Monday, November 29, 1999

England`s surging self-belief ends long wait for title

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England ended their 35-year wait for a world title with victory over Australia in the Twenty20 World Cup on Sunday thanks to a retuned playing style and a surge in self-belief, skipper Paul Collingwood said.Not only did England knock off Australia's total of 147 for the loss of just three wickets, they did so with three full overs remaining and not even a hint of the middle order collapses that have plagued previous teams.England had lost their four other world finals in the 50 over format -- three World Cups and a Champions Trophy -- and Collingwood said the key to finally winning was self-confidence."I think belief has been a huge thing -- you can see from the way the guys have gone out from first ball, believing in themselves and taking it to the opposition and playing a brand of cricket that is unlike England in the past," he said."I think a lot of credit goes to every single player in the dressing room to have the confidence to go out there and really give it there best shots and have no regrets."We thoroughly deserve the victory, because the way we've played throughout the tournament has been consistent and we have also been taking the game to the opposition."We've had a lot of belief, and the guys have thought very well for themselves and made the right decisions. In the end, we've turned up on a big occasion like this and we've performed," he added.Collingwood now hopes England's tendency to crack under the pressure of big occasions is behind them."To be the first (English) team to win a World Cup is very special," he said. "We knew it was a monkey on our back. We knew what it meant and that is why I am so pleased that these last two performances in such pressurised situations were absolutely spot on."(Editing by Kevin Fylan. To query or comment on this story email
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