Meet the England heroes aiming to lift the World Cup for the first time
England are hot favourites to win the Cricket World Cup for the first time ever when they take on New Zealand in Sunday’s final at Lord’s.
The host nation have certainly lived up to their billing as pre-tournament favourites and underlined that with an emphatic victory over their oldest rivals Australia in Thursday’s semi-final.
Their performances have captivated the whole country and taken cricket once again into the wider national consciousness.
So for those unfamiliar with England’s heroes, here’s a handy player-by-player guide to the team likely to play on Sunday.
England will take on New Zealand for this trophy in the Cricket World Cup final on Sunday
England’s captain marvel has been instrumental in the team’s transformation from one-day no hopers to the best in the world following the humiliation of a group stage exit at the last World Cup in 2015.
Morgan, a man born in Dublin but who always aspired to play for England rather than Ireland, has led by example over the past four years as England have embraced an ultra-aggressive batting strategy.
He has averaged 45 with the bat during the tournament but it is often his subtle changes of tactics in the field and switches of bowlers that have yielded key wickets.
England’s captain Eoin Morgan plays a sweep shot in the semi-final against Australia
Morgan and Joe Root leave the field with broad smiles after sealing the win over Australia
The 32-year-old is often economical with his words and usually straight to the point, even blunt, with his opinions but he leads England with a steely determination.
A private man away from the field, Morgan and his Australian wife Tara enjoyed a rare day off during the World Cup by watching the action at Wimbledon. She is a PR for luxury fashion brand Burberry.
History beckons for Morgan who could on Sunday join Bobby Moore and Martin Johnson as the only England captains to lift a major World Cup trophy.
Morgan and his Australian wife Tara, who works as PR for the luxury fashion brand Burberry
The opening batsman has gone from strength to strength in this World Cup, batting with a confidence and a swagger seldom seen.
Roy suits England’s game perfectly because he only knows one way to bat – all-out attack.
He is brimming with confidence and has averaged 71 at this tournament, working brilliantly in tandem with Jonny Bairstow at the top of the order and setting England’s platform.
Jason Roy was left furiously after the umpires wrongly gave him out against Australia
Had a tantrum at the umpires after being wrongly given out against Australia 15 runs shy of a third tournament century, an outburst that cost him 30 per cent of his match fee.
Roy and his wife Elle welcomed baby daughter Everly into the world in March but there was drama before one of England’s pre-World Cup internationals against Pakistan in Nottingham.
Roy described his horror at seeing eight-week-old Everly ‘lifeless’ and unable to stay awake. Fortunately it was only a stomach infection and slight fever. Roy duly made a century in the game – on two hours’ sleep.
Roy with wife Elle and their daughter Everly in an Instagram snap posted a few weeks ago
The Yorkshireman has just got better and better as the tournament has progressed, hitting back-to-back centuries against India and New Zealand to spare England a humiliating early exit.
He added a spark to England’s flagging campaign by responding to criticism by former England player Michael Vaughan following defeats to Australia and Sri Lanka.
It was apparently all the motivation Bairstow needed and he has been excellent in tandem with fellow opener Roy.
Bairstow has reinvented himself as a batsmen of the highest order after losing the wicketkeeper gloves in the white ball format.
Away from cricket, 29-year-old Bairstow enjoys a sharp-suited day out at Wimbledon or the races, at least according to his Instagram account.
Opener Jonny Bairstow has been in outstanding form on England’s run to the World Cup final
Sharp-suited Bairstow is introduced to the Centre Court crowds at Wimbledon last weekend
One of the finest batsmen in the world and the rock around which many an England innings has been built.
England Test captain Root may not bat as aggressively as some of those around him in the order, but an average of 68.62 in this tournament – including two centuries – speaks for itself.
The Sheffield-born batsmen is certainly one of the most marketable members of the England squad and he has lucrative tie-ups with New Balance, Vitality and others.
Root is married to Carrie and their son Alfie was born in January 2017. The couple tied the knot in December last year after Root dashed back home in between tours with England.
The World Cup is just the first part of an enormous summer for Root, who will captain the Test side in the Ashes series against Australia next month.
Joe Root with arms aloft after hitting the winning runs as England defeated Australia
Root and wife Carrie pictured on their wedding day in December last year
This World Cup has been a tale of redemption for Stokes, who has shown maturity both on and off the field even since he took a stunning catch in England’s opening win over South Africa.
It was in September 2017 that Stokes was arrested following a street brawl outside a nightclub in Bristol which led to charges of affray. It was only in August last year that he was acquitted following a trial.
Since then, Stokes has returned to his role as England’s talisman with his batting – he has averaged 54 and scored four half-centuries – bowling and all-action fielding. He’s also an influential figure in the dressing room.
Never short of energy, Stokes can usually be found in the gym or on the golf course when away from the cricket field.
