Jofra Archer has revealed he would have needed time off had England failed to win the 2019 Cricket World Cup final, admitting: "I take losses really, really hard".

Hosts England edged out New Zealand in last year's showpiece at Lord's, claiming the trophy for the first time having hit more boundaries than their opponents after the two teams could not even be split by a Super Over.

It was Archer who held his nerve with the ball in a tense finish to proceedings, conceding just a single from the final delivery as Martin Guptill was run out trying to complete the second run that would have sealed victory for the Black Caps.

The pace bowler had needed to recover from a difficult start to the Super Over, however. His first attempted delivery was called a wide, while Jimmy Neesham then hit him for six as the Kiwis lowered their initial target of 16 down to three from the last two balls.

Yet Archer restricted Neesham and then Guptill at the death, much to his relief.

The 25-year-old was born in Barbados and had only qualified to represent England earlier in 2019, making him a late addition to captain Eoin Morgan's one-day squad prior to the tournament on home soil.

Joining Sky Sports' coverage as they showed a full repeat of the final, Archer said: "To be honest, the most relieving thing is that we won.

"There was a lot of controversy before I started - if I was the reason we lost, I don't think it would have gone down too well. I would probably have asked to take a month or two off from cricket, I don't know.

"I take losses really, really hard, so I don't know what losing a World Cup final would have done to me."

Jos Buttler also joined Archer and Sky pundits Rob Key and Nasser Hussain to view the closing stages of the game, with the wicketkeeper witnessing again the moment he broke the stumps to dismiss Guptill.

Asked to remember how he felt at the time, Buttler recalled: "The 30 seconds or a minute from taking the bails off to all of us running around, that is the most incredible feeling. It's pure elation really."

Ben Stokes also made an appearance during the re-run - and explained how he initially tried to talk Morgan out of the plan to send him back out alongside Buttler to bat in the Super Over.

The duo, who had shared a 110-run partnership earlier in proceedings as England matched New Zealand's total of 241, managed to take 15 off Trent Boult.

"When Morgs told me [I would be batting again], I said, 'I reckon Jos and J-Roy (Jason Roy)', because of how well Jason had played during the whole World Cup," Stokes – who was named man of the match after making a pivotal 84 not out in England's innings – said. 

"But as soon as he said, 'We want a right-hand, left-hand combination', I was like, 'Right, I have to get out of my emotions right now, go clear my head and get my head back on starting all over again."

Ben Stokes has been named the leading cricketer in the world for 2020 by Wisden.

Stokes ends India batsman Virat Kohli's three-year reign in possession of the honour and becomes the first Englishman since fellow all-rounder Andrew Flintoff to be considered the best player in the global game by the esteemed publication.

The body of work amassed by Stokes over the course of an outstanding 2019 made him an obvious frontrunner for such recognition.

He top-scored with an unbeaten 84 as England took the World Cup final into a super over, where Stokes and Jos Buttler scored 15 before the hosts won on the boundary count back rule at Lord's.

Remarkably, that was not Stokes' finest hour of the English summer, as he went on to score 135 not out to seal an enthralling one-wicket win over Australia in the fourth Ashes Test at Headingley – an innings to rank alongside the all-time greats in cricket's longest format.

Jofra Archer, another standout performer in England's World Cup and Ashes campaigns was named as one of Wisden's five cricketers of the year for 2019, along with Australia duo Marnus Labuschagne and Pat Cummins.

Labuschagne's introduction to the series came as a concussion substitute when Steve Smith was struck by a brutish Archer bouncer and he went on to make the number three position his own, averaging 112 in the Australian summer that followed.

Cummins underlined his status as the number one pace bowler in the world with 29 wickets against England in an urn-retaining 2-2 draw.

That is a standing Archer can certainly aspire to, having claimed 55 wickets across all formats in his breakthrough international year.

Wisden's five cricketers of 2019 were rounded out by Simon Harmer, the Essex spinner whose 83 wickets gave him 12 more scalps than any other bowler on the way to County Championship glory, and Ellyse Perry.

Perry was Australia's leading run-scorer (378) and wicket-taker (15) in the 2019 Women's Ashes and was also named the leading women's player in the world.

West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell is the leading T20 cricketer.

