.

Lord’s was rocking, the atmosphere fevered, as Stokes followed Buttler to a half-century three balls later, leaving England needing 53 from the final six overs.

Buttler hammered a Ferguson full toss over cover for four but was fortunate a slice off the next ball went fine, stopped at the third man boundary by Boult, who saved two.

However, Buttler was on his way back to the pavilion after an excellent 59 from 60 balls when he miscued a slower ball from Ferguson to substitute fielder Tim Southee, running in from cover point to take a fine catch.

Ben Stokes was England’s hero against New Zealand
Getty - Contributor

Neesham conceded only three singles from the first five deliveries of the 46th over but Stokes flicked a fuller delivery to midwicket, where the fielder was unable to intercept.

England needed 39 from 24 balls, and Woakes was soon on his way after swinging across the line and top-edging an attempted pull off Ferguson, with Latham holding his nerve to take a steepler.

Three of the first four balls Plunkett faced were dot balls but he did crack one to the midwicket fence as England were left needing 34 from the final three overs.

Stokes split the fielders in the deep on the leg-side when Boult was fractionally off his length as 10 were taken in the 48th over.

England needed 24 from the final 12 deliveries.

England’s hopes were slipping away when Plunkett holed out to long-off off Neesham for a run-a-ball 10, leaving England needing 22 from the final nine deliveries as Archer joined Stokes in the middle.

Stokes went for a big heave off the next ball – and the end looked nigh when Boult took the catch, only for the left-armer to step on to the boundary rope before tossing back to Guptill.

Archer suffered a golden duck after being cleaned up by Neesham.

The equation was simple: England needed 15 from the final over to win the World Cup.

Tim Southee catches the ball to take the wicket of England’s Jos Buttler
Getty

Stokes was unable to clear the ring from the first two balls, Boult nailing his lengths, and the all-rounder refused the single.

The Durham man got down on one knee and slog swept the next ball for a maximum before a strange turn of events led to England needing three from two balls.

Stokes failed to connect cleanly with a full toss but, coming back for a second, he dived into the crease, the ball from Guptill’s throw bouncing off his bat and racing away for four.

Six runs – the two England ran and the four overthrows – were therefore added to England’s total as Stokes held his hands up in apology.

Rashid sacrificed himself coming back for a second as he was run out at the non-striker’s end to get Stokes back on strike as England were left needing two runs from the final ball in a grandstand finish.

Stokes bunted into the leg-side and ran back for a second but new man Wood failed to make it back to his end as England were all out for 241.

But Stokes’ herculean 84 not out meant the match was taken to a Super Over to determine the winner – the first time this has happened in the history of the World Cup final.

Stokes and Buttler came out to bat for England, Boult the bowler for New Zealand.

England’s Ben Stokes plays the last shot of the match
Getty

Each side will have six balls and three batsman. Two wickets end the Super Over.

In the event of the teams being tied at the end of the Super Over, England would win by virtue of a superior boundary count in their innings.

Stokes sliced in the air from Boult’s first delivery but he and Buttler ran hard to collect three before the latter claimed a single.

Stokes then slog swept Boult for four and then collected a single. Boult’s next ball was a yorker but Buttler was still able to get back for a couple before creaming a shot into the leg-side for four.

England, therefore, left New Zealand needing 16 to win the World Cup thanks to Stokes making eight and Buttler seven from three balls apiece.

The World Cup final went down to a super over
Getty

Neesham stretched but failed to make contact with the first delivery, signalled a wide, before he and Guptill ran a couple after shovelling into the off-side.

Neesham was well back in his crease when he walloped Archer for a maximum to leave the Kiwis needing seven off four. A misfield from Roy at deep midwicket then allowed Neesham and Guptill to come back for two.

A quick single was taken from the penultimate ball, Archer opting to keep the ball in his hand rather than risk overthrows.

Two were needed from the final ball but they could only manage one and England lifted the World Cup thanks to scoring more boundaries in their innings.

Cricket World Cup final 2019: Vitaly Uncensored pitch invader tries to disrupt England vs New Zealand clash at Lord’s

14 Jul

Pitch invaders have become a big talking point at this summer’s highest profile sporting events but security at the Cricket World Cup final stopped the latest from getting on the field.

The Champions League final was disrupted by Kinsey Wolanski who was wearing a skimpy swimsuit with ‘Vitaly Uncensored’ emblazoned on it.

A pitch invader was detained at the Cricket World Cup final
AFP or licensors

She made it to the halfway line before being stopped by security guards and has since seen her online profile soar.

