England v Australia, World Twenty20 final, Barbados May 16, 2010

Collingwood savours triumph at the end of a long journey


The transformation is complete. The ECB can hunt for those keys to the trophy cabinet, silverware is on the way to Lord's. As they have been since the start of the Super Eights, England were magnificent as they powered past the previously indomitable Australia.

It was quite fitting that Paul Collingwood was there in the middle to hit the winning runs with a six and two fours. He had been a reluctant leader of this side when it was decided that Andrew Strauss didn't have a place in Twenty20, but along with Andy Flower, who is developing a reputation as one of the game's finest coaches, has formed a limited-overs unit that might already be regarded as England's greatest of all time.

Collingwood had a lean tournament with the bat but that didn't matter a jot as he was chased around the Kensington Oval by Kevin Pietersen, followed close behind by their ecstatic team-mates. After waiting 35 years there was a lot of pent-up emotion to release. What made the achievement even more remarkable was that England cruised to victory and any nerves were purely with the English fans who have been so used to one-day failure.

"This is a very special moment," Collingwood said. "This is right up there, with the best, the guys deserve everything they've got today. We've won a World Cup, and you can never take that away from us. We thoroughly deserve the victory, because the way we've played throughout the tournament has been consistent and also [we've been] taking the game to the opposition.

"We've had a lot of belief, and the guys have thought very well for themselves and made the right decisions. In the end, we've turned up on a big occasion like this and we've performed. I'm absolutely delighted with the guys. We knew it was a monkey on our back. We knew what it meant, and that is why I am so pleased that these last two performances in such pressurised situations were absolutely spot on."

In fact, they played like a side that had been winning tournaments for years. After the tension in Guyana where the weather nearly scuppered their chances, everything the team has touched has turned to gold. Ryan Sidebottom, a controversial selection ahead of James Anderson at the beginning of the competition, continued to justify his place with two vital early wickets (and he stayed fit throughout). Even the move to give Luke Wright his only over of the tournament, when Michael Yardy proved expensive, paid dividends as he removed the dangerous Cameron White.

England began the chase in a measured fashion, aware of the new-ball threat from Dirk Nannes and Shaun Tait, but they were still well ahead after the Powerplay with 41 for 1 compared to 24 for 3 by Australia.

Craig Kieswetter converted his start into a substantial contribution and Pietersen completed a memorable week with a stroke-filled 47 that included a front-foot drive for six off Tait. England's limited-overs cricket has never been so vibrant with the one-day side also making significant strides, and all of a sudden the World Cup next year isn't something to be dreaded.

"You can see from the way the guys have gone out from the first ball, believing in themselves, taking it to the opposition and playing a brand of cricket that is unlike England in the past," Collingwood said. "I think a lot of credit goes to every single player in the dressing room, to have the confidence to go out there and really give it their best shots and have no regrets. I think we have done that throughout the tournament and it has certainly paid off."

Never has an England team fielded better - Stuart Broad's horrid drop off David Hussey notwithstanding - while they have also rarely seemed a happier unit. That is obviously easy to do when you are winning, but the strides the side have made in the 18 months are remarkable given the state they were in when Pietersen and Peter Moores lost their jobs. A large part of that has been down to Andrew Strauss, whose efforts weren't forgotten by the Twenty20 skipper.

"Straussy comes back as captain, and we'll get his team ethos and ideas," Collingwood said. "That's been a big part of this victory as well - what Andy Flower and Andrew Strauss have done over the past year. It's been magnificent, and they've got the team pointing in the right direction."

After the fallout from the 2005 Ashes victory celebrations, English cricket has learnt to handle success with a little more composure. An open-top bus tour is unlikely and the likes of Yardy, Tim Bresnan and Eoin Morgan will have to wait a little longer for their MBEs. As was the case after last summer's Ashes triumph there is already talk of looking forward, but the team will enjoy this victory first.

"We're not going to get carried away - well, we are for the next couple of days," Collingwood joked. "We're going to savour the moment and enjoy it, because we deserve to. But good teams kick on, and that's exactly what we'll get drilled into the guys. We've got a lot more potential as well - that's the scary part about it. We can go even further.

"But this is what we came here to achieve, and we've done it. The next step is to savour the moment, celebrate as a team - and then we'll come across the next hurdle."

The biggest issue facing the team is now a race to get home before ahead of the volcanic ash cloud, but given what they have achieved over the last two weeks they might be able to beat that as well.

