RAJESH KUMAR - Cricket Statisticians
Morgan's Men - Nick Hoult and Steve James
Morgan's Men
- Nick Hoult and Steve James

First Published in Great Britain in 2020 by
Allen & Unwin

Hardback ISBN 978 1 91163 093 7

Pages 328


Which cricket lover can forget the ball flying off Ben Stokes's bat for four overthrows as he dived to make his ground, as the 2019 World Cup Final went down to the dreaded Super Over.

England team, which had been runners-up in 1979, 1987 and 1992, won the World Cup last year. They not only beat New Zealand in the most thrilling fashion by virtue of having hit more boundaries after the final ended in a tie and the Super Over that followed it.

The authors, Nick Hoult and Steve James, bring some little known facets of the team to cricket enthusiasts. Hoult considers the World Cup triumph as the most important phase for English cricket.

Nick Hoult and Steve James examine the strategies and tactics that enabled England to go from World Cup flops to World Cup winners apart from the various issues surrounding the team such as the Ben Stokes' court case and the sacking of Alex Hales for a drugs ban.

Morgan's Men reveals how the team became the most aggressive limited-overs side in the world, led by their inspirational captain Eoin Morgan, whose visiion and determination to succeed captured the imagination of the nation.

The writers believed England won because they adapted. "England spent four years planning for the World Cup. They built their team around two spinners, big-hitting batsmen and picking a group of players and sticking with them because they had identified experience and average number of caps as being vital markers of what was needed to win a World Cup.

The four-year project had worked. England were world champions on a gloriously sunny evening at Lord's. It was the 193rd time Lord's had hosted an England match, but it had never seen anything like this before. Indeed cricket had never seen a game like this before."

Ian Smith, the former New Zealand wicketkeeper, commenting on television, captured the moment vividly with words that will always be remembered by England supporters. 'England have won the World Cup by the barest of margins. By the barest of all margins. Absolute ecstasy for England. Agony, agony for New Zealand.' Nine seconds of silence later, Smith says just one word: 'Wow.'

Ben Stokes was adjudged the player of the match in the final for playing a match-winning unbeaten innings of 84 off 98 balls. He remarked: 'It's cool, but the best things about it is that we won what we wanted to. We deserved to be in the final because of what we've done over the last four years. We would have been devastated if we hadn't managed to lift the trophy. Looking back over that game, I think it will go down in the history books as the best ever, with all the drama of a World Cup final. It's an amazing thing to have been a part of.'

Stokes had been presented with one of those expensive watches by sponsors Hublot for winning the Man of the match award. In the excitement, he left it behind in the dressing room, and someone had to take it back to the hotel on his behalf.

Well produced, Morgan's Men continues to give consistently good value and will serve as a major work of reference for many years to come, and is deserving of a warm welcome.

Attractively laid-out and logically organised, the book is a superb production indeed. The feature of the book is its outstanding collection of photographs, taking it to another level of excellence apart from the meticulous compiled records' section and England's World Cup scorecards.

We are thankful to Clare Drysdale, Group Associate Publisher, Allen & Unwin for sending a review copy for our website.