The final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 between New Zealand and England on Sunday at Lord’s was an absolute epic. The regular match ended in a tie after Ben Stokes’ 83 helped England equal New Zealand’s score of 241/8. For the first time in the history of the World Cup or in cricket, a final would be decided by the super over. Trent Boult bowled for the Kiwis and conceded 15 runs with Stokes and Jos Buttler smashing boundaries. During New Zealand’s innings, it was Jofra Archer’s turn to bowl and the pacer, who was fast-tracked into the England team before the World Cup, revealed his state of mind when he came to bowl.
“I actually went to Morgs (Eoin Morgan) first, I had an idea I was going to do it (bowl the Super Over) but I wanted to double-check that he wanted me to do it,” Archer said.
When Jimmy Neesham hit Archer for a six, New Zealand needed seven runs off four balls and they were in the driver’s seat. At stake was a maiden World Cup title for both teams and the big hit over deep midwicket tilted the balance in favour of New Zealand. Archer revealed the moment when he was given some reassuring words from Stokes.
“I think it was going fine until the six, and then (Ben) Stokes told me even before the over: Win or lose, today does not define you. Everyone believes in you. He (Stokes) came to talk to me because of that (Calcutta). He probably went through the same emotions, the same feelings but being on the losing side. If we had lost today, I don't know what I would have done tomorrow. To back up what he said, if we did lose there is a T20 coming up next year and I would have another chance,” Archer said.
Stokes was the bowler who was at the receiving end of the final over assault from Carlos Brathwaite in the 2016 World T20 clash in Kolkata. Brathwaite smashed four consecutive sixes as the West Indies won an epic Twenty20 clash to be crowned world champions for the second time. Archer also revealed that Joe Root, apart from Morgan, also gave him some reassuring words as two runs were needed off the final ball.
“Rooty (Joe Root) came up to me and said some inspirational words as well. I knew that if we did lose, it wasn't the end of the world. I am glad that the guys look up to me and they trust me to do it. The skipper (Eoin Morgan) really believed in me, even after the six. A lot of captains could have had their head in their hands, but he was really calm and really understanding,” Archer said.
Although New Zealand tied the super over as well, England won the title due to a superior boundary count and Archer hoped the win at Lord’s would go a long way in inspiring generations of youngsters to take up the sport.
“I can't stress enough, it was pretty lucky today. I am really grateful that we won. I have had the best two months of my life so far, making my debut, making my World Cup debut, playing in the final in the space of two months. It is really special to me and hopefully, I can look back 15 years down the line and say I was a part of that. I hope that any kids watching that want to play cricket now for the whole week, for the whole year and try to pursue it to be professional. We want to inspire the next generation because someone will have to take over from us,” Archer said.
England eliminated 44 years of pain and won the World Cup title for the first time, having lost in the finals of 1979, 1987, 1992, Champions Trophy 2013 final and the World T20 2016 final.