Andrew McGlashan is assistant editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Muthuvel on May 18, 2010, 21:29 GMT

    Good to see this, Eng won..beauty. For once i am happy seeing a team other than india win. Now Eng, play like this eventually the fall would come it could come soon but get back up and fight there would also be those who would say for instance after Ashes test loss that this was a fluke...now you dont want that do you.

  • Ram on May 18, 2010, 21:02 GMT

    Frankly, I don't like the fact that England is getting ahead of itself. This is a great victory. This is a cause to celebrate. No doubt. But, constant referrals to this victory as a World Cup victory by Collingwood and making it sound as though "We have won this, it does not matter what happens from here." is not a good sign.

    50-Over Cricket is the real test. That is the real World Cup. It is sad not many people place importance on that anymore. T-20 is purely a batsman's game. 50-Over cricket is a balanced one-day event for bowlers and batsmen, and is far more mentally and physically testing on both bowlers and batsmen. We should not forget that.

    I hope all three formats are retained. And I surely hope England does everything it can to win THE WORLD CUP (50-Overs). And it is about time we put a stop to playing World T-20 every year or every two years. Make it every four years. And if it gains an entry into the Olympics, get rid of World T-20 and play only 50-Over World Cup.

  • Nick on May 18, 2010, 15:40 GMT

    wow - I though that it was supposed to be the POM's that whinged! To all OZ fans, I think that the phrase that you are looking for is "well played, we'll get you next time". Anything else just makes you sound a little bit pathetic (especially when your skipper conceded that he was beaten by a better team). Cheer up though, it was only Twenty20 and we all know that it's Test cricket that counts. Now who holds the Ashes at the moment?......

  • Rajaram on May 18, 2010, 12:01 GMT

    It is typical of England to indulge in over-the - top reactions. Like the Open top bus in 2005 when they won the Ashes.ONLY TO BE WALLOPED 5 NIL WHEN THEY CAME TO AUSTRALIA AND RETURNED WITH THEIR TAILS BETWEEN THEIR LEGS! I bet you the samre thing will happen this summer in Australia. Stupid of Warne to read so much into a Twenty20 win. everybody knows it is lottery. His Team Rajasthan Royals sunk to its depths in IPL 3.After winning IPL 1. Shane Warne loves to talk - even if it means talking nonsense.Ask him about the sitter he dropped in the slips from his "mate" Kevin Pietersen in the Oval Test 2005, and he'll shut up.

  • Dummy4 on May 18, 2010, 11:50 GMT

    Congratulations team England ..........They looked confident for the first time in an icc tournament for first time...

  • Abudarda on May 18, 2010, 10:05 GMT

    I didn't any comment about the cricket ability of indian team, how is it possible? they have players like sachin,sehwag,dravid,gambhir!! i like sachin but hate ipl like turnament! it can just harms cricket as a sport, i hope u can understand!

  • Abudarda on May 18, 2010, 9:50 GMT

    Offcourse! i hope bangladesh will be a team within 5-7years that can win world cup! i also hope atleast bangladesh will reach quartar final in next world cup, you can trust!!!

  • Dummy4 on May 18, 2010, 7:47 GMT

    @Admshafi - I am INDIAN...You are right Cricket is not safe In India.Can u gaurantee it will be safe with BAN or PAK(Atleast for single match in Pak).I am happy England has won Worldcup not AUS and meanwhile sad that we lost WC but still Indian players desrves the result.India has won already one 50-WC and one 20-WC.Can you Imagine BAN into QuarterFinals atleast...and Don't every dream for it also....It's IMPOSSIBLE not HOPE ever...INDIANS lost beacuse of Dhoni captain tatics and Mr.Blamer for both two T-20 WC exit RavinderJadeja. MuraliVijay, Yuvi,Yusf went for IPL relaxation and to enjoy parties...Still we can hope INDIA will win WC next time or after 10+ years....Do u have HOPE or DREAM on BAN winning WC...Atleast can u imagine...???

  • B on May 18, 2010, 6:45 GMT

    @ThunderFromDownUnder. Perhaps you'd have faired a little better if you'd been able to field the English born Andrew Symonds? Part of the problem is not where the player was born but what you do with them once they pledge their allegiance to you. Australia ruined Symonds.....although I doubt he'd have withstood the ENGLISH bowling attack any better than the rest of Australia...

  • Mitchell on May 18, 2010, 4:45 GMT

    Hollow... hollow... hollow...

    Couldn't beat anyone if they fielded 11 Englishmen as we all know.

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