Pictures show the latest pitch-invader dressed in a similar outfield with the x-rated website’s branding on being stopped on the boundary edge as England take on New Zealand at Lord’s.

The pitch invader was removed by security guards
AFP or licensors

Play was not disrupted at the home of cricket as the Black Caps won the toss and chose to bat first.

Vitaly Zdorovetskiy, who set up Vitaly Uncensored, claimed that it was actually his mum who was involved in the latest stunt.

His YouTube channel has 1.6billion views and posts popular x-rated pranks. He is better known by his YouTube name VitalyzdTv.

Zdorovetskiy, who invaded the pitch in the 2014 World Cup Final, is banned from major sporting events for his antics.

His girlfriend, Wolanski, also tried to disrupt to disrupt the Copa America final but their plans were foiled and both ended up in jail.

England vs New Zealand: ICC issues warning to cricket fans as ticket prices for World Cup final reach £16,000

13 Jul

The International Cricket Council has warned any England cricket fans hoping to get a ticket to Sunday’s World Cup final to hold fire as they attempt to crack down on resale sites selling tickets as high as £16,000.

Five-figure prices have appeared on various ticket exchange websites and the average cost of entry has risen to more than £2,000 ahead of the Lord’s showdown with New Zealand.

Captain Eoin Morgan will lead England out to their first World Cup final since 1992, at Lords on Sunday
Getty Images - Getty

The ICC has reminded fans to be cautious as their ticket could be considered void if bought from a resale site.

Steve Elworthy, the managing director of the ICC, blames the ‘lack of legal legislation’ as to why they are struggling to limit the second hand market within the UK for this event.

“We are restricted in the preventative action we can take to stop fans being ripped off and forced to pay over the odds, and will continue to cancel the accounts and tickets we see being sold at these rates on secondary sites,” he said.

New Zealand captain and big hitter Kane Williamson [right], will want his side to overcome their earlier defeat to England in the group stages, to lift the trophy
Getty Images - Getty
As a result of ticketing issues, the ICC has urged anyone still in the hunt for a ticket to go through the official ticket resale section of their website, as well as releasing a further 200 tickets ahead of Sunday’s final.

Supporters had until midday today to give back any tickets that were bought if they were unable to attend the final at Lord’s, amid claims 30,000 tickets were sold to Indian fans who expected their country to feature in the final.

The ICC has played down reports that corners of the stands at Lord’s will appear empty due to tickets purchased by Indian fans.

England vs New Zealand free live stream: Cricket World Cup final – talkSPORT coverage, TV channel, start time and team news

13 Jul

England take on New Zealand in the Cricket World Cup final today after both teams claimed stunning semi-final victories.

England destroyed Australia, who finished second in the group stage and comfortably beat them two weeks previously, with an eight-wicket win.

England take on New Zealand in the Cricket World Cup final
Getty Images - Getty

The Black Caps, meanwhile, pulled off a memorable victory, knocking out round-robin winners India with an incredible Martin Guptill run-out of MS Dhoni proving the highlight.

England and New Zealand have never claimed World Cup glory before but both have tasted defeat in the final.

Now, one side will secure their first trophy on the biggest stage as this summer’s brilliant tournament comes to a thrilling finale.

England vs New Zealand: Date and start time

The final will take place on Sunday, June 14 and will commence at 10.30am – 9.30pm in New Zealand – with the toss at 10am.

It will be held at the home of cricket – Lords. England and New Zealand both suffered defeats to Australia at the famous stadium during the group phase.

England vs New Zealand: On talkSPORT

There will be extended coverage of the final on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2 and fans will have the chance to talk to ex-England fast bowler and Ashes winner Steve Harmison about the game afterwards.

To tune into our updates throughout the day, click here of the live stream or click the radio player below.

England vs New Zealand: TV channel and live stream

The final will broadcast on both Sky and Channel 4.

Coverage will begin on Sky Sports Cricket, Sky Sports Main Event and Sky 1 from 9am.

On terrestrial TV, coverage will begin on Channel 4 at 9am, before switching to More4 from 1.10pm to make way for the British Grand Prix, and then returning to Channel 4 at 4.45pm.

It will also be available to live stream on Sky Go and All 4.

Channel 4 is FREE for all UK viewers with a TV licence while Sky 1 is also free for Sky TV subscribers, including those without Sky Sports.

England vs New Zealand: What has been said?

England captain Eoin Morgan believes Sunday’s World Cup final against New Zealand is “the culmination of four years of hard work and dedication”.