Jos Buttler says his Cricket World Cup final shirt will now carry "extra meaning" after he decided to auction it to raise funds for the fight against coronavirus.

The shirt the wicketkeeper-batsman was wearing when he ran out New Zealand's Martin Guptill to deliver England's first World Cup triumph last July will be going to a new home soon.

A bid of £65,800 was leading the way on Monday - the penultimate day of the auction - with the money raised due to go towards an ECMO machine for the Royal Brompton Hospital, a specialist heart and lung medical centre in London.

The thrilling manner of England's Super Over victory against the Black Caps at Lord's means Buttler will always cherish the shirt, though he thinks auctioning it off for a special cause will make it resonate even more.

"[I've] spoken to the guys at the hospital and know what that money can buy them, which is an ECMO machine, which is vital, not just for COVID-19 patients, but other heart and lung patients," Buttler told reporters.

"The Royal Brompton is one of only five ECMO centres in the UK so that's going to be a big thing for them.

"Obviously there's a day or so left on the auction as well so hopefully it can raise a bit more and, of course, [it's] a very special shirt, but I think it will take on extra meaning with being able to hopefully go to the emergency cause."

Buttler explained he had a personal link with The Royal Brompton, where the aunty of his wife, Louise, works.

The 29-year-old had been inspired to auction his shirt upon learning about the medical facility's bid to raise £100,000.

"I just think it felt like a good thing to do, a great way to help," he added.

"Obviously the fashion in which the World Cup was won, everyone was very aware of that day and the drama that unfolded.

"It carries a story with it as well, which I think has made it have the impact it's had probably."

As one of England's centrally contracted players, Buttler has also been part of the £500,000 donation the team have made to the England and Wales Cricket Board and other charities.

Buttler explained it was his personal wish that the money is spent on grass-roots cricket.

"I know the players are strong on wanting that money to help that grass-roots structure and pathway," Buttler added. 

"We need to bring people into the game and make sure that that is very strong."

Today marks 25 years since Major League Baseball stars called off their strike, which had resulted in the previous year's World Series being scrapped.

It is also 38 years to the day since the New York Mets were left stunned by the death of one of the biggest names in baseball.

History was made on this day in England at Aintree in 1977, while India's cricketers and Manchester United's Wayne Rooney were both celebrating nine years ago.

Let's take a look back at April 2 in sporting history.

1972 - Baseball in shock as Mets manager Hodges dies

Gil Hodges had been a superstar with the Brooklyn Dodgers and Los Angeles Dodgers, and rounded off his playing career with the just-founded New York Mets. An eight-time All-Star, as a coach he added to the two World Series with the Dodgers, Hodges famously reviving the Mets and leading them to a shock 1969 title triumph over the Baltimore Orioles. But Hodges died on April 2, 1972, at the age of just 47, when he suffered a heart attack following a round of golf in West Palm Beach, Florida. It was his second heart attack: a first came in Atlanta in September 1968, early in his career as manager of the Mets.

1977 - Red Rum wins third Grand National

Tommy Stack rode Red Rum to Aintree glory, as the Ireland-bred steeplechaser followed up 1973 and 1974 triumphs at the Liverpool course with an unprecedented third Grand National victory. The feat has never been matched, with Red Rum triumphing against the odds after second-placed finishes in 1975 and 1976. At the age of 12, Red Rum's third success went down as one of racing's most famous wins.

1995 - Baseball stars go back to work

From August 12 1994 until April 2 1995, there was no top-tier baseball in the United States, with MLB stars going on strike in a labour dispute that stemmed from salary-cap proposals that got players riled. The 1994-95 season was abandoned in September, and the strike lasted for 232 days until judge Sonia Sotomayor's injunction against team owners persuaded the players to go back to work.

2011 - India triumph, Rooney treble

India landed Cricket World Cup glory in front of their home fans in Mumbai when the hosts landed a six-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the final. Mahela Jayawardene made a century in Sri Lanka's 274-6 before India reached their target with 10 balls to spare, helped by 97 from Gautam Gambhir and 91 not out from MS Dhoni.

In London, on the same day, Wayne Rooney scored a hat-trick as Manchester United came from 2-0 behind to defeat West Ham 4-2 at Upton Park in the Premier League, an important result as Alex Ferguson's team went on to win the title weeks later.

