Cricket legend Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff has hailed Eoin Morgan and Trevor Bayliss for turning the England one-day side from ‘shocking’ to World Cup winners.
Morgan was the first England captain to lift the Cricket World Cup on Sunday after leading his side to a dramatic ‘super over’ victory over New Zealand in the final at Lord’s.
The win has been celebrated as a watershed moment for British cricket, with Player of the Match Ben Stokes hailed as a new legend-in-the-making and the team tipped to inspire the next generation of cricket-lovers and players.
Two-time Ashes winner Flintoff was no doubt celebrating following Sunday’s thrilling victory, after a match ranked as one of the greatest in the sport’s history.
He joined the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast to reflect on the historic win, and reserved particular praise for the skipper and head coach.
He said: “Eoin Morgan and Trevor Bayliss, what they’ve done with that team, because let’s be honest it wasn’t long ago that we were shocking in one-day cricket, in the World Cups that I played in and after that.
“But I think Eoin Morgan deserves so much credit for the way he’s led that team.
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“They’ve found an identity. In the past we used to look around the world at other teams and think we need to play like that, we need to do this.
“But now they’ve got a group of players they trust in and they just keep coming at you.
“They play with a freedom I’ve never seen from an England side and I definitely think they have an identity and a confidence to go out there and beat anyone.
“The most impressive thing as well is England have been good in the past at going into tournaments as underdogs, but to be the frontrunners and see it through so very un-English!”
While they may make up on Monday with sore heads, England players can’t afford themselves too much time to celebrate their World Cup win with the Ashes just around the corner.
The first Test against Australia at Edgbaston begins on August 1 – in just two weeks’ time.
And Flintoff can only see one result.
He added: “I think the Ashes is going to be closer than we think, Australia are coming together a decent side.
“But with the confidence we’ve just seen form the World Cup, I can’t see us losing it to be honest.
“I just think we’re too good.”