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Home > Cricket > Reuters > Report

England talking up World Cup prospects

February 12, 2007 12:35 IST

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It was unimaginable just two weeks ago, but England are suddenly looming as possible contenders to win the World Cup.

England have never won the tournament and their chances of breaking that duck this year seemed hopeless.

They lost several key players to injury and suffered two humiliating losses to Australia and New Zealand in Adelaide when they were bowled out for 120 and 110.

But just when everything seemed lost, England surprised everyone by sneaking into the tri-series finals before beating Australia to win the trophy.

Andrew Flintoff, whose captaincy was heavily criticised by former England players and media after his side lost the Ashes 5-0, said the turnaround had given the team a massive boost.

"Having beaten Australia three times in a row with a young side there will now be a belief in the camp that we can take on all teams," Flintoff told a news conference after his team's 34-run win in Sydney on Sunday.

"For four games we have been really consistent and we have to carry that on in the Caribbean. Maybe sides will look at us in a different light now."

Flintoff said England's dramatic turnaround was a demonstration of the character and resolve in a team ridiculed as no-hopers after the Ashes debacle.

"It has been unbelievable," Flintoff said.

"To come back in the manner we have done is a credit to the team and the coaching staff.

"It has been an amazing turnaround. We knew we had it in us but it took a while to come out. It just shows if you get on a roll in one-day cricket we can do unbelievable things."

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