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“Winning The World Cup Was My Mount Everest,” Reveals Plunkett!

By Matt Waters

ODI World Cup and four-time County Championship winner Liam Plunkett talks exclusively on his career with Waters Writes as he prepares for the 2021 season.

For many winning the World Cup is something that only dreams are made of, but for Surrey all-rounder Liam Plunkett that became reality as his three wickets helped inspire England to a historic World Cup win.

Plunkett,36, returned to the national side in 2015 as then coach, Trevor Bayliss, took England in a new direction after their torrid World Cup performance down under.

Liam’s aggressive pace and variation saw him become an instrumental figure in Eoin Morgan’s side that won the 2019 World Cup by the ‘barest of margins.

Looking back on the tournament, Liam Plunkett revealed that “winning the 2019 ODI World Cup was my Mount Everest and the greatest achievement in my career.

“It is something that you dream about as a kid. It is one of those situations where those days of pretending you are in the World Cup final turns into reality.

“It felt like we deserved to be there after playing such good cricket for so long and to have that day to play in the final was amazing.

“It would have been a disaster for this team because of the way we played to not go on and do what we did.

After reaching the top of his “Everest,” the Surrey all-rounder explained that it took him a while to readjust his focus in the aftermath of his success.

“It took a while for me to realign myself and work out what I wanted to do next.

“I broke my thumb two weeks after the World Cup final, so I went over to America to see my wife and kids.

“You never know how it’ll affect you after coming off such a high and that time away made me able to collect my thoughts and focus on my next challenge which was playing for Surrey.

The 2019 World Cup final was the last time the four-time County Championship winner represented the three lions, and he expressed his disappointment that he has not featured since.

“You always want to play more for country and if someone said to me five years ago my last game would be the World Cup final, I would have snapped their hands off.

“Obviously, it’s disappointing that I haven’t featured since especially as I felt I had more to offer.

“I understand the route that they wanted to go in terms of playing younger players and I fully support the lads who are playing.

“I know a lot of the lads who have broken into the England team especially those at Surrey and they’re doing well.

Not only did Liam represent England in the short formats of the game but he also had a stint in the test side as well.

Averaging 37.46 in 13 games with the ball, Plunkett told me that as a player you “always value playing for England, no matter who you’re against or where you’re playing.”

“Having that drive and ambition to play for England is what you get out of bed for.

“Pulling on that England shirt is a massive achievement and it’s just an amazing feeling, especially when it ended with us doing what we did.

Liam has been no stranger to setbacks, and he revealed it was the former Yorkshire coach and Australia seamer Jason Gillespie who helped him return to the international fold.

“When I joined Yorkshire Dizzy (Jason Gillespie) was the right person at the right time for me and he just backed me.

“He was someone I looked up to as a cricketer and was great with the ball for Australia, so I knew I was going to learn a lot from him.

“He encouraged me to bowl fast and it just worked for me. If I didn’t perform, he wouldn’t drop me, so I really got my confidence back.

The 2021 cricket season marks the debut of the divisive ‘Hundred’ and for all it is critics, Liam, who will represent Welsh Fire, believes it will be successful.

“It’s exciting, we’re getting the best players around the world coming to play. It’s a new format and hopefully it’ll get the glitz and the glamour that the IPL and Big Bash gets.

“For us players we don’t actually know the rules yet, so it’ll be interesting learning them and how the game is different to what we normally play.

“The Hundred will be fascinating and I think it will hopefully be a successful spectacle.

With a successful season in mind for Surrey and the Welsh Fire, Liam added he hopes to continue with his coaching badges alongside his playing duties.

“Whilst I was at Yorkshire, I set up my own fast bowling clinic which I enjoyed, but now I’m not there anymore, I chose not to continue it because I didn’t want to sell something I wouldn’t be a part of.

“I enjoy the sport and being a part of it, so I hope I can do my coaching badges and see where that takes me in the future.”

The decision to drop Plunkett from the England side after the World Cup continues to be a controversial one, as the role he played in the middle overs with the ball has been almost irreplaceable.

Liam will feature for Surrey in all formats this season after making himself available for red ball cricket alongside teaming up with former Yorkshire and England teammate Jonny Bairstow for the Welsh Fire.

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