‘When Ed [Smith] called me up this morning, I was a little bit speechless,’ he said.
‘I didn’t really know what to say but it’s exciting and I can’t wait to get cracking.’
England squad for Ireland Test match
Joe Root (c), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Lewis Gregory, Jack Leach, Jason Roy, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes
Gregory was also selected in England’s 16-man pre-Ashes training camp (Picture: Getty)
Gregory, who was drafted into England’s World Cup squad back in 2015, is confident he’s ready for the step up to the Test team.
‘Obviously that was one of the best moments of my career so far,’ Gregory said.
‘I was quite raw in 2015, I hadn’t played a huge amount of cricket, and I think going back into the wilderness of county cricket, you get a lot of opportunity to play.
‘Games come thick and fast, you work things out, and learn your strengths and your weaknesses.
‘You work out what you need to do to succeed, and I think my bowling has become a lot more consistent and the skill has developed with that.
England squad for pre-Ashes camp
Joe Root (c), Moeen Ali, Jimmy Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler (wk), Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Lewis Gregory, Jack Leach, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood
‘It’s always been a dream of mine, and I’ve always believed that I was good enough and have the ability to play international cricket.
‘The last two summers, I’ve put in performances consistently enough to raise that belief. And I always knew that, if I kept performing, there would be an opportunity at some stage.
‘If next week’s that, then hopefully I’ll go and perform and put my hand up for an Ashes call as well.’
Jason Roy played a key role in England’s cricket World Cup success (Picture: Getty)
Jason Roy looks certain to be part of England’s Ashes campaign after he received his maiden Test call-up.
After Sunday’s historic success at Lord’s attention will quickly switch to red ball cricket with Joe Root’s side taking on Ireland at Lord’s next week.
Surrey opener Roy played a crucial part in England’s World Cup campaign, leading from the front with the bat scoring 443 runs at an average of 63.28, while it was his throw that helped effect the run out of Martin Guptill and clinch the trophy on Sunday.
England have struggled to find a stable and potent partnership at the top of their batting order in recent years with the likes of Keaton Jennings and Mark Stoneman struggling to convince.
Joe Root (Yorkshire) captain
Moeen Ali (Worcestershire)
Jimmy Anderson (Lancashire)
Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire)
Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire)
Rory Burns (Surrey)
Sam Curran (Surrey)
Joe Denly (Kent)
Lewis Gregory (Somerset)
Jack Leach (Somerset)
Jason Roy (Surrey)
Olly Stone (Warwickshire)
Chris Woakes (Warwickshire)
Test skipper Root will hope Roy is capable of transferring his devastating one-day skills to the longest format of the game against a potent Australian attack led by Mitchell Starc.
Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow and Chris Woakes are also included in the squad to face Ireland, as is England record wicket taker Jimmy Anderson, but Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes have been given additional time to recover.
Stokes, who was also stripped of the Test vice-captaincy and missed the 2017 Ashes tour after he was charged with affray, was the star of England’s dramatic last-gasp win over New Zealand at Lord’s on Sunday.
Stokes told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: ‘I won’t look back and say I redeemed myself or anything like that – I’m an athlete and a cricketer and it’s what we are paid to do, to win trophies.
Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer have both been given time off following their World Cup heroics (Picture: Getty)
‘It was coming back from all of that, it was tough. Getting back into cricket obviously massively helped [me get] straight after that.
‘It was a stressful time for me, my wife, my family back home. I had amazing people around me, my team-mates, friends, family. They have to take a lot of credit for helping me to get through that.
‘I got emotional there, at the end, and that was probably a culmination of lots of things, happiness that we won it and subconsciously thinking and remembering back to what I went through.’
However, Mark Wood was run out coming back for a second and Stokes, who was furious at himself, has revealed that he told Morgan to choose Roy for the super over.
‘All I could think about was Bangladesh in the T20 World Cup when they were in a similar position and they hit the ball straight to the fielder so I knew if I got one run we at least got to a super over and if I put it to the left or right of the fielder then we should be able to come back for two but unfortunately I hit it straight to him,’ Stokes told ITV’s Good Morning Britain.
‘I was annoyed at myself, I was angry, I thought I’d thrown it away but when I went upstairs I had to give myself five minutes because Morgs wanted me to go back out and do the super over.
‘I said that we should sent Jos and Jason out but Morgs said we need a left and right because it’s a small boundary.
