By Dominic Farrell
Paul Collingwood conceded some senior members of the England squad could not resist a quick trip down memory lane when they arrived in Barbados for the Twenty20 series against West Indies.
Four years ago, Collingwood skippered England to their first International Cricket Council global event title when Australia were beaten by seven wickets in the final at the Kensington Oval.
Current captain Stuart Broad will look to emulate his predecessor when the 2014 tournament gets under way in Bangladesh later this month, with the three-match rubber versus Darren Sammy’s men serving as a final warm-up.
Six members of the current squad, including Broad, were in Collingwood’s class of 2010 and the Durham man, now working as part of the England coaching staff alongside Ashley Giles on a seven-week contract, admitted to some nostalgic glances during preparations for this evening’s series opener in Bridgetown.
“It’s a fantastic place to tour and there’s obviously great memories here from 2010 and the World Cup win,” he said.
“There was a few of the boys when we walked on the pitch yesterday at the stadium with big smiles on their faces. Great memories.”
Nevertheless, Collingwood remains fiercely committed to the present and the group have already shown signs of taking on some of the qualities associated with the redoubtable all-rounder during his decorated international playing days.
Arguably the finest fielder produced by these shores, the 37-year-old oversaw a demonstrable improvement in England’s out-cricket during the recent 2-1 one-day international series win over today’s opposition.
“The guys have been fielding really well during the one-dayers,” he said. “I always believe fielding practice is an attitude thing more than anything else and I’ve got to say the work ethic has been fantastic.
“They’ve enjoyed working hard on their fielding. It’s one aspect of the game that can obviously help you win a match.
“We talk about how pretty much everyone on the pitch is involved every single ball. Whichever way you can get involved, even if its a ricochet off the stumps or anything like that, you’ve got to make sure you’re in a position to stop the run.
“And just having plenty of energy, especially going into the Twenty20 format. It’s 20 overs of pure energy out there and you’ve got to make sure that you’re in a position to save as many runs as possible.”
In 2010, England did not feature heavily among the pre-tournament favourites, and Collingwood has seen enough over recent weeks to believe the apple cart can be upset once more.
“Certainly we’ve got the talent to cause a few surprises and you just never know what’s going to happen,” he added.
“If you get into a good rhythm and a good strategy on these wickets out in Bangladesh then the confidence grows, the momentum builds.
“Any team can go all the way; it’s just (about) making sure everyone understands their roles and has plenty of confidence in those roles. So we’ll have to wait and see.”