Anthony Joshua was among the bidders after Jos Buttler put the shirt he was wearing when he sealed England's historic Cricket World Cup final win over New Zealand up for auction.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Buttler drew bids in excess of £60,000 on eBay, having put his shirt up for sale to raise funds to help those affected by the coronavirus crisis on Tuesday.

The highest bidder will provide much-needed funds for the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity, which last week launched an emergency appeal to provide life-saving equipment for people suffering from COVID-19.

World heavyweight boxing champion Joshua responded to Buttler's social media promotion of the auction – which ends next Tuesday – by vowing to make a bid.

Buttler was wearing the shirt, which has been signed by his team-mates, when he ran Martin Guptill out off the final ball of a dramatic Super Over at Lord's last July to secure a first World Cup triumph for the hosts.

March 23 should forever be etched in the memories of Australian cricket fans, but Javier Mascherano will not remember the date so fondly.

Poor India were on the wrong end of a hammering in the 2003 Cricket World Cup final in Johannesburg, even with a star-studded batting line-up at their disposal.

Mascherano and his Liverpool team-mates also suffered a heavy defeat at Old Trafford, though the midfielder did not stick around to hear the final whistle.

Meanwhile, in golf, there was a lesser-spotted Monday finish on the PGA Tour.

We look back at the major events that happened on this day in sport.

 

1981: Floyd reigns at Sawgrass after thunderstorms

The eighth edition of the Players Championship was forced into a Monday finish after bad weather wiped out the scheduled final day at Sawgrass.

Heavy thunderstorms led to a Monday finish, with three players – Raymond Floyd, Barry Jaeckel and Curtis Strange – tied at the top after 72 holes were completed.

A play-off between the trio lasted just the one extra hole; Floyd was the only player to par the 15th to secure the tournament.

It was his second successive win during the PGA Tour's Florida swing, the American having also prevailed at Doral near Miami the previous week.  

 

2003 - Skipper Ponting shines as Australia rule the world again

There was simply no stopping Australia in South Africa, Ricky Ponting's squad successfully retaining the trophy with a thumping victory over India to make sure they went through the 2003 tournament unbeaten.

The captain led from the front too, Ponting blasting a superb 140 not out as he shared in an unbroken stand worth 234 with Damien Martyn, who finished up unbeaten on 88.

Replying to a mammoth total of 359-2, India simply never recovered from losing Sachin Tendulkar - who was named player of the tournament - in the first over of their reply, caught and bowled by Glenn McGrath.

Virender Sehwag did make 82, but Australia bowled their opponents out inside 40 overs to win by 125 runs, in the process sealing their third World Cup crown.

 

2008: Ronaldo on target as Mascherano loses his cool

Manchester United remained on the path to retaining their Premier League title with a 3-0 victory over 10-man Liverpool.

Defender Wes Brown was the unlikely scorer of the opener, while Portuguese duo Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani added further goals in a comfortable win for the table-topping Red Devils.

They were aided by the dismissal of Mascherano, who was sent off for dissent before half-time. The Argentina international did not go quietly, however, as he needed to be escorted off the field.

United went on to be crowned champions again, a 17th top-flight title putting them just one behind their arch-rivals' tally at the time.

March 22 is probably not a date that is circled in the calendars for South Africa cricket fans and Steven Gerrard.

Those of a Proteas persuasion will remember it as the day their rotten luck at Cricket World Cups began.

Whereas for Liverpool legend Gerrard it was the afternoon the red mist descended in one of the biggest club rivalries.

We take a look at the major events that happened on this day in sport.

 

1906 - The first rugby union international between France and England

The Parc des Prince hosted the inaugural Le Crunch as England defeated France 35-8, beginning a 16-game winless run in the fixture for Les Bleus.

A 24-17 victory for France in the Six Nations last month gave them their 41st win in the 106 meetings between the two nations.

England have beaten Les Bleus on 58 occasions, including in the Rugby World Cup semi-finals in 2003 and 2007. 

1992 - Proteas eliminated from Cricket World Cup in farcical fashion

No one does Cricket World Cup semi-final heartache quite like South Africa.

