Roy credits defeat against Australia as turning point of England’s campaign - GulfToday

Roy credits defeat against Australia as turning point of England’s campaign

Jason Roy

England’s Jason Roy plays a shot against New Zealand during their World Cup final match in London on Sunday. Agence France-Presse

London: Jason Roy says England’s stinging defeat by Australia in the World Cup group phase gave the hosts a “good kick” and helped them rediscover their mojo.

Last time they were at the ground they were pushed to the brink of a group-stage elimination by a 64-run loss to 2015 World Cup winners Australia.

Jolted by that result, England tapped into a do-or-die mentality — confidently beating both the Black Caps and India to seal their knockout place, then exacting revenge against their Ashes rivals with a resounding semi-final win at Edgbaston.

“We didn’t get too down or upset,” said Roy, whose brilliant form with the bat has underpinned England’s improvement.

“It gave us a good kick and pushed us to actually bring out the best in ourselves I think,” he added.

“We’re in a very good place with our cricket, and like we’ve shown in the last few games, we’re doing pretty well. Do the right things tomorrow from the start, and hopefully we’ll get the benefits.”

Roy was blameless for England’s wobble, missing their back-to-back defeats with a torn hamstring.

He has passed 50 in five of his six innings, including a punishing 153 against Bangladesh, and was on course for another century in the semi-final before he was wrongly given out caught behind by umpire Kumar Dharmasena for 85.

Roy, who was fined for dissent over the incident, faces an awkward reunion with the Sri Lankan official, who will stand alongside South Africa’s Marais Erasmus at Lord’s.

“It’s professional sport, emotions run high,” the 28-year-old said.

“There was a lot of passion. The last few years have been a lot of hard work to get where I’ve got now. So to get out like that was slightly disappointing, and I probably showed it more than I should have. But you ride the wave and we’re in the final now.”

Meanwhile, the World Cup was hailed as a huge opportunity for the growth of Cricket in its birthplace but the jury is still out on whether the tournament will inspire a new generation of fans.

The flag-waving hysteria that accompanied England’s march to last year’s football World Cup semi-finals in Russia has been largely absent and many England players could walk down the street without being recognised.

The game’s chiefs are all too aware that cricket, little played in British state schools, is slipping off the radar for young people and participation rates are falling sharply, hurt by its absence from free-to-air TV.

According to the England and Wales Cricket Board’s own research, just five percent of British children aged six to 15 list cricket in their top two favourite sports -- a figure that should strike fear into anybody with the long-term interests of the game at heart.

Earlier this year,     The Times reported that dozens of smaller clubs face closure and quoted figures saying the number of Cricketers registered in England had fallen sharply -- from 428,000 in 2008 to 278,000 in 2016.

Those gloomy numbers have focused the minds of authorities, with one of their initiatives being a controversial 100-ball-per-side competition being introduced next year aimed at attracting a new audience to the game.

England and Wales Cricket Board chief executive Tom Harrison talked before the World Cup about “huge plans” to use the tournament to grow the game in England and Wales, describing it as an “unbelievable opportunity”.

Agence France-Presse