Mark Wood was run out in the final ball of England’s regular innings (Picture: Getty)
‘I had to go out the back into the shower room and give myself five minutes.
‘I never want to be involved in one [super over] ever again.’
Stokes and Buttler set New Zealand a target of 15 in the super over (Picture: Getty)
Stokes, who smashed eight off three balls in England’s super over, hopes he’s never involved in such a ‘stressful’ scenario again.
‘To go out there and have the pressure on you batting first, to get as many runs as you can, it is a scary place to be especially in a World Cup final,’ he added.
‘But I think I’d rather be out there in the middle than having to watch because that’s the worst place to be is when you’re watching and you know you can’t influence what’s going on out in the middle.
‘It’s not one of the things I ever want to be involved in again just because of the stress.’
Bob Willis fancies England’s chances of regaining the Ashes from Australia (Picture: Getty)
Bob Willis is confident England have a ‘better than even chance’ of regaining the Ashes and has selected his XI for the opening Test match against Australia.
Australia are the holders having thrashed England 4-0 in the 2017/18 series Down Under, but this year’s hosts will be buoyed by the ODI side’s recent World Cup triumph after beating New Zealand in a pulsating final at Lord’s.
Several of those who defeated Australia in the semi-final will be involved at Edgbaston in nine days time, but Willis is doubtful that this will have much of an impact when play gets underway.
The former England fast bowler has, though, called on the selectors to bring in the likes of Jofra Archer and Jason Roy who have starred for the one-day side in recent weeks.
‘Yes, people’s expectations will be very high after winning the World Cup and a lot of the World Cup squad will obviously be in the Test match line-up as well, but different disciplines matter considerably in the Test match arena.
‘There are more slip fielders, there are bowlers who can bowl more than ten overs like Mitchell Starc who is an absolute world beater so England are going to have to be at their absolute best but I think they’ve got a better than even chance of regaining the Ashes.’
Bob Willis' XI for opening Ashes match at Edgbaston
Joe Root (c)
Ben Foakes (wk)
Willis has called for Sussex’s Burns and Roy to open the batting at Edgbaston (Picture: Getty)
Willis is ‘certain’ that Keaton Jennings will lose his place in the XI and has called for World Cup hero Roy to step up as England’s opening batsman alongside Rory Burns.
Asked whether Burns is likely to keep his spot in the team, Willis replied: ‘I think he will.
‘The England selectors’ philosophy these days is to give batsmen who come into the side a decent run out. Rory has had a very moderate season, as have Surrey for that matter, but I think he’ll retain his place.
‘It’s difficult to forget that England lost that series to the West Indies [in February] but I think Rory Burns will keep his place. Keaton Jennings will be jettisoned for certain, he’s had a disappointed season and Lancashire are in division two as well.
‘I think the selectors will retain Joe Denly – he wouldn’t necessarily be my choice but he’s got a timely 150 in the current round of championship matches. Obviously Joe Root will be there, then England’s array of all-rounders.’
England's last Test against West Indies in February
Joe Root (c)
Jonny Bairstow (wk)
Willis believes Broad may drop out of the side for Woakes (Picture: Getty)
Willis believes Jofra Archer is a shoo-in to start at Edgbaston and thinks Stuart Broad may drop out of the side for Chris Woakes.
‘I think the choice is going to be – and remember the first match is at Edgbaston – Archer will definitely come in,’ he added.
You don’t have a bowler with that ability and that pace and pace is so important in Test match cricket. Jason Gillespie, his coach at Sussex, says Jofra is a better bowler with the red ball than the white ball so look out Australia!
‘You’ve then got a straight choice between Chris Woakes and Stuart Broad. Broad has got a fantastic Test match record, he loves playing against the Australian and usually does well against them in this country.
‘But you have to remember that opening match is at Edgbaston – Chris Woakes’ homeground – and although for the last few months there have been injury concerns about Woakes’ knees, I think the selectors may plump for him in front of Broad.’
Willis would start with Foakes as England’s wicket-keeper (Picture: Getty)
Willis continued: ‘Jason Roy at the top of the order. He may have to tighten up his defence a bit with his Surrey team-mate Rory Burns. I would insist, if I were Trevor Bayliss, that Joe Root batted at number three.
‘Jonny Bairstow I would free of the gloves as he was at the World Cup – him at four.