There was the dramatic 1999 tie against Australia that resulted in the Proteas being eliminated due to an inferior net run rate at the Super Six stage. Then, six years ago, Grant Elliott's heroics helped New Zealand reach the final.

But perhaps nothing compares to the farce of 1992, when South Africa fell foul of new rain rules.

When the heavens opened and play was stopped, South Africa needed 22 runs from 13 balls to beat England.

However, when they returned, the implementation of some bizarre rules meant they required an insurmountable 21 off one delivery. The rules were soon scrapped, but that was no shred of comfort to South Africa.

 

2015 - Steven Gerrard sent off 38 seconds after coming on against Manchester United

It was a case of 'Gone in 38 seconds' for Liverpool captain Gerrard five years ago as he made an unforgettable immediate impact.

Shortly after coming on as a half-time substitute in the Premier League match at Anfield, Gerrard stamped on Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera, prompting referee Martin Atkinson to send him off the field moments after he had arrived.

"I need to accept it; the decision was right," Gerrard told Sky Sports after. "I've let down my team-mates and the fans."

United, who were leading 1-0 at the time, claimed a 2-1 victory thanks to Juan Mata's brace.

Jofra Archer wants the issue of online racism to be "addressed properly" after highlighting instances of abuse he has received.

England fast bowler Archer posted screenshots of racist messages to his Instagram story on Monday.

He wrote: "I [have] given a lot of thought about reacting to this and I hope that no one else has to deal with stuff like this on a regular basis, it isn't ever acceptable and should be addressed properly in my opinion.

"I will never understand how people feel so freely to say these things to another human being. It baffles me."

Archer made a sensational breakthrough in international cricket last year, claiming 55 wickets for England across all formats as he starred in their World Cup triumph and 2-2 Ashes series draw with Australia.

This week is not the first time the 24-year-old has spoken out against racism, after he was abused during England's Test match against New Zealand in Mount Maunganui last November.

"A bit disturbing hearing racial insults today while battling to help save my team," Archer wrote on Twitter, having heard the slurs on his way back to the pavilion.

"The crowd has been amazing this week except for that one guy. The Barmy Army was good as usual also."

New Zealand Cricket announced a two-year ban from attending all cricket matches in the country for a 28-year-old man who admitted the offence.

West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell has expressed regret with not paying more attention to the health of his knees after experiencing serious issues with the joint in recent years.

The 31-year-old T20 star was forced to have surgery on his left knee after being out of the ICC World Cup with the injury.  Despite having a successful T20 career the issue has kept the player out of the longer formats of the game.

In retrospect, the big hitter believes things could have been dealt with differently by taking better care of the issue and has warned developing players not to follow his example.

  Russell is expected to undergo an injury assessment to determine his level of fitness as the team steps up its plans for this year’s T20 World Cup.

“Those who want to be another Russell should never do what happened to me.  When I was 23 or 24 I began to get knee pain,” Russell told Gulf News.

“If I had someone tell me: ‘Look Russ, you should get your knee stronger by keep doing these simple exercises, I would have been pain-free from my knees and hopefully I wouldn’t have to have had surgery. Unfortunately, at 23 you are fearless, and I used to ignore that pain and I always gave it a quick fix by taking pain killers and kept running,” he added.

“By the time I reached my late twenties I started feeling the pain like I never felt before. The wear and tear began to show up. If I was doing those strengthening exercises like training of the legs and doing the right things, I would have been fitter.”

“I want the youngsters to know that guys should not just think about the upper body alone,” he explained.

“I used to go to gym and just work only on my abs and my shoulders because I wanted to look sexy for the girls. At the end of the day being sexy and then your legs being weak, don’t work. So it is very important to have a complete work out of the body. I could have done more wonders had I worked on my legs too.”

MS Dhoni is set to play on for Indian Premier League side Chennai Super Kings in 2021.

The pledge came from Narayanaswami Srinivasan, the former ICC chairman and BCCI president who is managing director of India Cements, the team's owners.

Dhoni has not played for India since last year's Cricket World Cup, with the 38-year-old having occasionally made himself unavailable for selection at times since the tournament.

Speculation has since been rife over Dhoni's future ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup, which takes place later this year.

