T20 triumph as good as Ashes win

T20 triumph as good as Ashes win

England captain Paul Collingwood believes his side’s ICC World Twenty20 triumph is just as significant as their Ashes win over Australia last year.

By (AFP)

Published: Tue 18 May 2010, 6:45 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 2:45 AM

Collingwood led England to their first ever success in a global tournament as his team defeated Australia by seven wickets in the World Twenty20 final on Sunday.

And the Durham batsman is convinced England’s victory over their old rivals in Barbados is the equal of last year’s Ashes victory as it has lifted a major weight off his players’ shoulders.

‘We went over there to win a World Cup and we achieved that,’ Collingwood told Radio 5 Live on England’s return home to London on Tuesday.

‘It’s a massive achievement. We’ve had a monkey on our backs having not won a ICC trophy and put that right.

‘It’s right up there with last year’s Ashes win. We had a team with plenty of belief and a team with plenty of skill.

‘The brand of cricket we played was exciting. We really took it to the opposition.

‘Really it was about consistent performances right the way through and we built on that momentum right the way through to the final.’

Collingwood insists beating the Australia team again was a massive boost to England’s confidence ahead of the Ashes tour later this year.

‘Of course it’s different to Ashes. But in the last five years we’ve done well against them (Australia),’ he said.

‘Of course it’s a different form of game but beating them is always sweet.

‘It’s a different form of the game to the Ashes - it only takes three hours and the tournament only went for a couple of weeks - but there’s still all that preparation work you’ve got to do.

‘When you do something for the first time - winning the World Cup for us as the England cricket team - it’s definitely something very special,’ he said.

‘You’re playing against world-class outfits, there’s always challenges that come along at different stages throughout the tournament.

‘The way that the guys have overcome all them and come out on top, a lot of credit goes to the boys. The euphoria of winning it is very, very similar to the Ashes.’

Collingwood denied that his success as Twenty20 skipper would put Andrew Strauss under pressure to retain his place as captain of the 50-over side.

Strauss was not selected to go to the Caribbean while he opted to rest from the tour of Bangladesh earlier this year, when Alastair Cook led England to a whitewash success in the Test and one-day series.

‘I don’t think so, not at all. Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower have been a real force for us over the last year,’ Collingwood said.

‘They’re a great combination together. I guess all the team ethos and all the values they’ve installed in us over the past year is one of the reasons why we’ve gone out there and done so well in winning the World Cup.

‘You can give him (Strauss) a lot of credit, even though he wasn’t there, for what we’ve achieved. Andrew Strauss is our one-day captain and our Test captain and that’s final.

‘This was solely my job as Twenty20 captain, to go out and win the World Cup, which is exactly what we’ve done.

‘There’s no pressure on Andrew coming back in. He’s a fantastic leader a lot of this kind of success we’ve had over the last few weeks can go down to a lot of the values he and Andy Flower have installed in us over the past year.

‘Everybody I’m sure will be looking forward to him coming back. I haven’t spoken to him (Strauss) yet. I’ve had a couple of text messages from him, pretty much along the lines of ‘get in’ and ‘well done’.

‘He said it’s been great to watch and ‘you guys have been playing fantastic’.’

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