‘My selection as wicket-keeper would be Ben Foakes and people may have forgotten that in his first match against Sri Lanka he scored a century. Not many people have done that.
‘England only need one spinner throughout this series so Moeen Ali will come back.’
England’s cricket captain Eoin Morgan was all smiles after the big win (Picture: Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images for Surrey CCC)
I have never retched while watching sport before.
I’m sure it happened the odd time while I was condemned to run cross-country in year seven P.E, but never has my body reacted so violently to the experience of sport as it did during England’s World Cup victory last Sunday (14 July).
I hated cross-country at school as my body – slightly lanky with a smoker’s lungs – didn’t suit it. Rugby, from my experience, was legalised bullying; the boys who beat me up at break time were now rewarded with trophies rather than detention for their efforts.
I had some moments in the sun as a goalkeeper but outfield football was, and remains, a mystery (they teach you where to kick it, but not how to kick it!).
However, in cricket, I found a sport, for the first and final time in my life, that I was good at. Not just passable, but good – and, on rare occasions, great. It was the only sport for which I wasn’t picked last.
As a young cricket fan in the 90s, euphoria was in very short supply.
Odd moments come to mind, such as Michael Atherton vs Allan Donald in 1998, or Dominic Cork’s hat trick at Old Trafford against The West Indies in 1995, but these were moments, one-off victories, not dominance or series being won.
I was too young to catch Ian Botham in his pomp, but he was still a hero, and I watched his final first class game for Durham against Australia. I was 11 years old and it was my first-ever trip to a match, and for some reason I even brought my bat.
Fast-forward 26 years and I have spent seven weeks watching the cricket World Cup in the most pathetic tableau imaginable.
Due to having Sky Sports free on my contract, I watched it on my phone.
Due to getting neck pain from holding my phone, my phone was on a tripod.
Due to watching my phone on a tripod, I hurt my back, so I also wore shoulder support.
It’s the kind of bizarrely over-engineered solution that at the time seemed like a masterstroke, but on reflection cost far more than just paying to watch the bloody thing.
The England cricket team celebrate their World Cup win (Picture: Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images for Surrey CCC)
Making the final free to air may well be responsible for this country’s first collective gasp at cricket since the 2005 Ashes. In my case, however, it just made me look slightly less absurd.
My eternally tolerant fiancée has no interest in any sport whatsoever and exiled herself to the bedroom to watch a film, but I’m not sure she was fully aware that her future husband was about to have what seemed like a panic attack that lasted eight hours.
This is not an exaggeration. Anyone who watched Sunday’s game knows that it was a game beyond exaggeration.
It was not just down to the game itself, which featured every moment of excitement, lethargy, frustration, eccentricity and quirk that cricket has to offer. Nor was it down to the sight of elite sportspeople doing what only elite sportspeople can do – shock, amaze, infuriate and take every breath from your lungs.
For me, it was experiencing it (after much faffing to sync it up) with Test Match Special in my ear – a group of commentators, experts and characters, that to many millions of cricket fans, have been friends and family for decades. I was experiencing the pinnacle of English cricket, with the very people I had experienced every previous high and low for the past 30-odd years.
When Morgan was caught, my stomach threatened to burn through my side.
The programme has a very special place in my heart. Imagine your favourite podcast, about your favourite thing, hosted by your favourite people and broadcast live for 60 years.
The sport I fell in love with as a kid was a sport without simulation, fouls, cheating, violence or brute strength, it was a sport where endless rules were policed entirely by decency – and Test Match Special is about as decent a thing as you can imagine.
And thank God they were with me. I began to get a stomach ache just as Joe Root attempted to morph into Chris Gayle for two disastrous swipes.
When Morgan was caught, my stomach threatened to burn through my side. It was lost.
Then, as Stokes and Buttler nudged, drove and muscled what-ifs all around Lords I started to shake – initially it was my hands, then my legs, and finally my whole body.
I couldn’t even contribute to chatter on various frenzied WhatsApp groups, I simply couldn’t hold my phone. The sheer amount of adrenaline was giving me symptoms identical to a panic attack.
With five overs to go I began to retch, my heart rate was through the roof. And when my girlfriend called down to ask what was wrong, I could not speak.
For about 10 seconds, I couldn’t form words.
