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Former players get behind England’s bid for World Cup glory

The Three Lions will bid to win the trophy for the first time on Sunday.

Eoin Morgan, left, and Joe Root celebrate England’s semi-final win against Australia (Nigel French/PA)
Eoin Morgan, left, and Joe Root celebrate England’s semi-final win against Australia (Nigel French/PA)

England’s former World Cup players have all united behind Eoin Morgan’s team in a special video message before Sunday’s final against New Zealand.

The Three Lions will bid to win the World Cup for the first time and 74 players who have represented England in previous tournaments have wished them luck in a video compiled by the the Professional Cricketers’ Association.

Sir Ian Botham said: “There have been 101 (England) players who have tried to win this World Cup before you. This is your chance to create history.

“Get out there boys and enjoy the day, it’s the final. Win it, not just for yourselves, but for the country. Good luck.”

England have been beaten in three previous finals, in 1979, 1987 and 1992, and former skipper Andrew Strauss urged Morgan’s men to go one better.

“You’ve got the opportunity to do something that no England player has ever done before,” Strauss said. “We’re all behind you. Bring it home.”

Another former captain, Graham Gooch, played in all three of England’s previous World Cup finals.

“As the only Englishman to have played in all three losing finals that England got to – ’79, ’87, ’92 – I know the pain of losing,” Gooch said.

“You’ve played brilliantly so far. Believe in yourselves. Everyone in our country is proud of you. Go and win the trophy.”

Nasser Hussain and Alec Stewart both congratulated the current players for the manner in which they had reached the final at Lord’s.

Stewart said: “Well done on what you’ve achieved so far lads. Now go one stage further than that 1992 team that I played in.

“Winning is what it’s all about, but stay true to yourselves. The way you play has been outstanding and now you’ve earned the right to lift that trophy.”

Hussain saluted England for their crushing eight-wicket win against Australia in the semi-final.

“Many congratulations,” Hussain said. “I’ve just got back from Edgbaston. What a truly amazing performance, unbelievable.

“Good luck on Sunday. The things you’ve done with this team, the transformation of our white-ball cricket has been incredible.

“Whatever happens on Sunday, the nation are very proud of you.”

Former players Andrew Flintoff and Jimmy Anderson sent their own chest-thumping messages, while Mike Gatting and Allan Lamb both urged the current side to win it for the nation.

“I played in two World Cup finals and lost two, so please, do me a favour and go and win it for the nation,” said Lamb.

Gatting added: “You’ve been playing some fabulous cricket and I hope you continue to do so. Please bring the Cup home for us, it’s been a long time. All the very best.”

His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex has sent good luck messages to both teams ahead of the showdown, commending England on a “truly epic” tournament.

In statements posted on the Cricket World Cup’s official Twitter account, he wrote to England: “You guys have hosted a truly epic World Cup and have had us fans on the edge of our seats for nearly two months!

“Thank you for the awesome spectacle and for keeping us so entertained.

“The whole country is behind you, you know what to do and I have no doubt that history will be made by this fantastic team. Go out and enjoy it and do your country proud.”

To New Zealand, he said: “What a competition, what a World Cup! You guys have entertained millions of people for nearly two months and for that we thank you.

“I wish your whole team the best of luck for the final and no matter what the result, you have made a lot of people here and back home very happy.”

PA

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