He said: “It means a huge amount to me and to everybody in the changing room.


Ashley Giles EXCLUSIVE: England pair Jofra Archer and Jason Roy have ‘made a great case’ for Ashes places


“It’s the culmination of four years of hard work and dedication, a lot of planning. It presents a big opportunity to go and try to win the World Cup.

“The support we have had has been unquestionable, as a team that makes you feel lucky to be a part of the team with that sort of support.

“This presents a huge opportunity to sell the game on a huge platform, it’s going all around the country.”

Kane WIlliamson and New Zealand face England in the Cricket World Cup final
getty

England vs New Zealand: Team news

England

Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan(c), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler(wk), Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood.

New Zealand

Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Kane Williamson(c), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham(wk), Jimmy Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson.

England are looking to win the Cricket World Cup for the first time
getty

England vs New Zealand World Cup final: Ashley Giles predicts the greatest ever summer of cricket

13 Jul

Ashley Giles believes England have the chance to make this the greatest summer of cricket ever if they can secure a World Cup and Ashes double.

England are into the World Cup final after thrashing Australia by eight wickets in the semi-final on Thursday.

Getty Images - Getty
Ashley Giles was speaking to talkSPORT ahead of Sunday’s Cricket World Cup final[/caption]

They will now meet New Zealand at Lord’s on Sunday, which will be shown on free-to-air TV, and director of cricket Giles sees this as a chance to make it a memorable summer.

“It’s an opportunity we’ve never had before,” Giles told talkSPORT. “A greatest cricketing summer to possibly to do a World Cup and Ashes double.

“We’ve got to take every game and every day as it comes. The first part of that job is almost accomplished.

AFP or licensors
Joe Root and Eoin Morgan saw England over the line in their semi-final win against Australia[/caption]

“I know from listening to the lads and seeing them last night, they know that job is not quite there yet.

“I also know from Joe Root’s perspective looking towards the Ashes that there’s a lot of planning and thinking going towards that.

“It’s going to take a lot of hard yards yet but it’s an opportunity and if we can get anywhere near that double then that does a lot of good for cricket in this country full stop.

Getty Images - Getty
Chris Woakes starred with the ball in the semi-final[/caption]

“I even heard yesterday that a couple of leagues around the country are calling off their games on Sunday so they can watch the World Cup.

“That’s great. That’s the sort of grip we had in 2005 and to have it again is fantastic for the game.”

England had to win their final two group games to make it into the semi-finals after a blip in the middle of the tournament.

Giles now believes they are fully back to their best going into Sunday’s finale.

He added: “We got ourselves into a situation that was not ideal where we pretty much had to win four out of four to win the World Cup.

“You’ve got to beat the best teams and we are now going to have to beat one of them twice on that run-in in New Zealand.

“But looking at what we are doing we are playing some really good cricket, some exciting cricket.

“Certainly having Jason Roy back at the top of the order has helped but throughout the team we seem to have got our mojo back, which we had lost against Sri Lanka and Australia.”

Jonny Bairstow hits another century as England reach Cricket World Cup semi-finals with crushing victory over New Zealand

3 Jul

England sealed their place in the World Cup semi-finals, as Jonny Bairstow’s second successive century fired them to a dominant 119-run win over New Zealand.

Little more than a week after defeat to Australia left them fighting for their tournament lives, Eoin Morgan’s men were making plans for their first appearance in the last four since 1992.

Bairstow was England’s hero yet again
Getty Images - Getty

They are now guaranteed to finish third in the table and will face either Australia or India at Edgbaston on Thursday.

That they do so with their identity crisis over and morale peaking owes much to Bairstow’s 106, a second bloody-minded hundred in four days that underpinned England’s 305 for eight.

If his previous effort against India was an emotionally-charged response to his minor spat with Michael Vaughan, the follow-up deserves to be remembered for nothing other than its sporting brilliance – 106 runs, 14 boundaries, one six and a thoroughly decisive contribution.

It has become increasingly apparent that his opening partnership with the fit-again Jason Roy (60) represents England’s ace in the hole, with the duo scoring their third consecutive three-figure stand and forging an advantage the Black Caps never wrestled back.

Things stalled once they exited, England reaching 194 for one from 30 overs and losing seven for 111 thereafter – but New Zealand’s reply never threatened and they were brushed aside for 186.

Dangerman Kane Williamson was run out backing up via the tiniest of touches off Mark Wood’s outstretched hand, with the seamer also helping himself to three for 34.