At this precise moment, Jonathan Agnew remarked on Test Match Special that his watch, which featured a heart rate monitor, had started buzzing and recommended he take a minute’s quiet breathing. I don’t think I’ve ever felt as close to a broadcaster in my life.
Then, as the tension moved beyond intolerable, as defeat turned to victory and then to draw, then to victory, draw and victory once again.
When what seemed won, then lost, then really lost, came back to just within reach, Jonathon Agnew, the master of propriety, decorum and fairness, momentarily forgot himself and became a fan just like me and many million others, screaming at Jofra Archer ‘DON’T THROW IT! DON’T THROW IT!’ – and, bless him, dear Jofra didn’t.
It is a moment I will treasure for the rest of my life.
Nowhere else in sport is commentary, radio, or anything else for that matter, as good as Test Match Special.
It is a cliché to say that cricket is boring.
It is also a cliché to respond that people who don’t like cricket will never understand how a game that lasts five days and ends in a draw can be thrilling beyond belief.
But never before could we have said that a game which ended in not one, but two draws, was the most incredible sporting spectacle ever witnessed.
Ben Stokes inadvertently knocked the ball to the boundary ropes as England took the match to a super over (Picture: Getty)
Ashley Giles has brushed off claims that England were wrongly awarded an extra run in their stunning World Cup final victory over New Zealand.
In the final moments of regular play, Ben Stokes – who made an unbeaten 84 – stretched to reach the crease and inadvertently nudged the ball to the boundary to turn two runs into six as England took the match to a super over.
Five-time ICC Umpire of the Year Simon Taufel said a ‘clear mistake’ had been made as England should only have been awarded five runs because Stokes and Adil Rashid had not crossed when the ball was thrown at the stumps.
England went on to win courtesy of a superior boundary count as New Zealand failed to beat the hosts’ score of 15 at the death, with Jason Roy running out Martin Guptill in the final ball at Lord’s.
Referring to rule 19.8 of the MCC rulebook, Taufel told Fox Sports: ‘They should have been awarded five runs, not six. It’s a clear mistake. It’s an error of judgment.
‘In the heat of what was going on, [the umpires] thought there was a good chance the batsmen had crossed at the instant of the throw. Obviously TV replays showed otherwise.
‘So given that scenario, five runs should have been the correct allocation of runs, and Ben Stokes should have been at the non-striker’s end for the next delivery.’
Law 19.8 of the MCC rulebook
If the boundary results from an overthrow or from the willful act of a fielder, the runs scored shall be any runs for penalties awarded to either side and the allowance for the boundary and the runs completed by the batsmen, together with the run in progress if they had already crossed at the instant of the throw or act.
Asked whether Taufel’s comments mattered to him, England director of cricket Giles replied: ‘Not really.
‘You could argue the last ball that [Trent] Boult bowled was a full toss on leg stump and if Stokes’ hadn’t just been looking for two he probably would’ve banged it out of the ground anyway.
‘We are world champions; we have got the trophy and we intend to keep it.’
Giles brushed off Taufel’s comments on the incident (Picture: Getty)
Stokes apologised to New Zealand captain Kane Williamson following the incident.
‘I said to Kane I’ll be apologising for that for the rest of my life,’ Stokes said.
‘It was not the way I wanted to do it.. the ball going off my bat like that.. I apologised to Kane.’
England beat New Zealand in one of the all-time great World Cup matches (Picture: Getty)
Stuart Broad said he had ‘never seen anything like it’ following England’s thrilling World Cup final victory over New Zealand – and his reaction, captured by Ravi Ashwin, was one of utter disbelief.
New Zealand and England could not be separated after 100 overs with both sides notching up 241 in one of the most greatest matches in ODI history.
The Lord’s spectacle had to be decided on a super over and Ben Stokes, who made an unbeaten 84 in England’s original 50-over game, combined with Jos Buttler to score 15 off Trent Boult’s six deliveries.
New Zealand fell one run short in reply with Jason Roy running out Martin Guptill at the death as Kane Williamson’s side had to settle for second place, just as they did in 2015.
Yesterday’s historic World Cup win for England was a watershed moment in how Britain’s diverse communities will relate (Picture: Nick Potts/PA)
Sports and philanthropy are natural partners, especially at the national level. When a country does well at a sporting event, it can lead to positive social change, and even open up a new conversation about what it means to belong to that nation.
I feel like yesterday’s historic World Cup win for England was a watershed moment in how Britain’s diverse communities will relate not only to cricket, but to each other.
