What it’s like to win a World Cup

 

When I hit the winning runs in the T20 World Cup final I felt... pretty relieved, to be honest.

I'm not sure what got into me. I celebrated quite significantly, which is probably a bit unusual for me, but I guess that just showed the emotion that was involved.

It was a massive build up to the World Cup itself, but also to the semi- final and final against England, a are really big rivals of ours.

And we really just had a lot of pressure on us, I guess, to make sure we get the job done.

Once we hit that winning run, I went a little bit bananas – like the rest of the team did – and Ash (Gardner) reminds me all the time that her helmet gave her a little bit of bruise after I jumped on her but I wasn’t worrying too much about that.

Lanning leaps after hitting winning runs // Getty

Lanning leaps after hitting winning runs // Getty

It was just a massive sense of relief to be able to get the job done and be world champions again, which we hadn't been able to call ourselves for a number of years.

***

The game started at eight o'clock at night, which I personally found really difficult to wait that long before we played.

I was doing a lot of pacing. Mum and dad were over there in the West Indies, so I spent a little bit of time with them, and I think we did a gym session that day, just trying to fill in some time. And then of course we spent some time by the beach.

It did feel a little bit weird, relaxing by the beach knowing that there was such a big game coming up, but somehow the time was filled. I remember we had about half an hour before we left for the game and I was just pacing up and down the room, waiting for the time to go past.

So the build-up felt like it was a long time coming and I guess we were a little bit nervous in the first few overs in the field, but we were able to pull ourselves together.

And when we lifted that trophy on the podium… I guess proud is a really big word we used a lot.

Coming back from some disappointment as a team and after not performing not as well as we would have liked, we put ourselves under a lot of pressure and I think there was a lot of outside pressure as well.

To be able to go over there and get the job done and play so well throughout the tournament… there was a lot of hard work that had gone into that moment. We’d had to look in the mirror, at our squad and how we wanted to play and how we wanted to be as a team, so to put all that together on the biggest stage was a very proud moment.

***

When we got back into the rooms after the presentations, it was nice just to be able to sit back and enjoy being world champions again.

There was a lot of excitement, a lot of relief as well and you put in all that hard work for that one moment of the World Cup final. To be able to win pretty emphatically as we did against England, everyone was really pleased with the efforts.

And you just sit back for a moment and have a think about what you’ve achieved.

We sang the team song, then we sung another song that had sort of become the song of the tour:

Cher’s Believe.

When we were in Antigua early on, we were on the way to training before the practice matches and Elyse Villani was DJ. We had a speaker in the middle of the bus and she played that song and she was singing the wrong words.

I think she was saying life after life, instead of life after love or whatever the words are… she was singing the wrong words. And then for some reason we just continually played it.

We got the words right, we even looked them up on Google. It became the last song we’d play as we were driving in to the ground – there was a roundabout on the way to the ground in Antigua that we knew it was time to turn the song on, and Ashleigh Gardener took charge of that so literally as we pulled up at the gate the song would finish.

Lanning lifts the trophy in Antigua // Getty

Lanning lifts the trophy in Antigua // Getty

So we sang the team song and had that real excitement, but after a little bit the players and staff headed back out to the middle on the pitch – which you don't always get to do. That was one of my favourite moments after the game.

We were just having a drink and chatting between ourselves about our reflections on the game and on the past year or so. The crowd had all left but the scoreboard was still up with the score and it was the sort of moment you remember for a long time, just sitting there soaking it all in.

***

It was a little bit different to the World Cups we won earlier in my career, just because of the pressure in the build-up after not winning one for a period of time.

The World Cups that I’d won previously and we’d won previously, we’d been successful pretty continuously over those years.

Given we hadn't quite been as successful as we would have liked over the last couple of years, especially coming off that 2017 World Cup campaign which was extremely disappointing and I think we were still working our way back from that.

This World Cup was about making sure we just got the job done. To get to that high was certainly a great sense of relief and we all really enjoyed it.