Strauss: Momentum will carry England to victory
By Martha Kelner, sports correspondent
Former England captain Andrew Strauss thinks England's momentum will help carry them to victory over New Zealand in the World Cup final.
Watching England attempt to win their first World Cup at Lord's will be particularly emotional for Strauss, who lost his wife Ruth to cancer just before the new year.
He quit his role as the ECB's director of cricket to care for their two boys but was a key architect of the team's rise to prominence in one-day cricket.
He was behind the decision to back Eoin Morgan as captain and believes England can justify their favouritism as they feature in a World Cup final for the first time since 1992.
"Anyone who gets to the World Cup final, you want go that last step don't you and especially at home," Strauss told Sky News.
"It's such an enticing prospect – Eoin Morgan lifting the World Cup at Lord's. That's the sort of thing that dreams are made of and it's the sort of thing that people will remember for a lifetime, certainly the players will. So they'll be going there thinking second place is not an option."
Strauss is a part of Sky Sports' presentation team and welcomed the broadcaster's decision to make the final available on free-to-air TV through a partnership with Channel 4.
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He said: "I think that's a great decision from Sky. I think as many people as possible will be tuning in to watch that.
"This is a showcase event, not just for this England team but for the game of cricket.
"It's a World Cup on home soil, that doesn't happen very often.
"And England getting into the World Cup final certainly doesn't happen very often so the double whammy is there. We want everyone tuning in."
Captain Eoin Morgan's calm leadership has been cited as one of the reasons England were able to bounce back from defeats to Pakistan, Australia and Sri Lanka in the group stages to beat Australia with a totally dominant semi-final performance. He was typically collected in his pre-match press conference.
"I haven't allowed myself to think about lifting up the trophy because cricket and sport generally is very fickle. If you ever get ahead of it, it always seems to bite you in the backside, so I haven't done that," Morgan said.
"For us to win it around the country, it would be awesome and great for the game, quite iconic in young kids' memory, particularly if we manage to lift the trophy. It would be awesome."
The Irishman is being cheered on at Rush cricket club, 15 miles north of Dublin, where he first started playing.
As a six-year-old he once featured in a senior match there. His childhood coach Matt Sheridan said: "He really stood out as a kid, he would always be here together with his family practising.
"He was the captain of his age group team and led the under-11's to a championship victory. He was such a natural talent so we would just stand back and watch."
New Zealand have surprised many by reaching a second consecutive World Cup final, shocking India in the semi-final at Old Trafford.
They are the smallest test cricket playing nation in the tournament by population but in Read More – Source[contf] [contfnew]