Married his childhood sweetheart Clare Ratcliffe in 2017 and they have two children – son Layton and daughter Libby.
Ben Stokes set the tone for England’s World Cup campaign with a stunning catch against South Africa in the tournament opener
The all-rounder has put in a series of all-action performances to carry England to the final
Stokes pictured with his wife Clare in an Instagram snap – the pair have two children together
One of the greatest influences in England’s white ball revolution, Buttler has led by example with his power-batting and some top class wicketkeeping.
His World Cup has been disappointing at times, though he did make a century in a losing cause to Pakistan in England’s second game. His average is 31.62 for the tournament.
There’s no question though that Buttler will be ready to make a potentially match-winning contribution should England’s top order falter in the final.
Buttler is married to Pilates instructor Louise in October 2017 and the couple have a daughter, Georgia Rose, who was born back in April.
The doting dad posted an Instagram picture of their little girl’s first swim back at the beginning of the tournament.
Jos Buttler keeps wicket for England during their last group match against New Zealand
Buttler with wife Louise and their daughter Georgia Rose in an Instagram picture from June
Can probably be classed as an unsung hero of this England team though the bowler is proving an absolutely crucial part of the success.
Woakes opened the bowling against Australia and took three crucial wickets, including that of the dangerous opener David Warner.
He is especially effective with the ball in the key powerplays of the innings and has taken 13 wickets in all during the World Cup.
The Birmingham-born player is married to Amie and they have a daughter, Laila, born in 2017.
One of the many members of the England team who enjoys a round of golf to unwind.
Chris Woakes put in another exceptional bowling performance in the win over Australia
The Birmingham-born player pictured on his Instagram with wife Amie and daughter Laila
The bowler is England’s master of the middle overs, when taking wickets at regular intervals is essential to stall the opposition’s momentum.
Plunkett has taken eight wickets in his six games and it’s no coincidence that England have lost when he hasn’t been involved.
Clearly a lucky omen, his place now looks secure as the tournament reaches its climax.
The 34-year-old feared for his England future last year when he missed the tour of Sri Lanka in order to marry his American partner Emeleah Erb.
They had set a date of October 13 to coincide with England’s Test series in the Asian country but then the Sri Lankan cricket board rescheduled everything to put the one-day series then.
Despite the chance of losing his place in the one day team, Plunkett pushed ahead with the wedding with everything already planned. He had no reason to fear.
Liam Plunkett’s bowling has proved essential for England during the middle overs
Plunkett feared for his England place after his wedding to Emeleah Erb clashed with England’s tour of Sri Lanka last October
Rashid took three wickets in Thursday’s semi-final win over Australia – including that of Alex Carey for 46 – to take his tally to 11 for the tournament.
The Yorkshire spinner has continued his fine form shown with the white ball for the past three years and has such a variety of deliveries to bamboozle most batsmen.
As the song invented by the England fans, to the tune of Queen’s I Want To Break Free goes: ‘He’ll spin it to win ‘cos no-one can read it/He’s Adil Rashid.’
With a minimal social media presence, Rashid prefers to do his talking on the field but he is an ambassador for the Overseas Plastic Surgery Appeal, a Yorkshire-based charity that work largely in Pakistan.
Spinner Adil Rashid has enjoyed an excellent tournament and took three wickets on Thursday
The 24-year-old bowler has been the revelation of the World Cup for England and has delivered everything they hoped for and much more besides.
The English Cricket Board actually changed their residency rules so that Archer, born in Barbados but eligible for England through his father, could qualify to play for the side.
Introduced to the team just before the tournament, Archer has taken it by storm with 19 wickets and some sensational spells of bowling at up to 95mph.
A truly laid-back personality, Archer runs in with such an easy stride that you’d never expect the fierce pace he generates. No batsmen will make that mistake now.
He looks set to be a star of the game for many years to come and the West Indies must surely regret turning their back on him as an under-19 player.
Jofra Archer’s celebrations have become a regular scene during the World Cup with 19 wickets
Archer meets Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea at the club’s training ground
One of those who is the heart and soul of the dressing room, Wood is enjoying a World Cup to remember with 17 wickets taken in the nine matches played so far.
Like Plunkett, Wood is adept at striking during the middle overs and with his form in this tournament, the 29-year-old from Northumberland has put his injury woes behind him.
He has been in and out of the team with ankle issues but Wood has managed to conjure his 90mph pace regularly in the past few weeks.
Wood married wife Sarah at Ellingham Hall in their home county of Northumberland late last year.
They are both big Harry Potter fans and visited Harry Potter World in Hertfordshire during a day off early in the competition. Wood said the experience was almost as exciting as playing for England.
Pace bowler Mark Wood is enjoying a superb World Cup, taking 17 wickets so far
Wood and his wife Sarah pictured on their wedding day at Ellingham Hall last year
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