However, Srinivasan has moved to end any doubt over Dhoni's place with IPL side Super Kings, insisting the wicketkeeper-batsman will be retained next season.

"People keep saying when will he... how long will he play, etc," Srinivasan told reporters when asked about Dhoni, who has been left off the BCCI's list of centrally contracted players.

Srinivasan, speaking at an Entrepreneurs' Organization event in Chennai, added: "He will play. I can assure you. He will play this year. Next year he will go the auction; he will be retained there. So there is no doubt in anybody's mind."

Dhoni previously led India to two world titles – the 2007 T20 World Cup and the 2011 World Cup – making 90 Test appearances, featuring in 350 ODIs and playing 98 T20 internationals.

Ben Stokes has been named ICC Player of the Year after inspiring England to Cricket World Cup glory and playing one of the great Test innings to seal an Ashes victory at Headingley.

Stokes made a magnificent unbeaten 84 as England beat New Zealand in the most dramatic World Cup final at Lord's in July.

The all-rounder went on to guide England to a stunning one-wicket victory with an astonishing 135 not out in the third Test against Australia in Leeds, having also crafted a hundred in the previous match at Lord's.

Stokes scored 821 runs and took 22 wickets in 11 Tests last year, as well as 719 runs and 12 wickets in 20 ODIs to land the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy.

The England vice-captain said: "It is quite flattering to win the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for the ICC Men's Cricketer of the Year. The past 12 months have been incredible for England cricket and to lift the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup for the first time was our greatest achievement.

"This award is testament to my team-mates and the support staff that have been there every step of the way. Fundamentally, without the support of these individuals, we would never have achieved our objective of lifting a major trophy.

"There is an incredible bond between team-mates and to savour our achievements, whether that's winning the World Cup final at Lord's or digging deep to win a Test match against Australia at Headingley. It is satisfying you can accomplish these superb highs together.

"The last 12 months have been the best in my career, and I believe what we attained will be the catalyst to achieve further success over the next few years."

Australia paceman Pat Cummins was named Test player of 2019, while India batsman Rohit Sharma was named the best ODI player in the world.

Cummins' team-mate Marnus Labuschagne is the ICC Men's Emerging Cricketer of 2019 after averaging 64.94 with the bat in the longest format last year.

Windies star Chris Gayle insists he hopes to play for another five years or at least as long as possible.

The left-handed batting talisman turned 40 earlier this year and had initially speculated about retiring after the ICC World Cup.  Gayle, however, had a complete change of heart regarding that possibility and now insists that he believes he still has a lot to offer to the sport.

The West Indian already has a long list of accomplishments which includes being the highest ODI runs scorer for the West Indies, and having the most centuries with 25.  Gayle is also the first batsman to score a triple century in Test cricket, a double century in ODI cricket and a century in T20 internationals.

Despite his long list of accomplishments, however, Gayle believes he still has plenty to give to fans of the sport and league's around the world.

“A lot of people still want (to) see Chris Gayle out there in the middle. I still have that love for the game and that passion for the game as well. And I would love to carry on as long as possible,” Gayle said in a recent interview.

“Forty-five is a good number. Yeah, we can target 45. Let’s target 45, that’s a good number,” he added.

“Even in franchise cricket, I am still playing a few games here and there around the globe because I still feel I have a lot to offer.  The body is feeling good. And I am sure I am getting younger as days go on.”

 

Indian cult hero Irfan Pathan has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.

The 35-year-old starred in India's 2007 ICC World Twenty20 final against Pakistan, taking 3-16 to help steer his country to victory in South Africa. 

All-rounder Irfan first shot to stardom back in 2003 when he claimed figures of 9-16 for India Under-19s against Bangladesh, earning him a spot in the senior squad for a tour of Australia.

He confirmed his decision to call it quits in an interview on Star Sports on Saturday.

"I am announcing retirement from all forms of cricket," said Irfan. "I have been fortunate to share the dressing room with greats of the game like [Sourav] Ganguly, [Rahul] Dravid and [VVS] Laxman. I am calling time on my career.

"I would like to thank my family for providing much-needed support. I would like to thank my fans. They have always hoped for my comeback. Their support has kept me going."

Irfan, who last played on the international stage in 2012, featured in 29 Tests, 120 ODIs and 24 T20s for his country.

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