The team was a picture of modern Britain: the World Cup went to England, but the talent had heritage from around the world. The England cricket team, then, is a lot like Britain itself: a global enterprise under a national flag.
As Brexit forces us to constantly ask ourselves what it will mean to be British (and particularly English) in the future, it’s an image that will join Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding as an inspiring ideal of what the future may hold.
Cricket has been a focal point for questions of national loyalty since I was a schoolboy. In 1990, Conservative MP Norman Tebbit coined the ‘cricket test’: the idea that the children of Caribbean and South Asian immigrants were not sufficiently British if they supported the countries of their heritage, rather than England, in Cricket matches.
Fast forward a generation, and the world has been turned upside down. England has achieved unprecedented national glory precisely because those children of Caribbean and South Asian immigrants have excelled in the national cricket team.
It seems that it is not the immigrants that have been failing the cricket test, but parts of Middle England.
I have many friends who, like some of the fans on our TV screens yesterday, own the national colours of more than one country. (Picture: Stu Forster-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)
Many of those ethnic minority fans cheering the national team in England kits yesterday were, just weeks ago, wearing the shirts of India or Pakistan.
The charity I’ve founded has toured the UK with the Pakistan cricket team and I’ve seen how much support they have here. But what if national pride, just like citizenship, is not a case of either/or? I have many friends who, like some of the fans on our TV screens yesterday, own the national colours of more than one country. This isn’t strange; this is the new normal.
Dare I say that many of the approximately 60,000 UK-resident Kiwis would have experienced a mix of happiness and disappointment whatever the result yesterday.
To question their national loyalty would be bizarre – perhaps because they are mostly white, perhaps because New Zealand is seen as Britain’s cousin, not its little helper.
It is precisely because sport is something that ignites such deep passions that we need to make it as inclusive as possible. Sport and the social good go hand in hand.
Women’s football has in recent years done so much to inspire women and girls around the world, but especially in the UK and the USA.
The Williams sisters have changed tennis for good, ushering in a new generation of assertive and unapologetic female players. Mo Salah has single-handedly led to a reduction in Islamophobia, that is even backed up by evidence: Stanford University found an 18.9 per cent drop in anti-Muslim hate crimes in Merseyside in the period since Salah signed for Liverpool in June 2017.
So the England cricket team’s multiculturalism is just the latest in the new trend of sports activism that is sweeping the country and the world.
I hope that the millions of kids growing up in a Britain that is experiencing record levels of hate crime will have watched the celebrations yesterday and felt as much a part of it as their white school friends.
Sporting success is great, but the biggest prize for any society is making everyone feel at home, whatever the colours on their sports kit – or their skin.
Jofra Archer was England’s leading wicket taker at the World Cup (Picture: Getty)
Eoin Morgan claimed it was an ‘easy decision’ to select Jofra Archer for the decisive super over as England won the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup trophy courtesy of a superior boundary count.
New Zealand and England could not be separated after 100 overs with both sides notching up 241 in one of the most thrilling matches in ODI history.
Ben Stokes, who made an unbeaten 84 in England’s original 50-over game, combined with Jos Buttler to score 15 in the hosts’ super over and the Black Caps fell one run short in reply with Jason Roy running out Martin Guptill at the death.
Playing in only his 14th international match, Archer started nervously in the super over as he bowled a wide with his first delivery before being smashed for six by New Zealand all-rounder James Neesham.
However, the 24-year-old regained his composure to ensure the Kiwis needed two runs from the final ball, a target they narrowly missed out on when Guptil was run out.
Sachin Tendulkar handed New Zealand star Kane Williamson the player of the series award (Picture: Getty)
Kane Williamson showed his class both on and off the field as New Zealand lost an epic ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup final to hosts England on boundary count.
The nail-biting match was decided on a super over after both teams notched up 241 runs from their respective 50 overs and the the Black Caps failed to beat Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler’s score of 15 at the death.
Stokes, who who made an unbeaten 84 in the original 50-over game, was named man of the match for his heroics at Lord’s while Williamson came away with the player of the series award.
Williamson also captained New Zealand four years ago when they finished runners-up to Australia and the 28-year-old admitted Sunday’s defeat was a bitter pill to swallow.
However, he showed the utmost grace as he congratulated England’s players in the aftermath of one of the greatest matches in ODI history.