Queen congratulates England cricket team after World Cup victory
The Queen has congratulated the England cricket team after their historic World Cup victory in one of the most dramatic finals ever seen in team sport.
The ICC World Cup final between England and New Zealand saw the home side grab a breathtaking victory.
The thrilling match was full of suspense throughout as both sides battled to an unprecedented tie, locked on 241 runs after 100 overs of hair-pulling tension.
Hours of play ended in a super over, a six-ball shoot-out that had only occurred 11 times in international history and never before in a one-day international.
Celebrating the victory, the Queen wrote: “Prince Philip and I send our warmest congratulations to the England Men’s Cricket team after such a thrilling victory in today’s World Cup Final.
“I also extend my commiserations to the runners-up New Zealand, who competed so admirably in today’s contest and throughout the tournament.”
This is the first time the England Men’s and Women’s teams have held both the ICC Cricket World Cup winners’ titles at the same time.
Royal Mail announced they would be celebrating both historic World Cup wins through a series of special stamps and postboxes.
The eight special stamps will be sold on two miniature sheets – one showing images from the Women’s team and the other images from the Men’s – and will be on sale throughout the country later in the summer.
Royal Mail will also install 15 special edition postboxes at each ground used in the tournament, starting outside of Lords cricket ground where both nailbiting finals were held.
The postboxes will be decorated in white and gold as a tribute to the victories, featuring a stylised gold cricket bat, ball and stumps. The decoration will be in place for three months before being replaced with a permanent gold plaque.
Postboxes will also be decorated in an important location to each of the team captains – England Men’s captain Eoin Morgan and the captain of the 2017 Women’s team Heather Knight OBE.
Matt Parkes, managing director, Stamps and Collectibles at Royal Mail, said: “Cricket is truly coming home.”
Fans were rapt as they watched the nail-biting match at Lords, on the big screen in Trafalgar Square as well as on television screens across the country.
As he left the ground, one cricket fan told PA that watching England win the World Cup was the “greatest sporting achievement” he has ever seen in his lifetime.
Fifty-year-old Andrew Bowden, from Liphook in Hampshire, added: “Outside the birth of my two children, that was the greatest day of my life.”
Marianne Benton, 59, from Marlborough, Wiltshire, also watched the final inside Lords, and told PA as she left the ground: “You would not be able to make it up – it was like a penalty shootout but better.
“It was unbelievable. If this does not get people more interest in cricket, I don’t know what will.
“It was quite emotional in there, strangers were kissing each other, people were crying, it was amazing. People were cheering and shouting out.”
Outside the home of cricket, as jubilant England fans filed out of the ground, there was a party atmosphere – with cars beeping their horns in support, whistles being blown and sporadic cheering and chants.
A similar atmosphere was seen at the fan zone in Trafalgar Square.
Describing how it felt to watch, Callum Stevens, 23, from London told PA: “I’ve watched cricket all my life. I’ve never had a moment like that ever.
“I can’t describe it. A super over. It never happens. Suddenly it’s the World Cup final and we’ve got to use a super over.
“It’s absolute pandemonium. It went ballistic in there and everyone’s in the fountain. Euphoria.
“The best sporting thing I’ve ever seen in my life hands down.”
Trevor Campbell, from Middlesex, said he had “never seen” anything like the final, adding: “I did not believe it, halfway through I was sure New Zealand was going to win, it was not until the last over.
“You could not make this up. There has never been anything like this,” the 88-year-old told PA. “I feel very sorry for New Zealand, they got so close.”