'Monkey' off our backs - Collingwood

ICC World Twenty20 West Indies 2010

Watch Paul Collingwood and Andy Flower's press conference on their return to Gatwick Airport - and listen to his exclusive interview with the ECB Cricket Podcast

England captain Paul Collingwood believes World Twenty20 success is on a par with their Ashes triumph last year.

England claimed their first International Cricket Council title on Sunday when they defeated Australia by seven wickets at the Kensington Oval in Barbados.

The result capped a memorable tournament for Collingwood’s side, who, after scraping through the group stage, won their final five games in style to make history.

“We went over there to win a World Cup and we achieved that,” said Collingwood.

“It’s a massive achievment. We’ve had a monkey on backs having not won a ICC trophy and put that right. It’s right up there with last year’s Ashes win.

Paul Collingwood

Cabin crew join Paul Collingwood, a World Twenty20 winner, as he shows off his prize upon arriving at Gatwick Airport today

“We had a team with plenty of belief and a team with plenty of skill. The brand of cricket we played was exciting. We really took it to the oppostion.

“Really it was about consistent perfomances right the way through and we built on that momentum right the way through to the final.”

Collingwood described beating Australia in the final as “sweet”.

“Of course it’s different to the Ashes. But in the last five years we’ve done well against them (Australia)," he added during a press conference following their return home at Gatwick Airport.

“It’s a different form of the game to the Ashes - it only takes three hours and the tournament only went for a couple of weeks - but there’s still all that preparation work you’ve got to do.

“When you do something for the first time - winning the World Cup for us as the England cricket team - it’s definitely something very special.

“You’re playing against world-class outfits; there’s always challenges that come along at different stages throughout the tournament.

“The way that the guys have overcome all them and come out on top, a lot of credit goes to the boys. The euphoria of winning it is very, very similar to the Ashes.”

Collingwood hailed new-found confidence as one of the key reasons for the turnaround in England’s fortunes.

Hugh Morris, Paul Collingwood & Andy Flower

Collingwood is flanked by Hugh Morris, managing director England cricket, and team director Andy Flower at the press conference

“I think there’s been a real belief in the side,” he said. “There’s been a couple of selections that have brought a different kind of impact to the England cricket team.

“When we looked at the team on paper before we went out there, all the guys sensed we could do something special.

“The belief was there early doors. Once we got past Guyana and nearly slipping up against Ireland, we had the skills, we were thinking very well, the momentum was building and the confidence growing.

“It’s amazing in that kind of game if you can get a method that works...the guys were sticking to game-plans and it was working so well.

“I’m just delighted that once we got so close we kept same brand of cricket that we spoke about in pressure situations.”

England became only the third World Twenty20 champions since the competition’s inception in 2007, following India and Pakistan.

Collingwood added: “It’s obviously in its early days. It’s nice to have won it early on. It’s an important part of our calendar now.

“Twenty20 cricket is getting bigger all the time and it’s nice to have that feeling of being a world champion.”

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