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July 11, 2019

Eoin Morgan

Birmingham, England, UK

England - 226-2, Australia - 223

Q. It's been a long journey, some ups and some downs, but you are through to the World Cup Final. How does that sound? How do you feel?
EOIN MORGAN: It sounds pretty cool and it feels pretty good. The performance in the last three games, we have got better and better as a group. We talked before the tournament that we would have to do that in order to get to a semifinal and final and be contenders.

So I think today was, I suppose, a step further in the performance and adding on the two that we've built on already, I think it was important that we did that.

Q. You said you wanted to play with smiles on your faces and embrace the moment, did you do that?
EOIN MORGAN: I think we did, absolutely. Everybody out there on the field and even in the changing room loved every ball that was bowled. There was no lack of commitment, application and we had a bit of a day out which, it's cool when it happens like that, particularly when the bowlers bowl like that, it is awesome.

Q. A year ago to the day, England were knocked out of the semifinal of the Football World Cup. Is it coming home?
EOIN MORGAN: (Laughter) I wouldn't get too carried away yet. It is obviously a very exciting time for everybody and ourselves included. I think giving ourselves the opportunity for Sunday's final is brilliant. We'll be giving it everything we can in order to try and win that game.

Q. Finally from me, Jason Roy, very disappointed with his dismissal. Is there any danger that he could be banned for the final?
EOIN MORGAN: I doubt it. I didn't see exactly what happened, I was on the toilet, ironically. So I've heard what happened, but I can't imagine he would be, no.

Q. It's unlikely that you would have had to endure any of this horror semifinal defeats that everybody talks about in England in the '90s and 2000s. Do you understand this whole apprehension and cynicism around England, about knockout games at all?
EOIN MORGAN: (Smiling) I think we're quite cynical people, who never quite give people credit when it's due. There's always a different side to it. We grow up around it. It is the way we are and we sometimes enjoy it too much.

I think us, as a team, we have learnt to enjoy ourselves, particularly days like this, even if they don't go well. If you had offered us the position to play in a final the day after we were knocked out of 2015 World Cup, I would have laughed at you.

Q. Four years of planning and preparation, you have had some great moments along the way. But do you feel as though you have saved the best for the game that was most important, that that was your most complete performance of the four years?
EOIN MORGAN: I think close to. I think particularly the bowling unit. When you perform like that, you continue to take wickets, along with a little bit of luck, but we were quite persistent in the lengths that we bowled. We stuck to our plans, our plans managed to work, even when Smith and Carey started to dominate and grow in the partnership they did, we found something, an opportunity.

We didn't drop a catch on Adil, which is great, that allowed him to build momentum and confidence and he bowled brilliantly.

Q. Is that the blueprint for how you'd like your team to embrace Sunday? You lost the toss, but came out and really flew out the blocks. It looked like you enjoyed yourself all day?
EOIN MORGAN: Yeah, absolutely. I think Sunday's not a day to shy away from, it's a day to look forward to, much like today. We have created the opportunity to play in a World Cup Final. It will be a matter of the same again trying to produce everything that we can performance-wise but enjoy the day.

Q. Did Jonny pick up an injury when he was batting and if so, what was it? And how bad is it?
EOIN MORGAN: Yeah, I'm not sure what it was but he seemed to move alright after it, so it is not very concerning I don't think. It might be a niggle, we don't know until he is scanned, but after it, he seemed to move well, so that's a good sign.

Q. Was that the best Adil's bowled in this tournament? And why do you think he hasn't quite had the wickets that we might have expected so far?
EOIN MORGAN: I thought he bowled well against Pakistan up to a period, probably the period where the catch was dropped. That gets you down a bit as a bowling unit. I don't think we have fielded well and supported him within the group and today I thought we did really well.

The pitch offered a little bit, but his variation I thought was brilliant.

Q. The final is going to be on free-to-air TV. The whole nation is going to be behind you at last it feels like. How exciting is that personally and as a team?
EOIN MORGAN: Very cool. Particularly given the 2005 Ashes for me was sort of the day cricket became cool. Throughout the whole summer, the game was on the front and back page of every newspaper going around, everyone was talking about and it that is really good for the game and it's the game I love so it's great news that it's on free-to-air.

Q. Adelaide 2015 and now Edgbaston 2019, could you talk about this turnaround, or the renaissance in English white-ball cricket in these four years, for you as a captain personally and as a team?
EOIN MORGAN: Yes, it's been a process for the last four years. In 2015 we were way off the mark, we struggled against the top teams, and the teams that sat below that, so there was quite a drastic change in the way we played and the way we looked at playing our 50-over cricket. That has worked out extremely well for us and given the support that we've had throughout, the ECB, the backroom staff, as players we have taken that I suppose as far as we can so far.

Q. Television cameras appear to show that in the England dressing room there was a large board with signatures and messages. Were they personalised? Talk us through those.
EOIN MORGAN: Yes. So I'm trying to think when it was, before the Pakistan series, myself and the head coach went into the ECB offices and did a live stream Q&A with an internal one with all the ECB staff, either watching online or in the room in one of the Lord's stands. It was an opportunity for us to launch our marketing campaign and to answer questions but also, you know, unite us a little bit. 50-over cricket has always taken a back-seat to t20 cricket and Test match cricket, so involving everybody, making sure they appreciate the work that they do behind-the-scenes is extremely important for us because -- particularly the social media stuff and all the online stuff, the guys love it, particularly the young guys.

So we launched the Express Yourself campaign that day and it went well. They gave us the big cardboard cut-out of Express Yourself. We signed it, absolutely everybody signed it, and basically said thank you and the messages and sent a picture and that will be going back to the ECB offices at the end of the tournament.

Q. A thank you from you and the team to the ECB?
EOIN MORGAN: Absolutely.

Q. Did you have a chance to see any of the New Zealand's win over India and what are you expecting from them on Sunday?
EOIN MORGAN: Yeah, I did. I watched most of it right up until we trained yesterday. A great game of cricket. I thought India were completely done and dusted after the early wickets that New Zealand took. They bowled extremely well and took their opportunities.

I think New Zealand throughout the whole tournament has been probably the hardest side to beat and the best side in the group stages. I think their performance in the semifinal was probably their best. They will be a difficult side to beat on Sunday, so we are looking forward to it.

Q. You talked about how good it is that the final is going to be on free-to-air television. Is there an awareness from you and the team that what you have done today and what you might do on Sunday is bigger for the game in this country than just you lifting the World Cup?
EOIN MORGAN: I don't think there will be an understanding of that until after the tournament and even then it will take some time. When guys go home, in various pockets during the tournament, they sort of get a glimpse of it, they have been recognised more than they would. I think that's probably going to step up quite a lot when guys go home at the end of the tournament.

Q. How important was it to stay calm after that loss to Australia earlier in the tournament to sort of keep the confidence there and I suppose, like, was there anything that you have picked up from that game specifically in terms of how to beat them, playing some bowlers or batsmen?
EOIN MORGAN: Not really. We know each other inside out as a team. I think highlighting the under-riding factor that we were carrying something around and it was from the previous game against Sri Lanka and to get rid of any baggage that we might have been carrying into that game.

I thought the Australia game at Lord's we under-performed, we weren't good enough. That can happen on any given day. That's performance-related. I think the way we played against Sri Lanka wasn't naturally performance-related, it was actually due to our application and attitude.

Q. Have the boys earned a beer tonight or do you have to put them on ice?
EOIN MORGAN: No, they have learnt a beer and a glass of wine definitely. Definitely.

Q. The way you guys thrashed Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Starc, does that give you special satisfaction considering they are top-class bowlers who have troubled your team in the past?
EOIN MORGAN: They are very strong side with a lot of top class bowlers. Obviously Starc has had a very good tournament and Nathan Lyon is an exceptional Test match bowler, that can have a good day any day. The way that we took advantage of conditions, we batted well on a very good batting wicket, that suited us, and we can have bad days where it doesn't come off, but we stuck to the way we play and that was satisfying.

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