England all-rounder David Willey in a recent interview opened up about his feeling after he saw his teammates lift the ODI World Cup trophy in 2019, while he watched on at home.
Willey named in the provisional squad but ultimately lost his place at the hands of Jofra Archer, who helped the hosts defeat New Zealand in the super over at an iconic Lord’s.
For all of England, it might have been an incredibly proud moment, but for the 29-year-old it was a bittersweet one, as he was left out from the squad.
He has recently received the honour of being named the skipper of Yorkshire’s T20 team, but months after England’s historic World Cup triumph, Willey has revealed that he indeed shed a few tears, despite seeing his teammates celebrate with the coveted trophy.
David Willey opens up after being snubbed from England’s 2019 World Cup squad:
Willey has played 46 ODIs for his nation and had been a constant presence in the build-up to the 2019 edition. Which is why being left out of the squad at the eve of the World Cup still stings him.
“I remember sitting down in 2015 at Edgbaston, we were talking about this being the group of players going to the World Cup,” Willey was quoted as saying by independent.co.uk. “But it’s professional sport: you’re flavour of the month one minute and when things change you’re moved to the side.”
He further added, “I wasn’t under any illusions, obviously Archer was going to come in and someone was going to miss out. He’s a brilliant cricketer. I hadn’t been playing very well and hadn’t been playing regularly, so I knew I was in the one or two lads it was going to be. I was utterly disappointed but I wasn’t surprised it was me who got the call.”
Willey admits he shed a few tears after seeing his teammates’ success but at the same time, he was very proud of what they had achieved.
“That doesn’t mean it hurt any less. I remember shedding a tear during the final, I’d been a part of that group of lads for four years so it was hard to watch. But I was absolutely delighted for the lads I’d been with in that time and it was absolutely brilliant for English cricket,” he said.
But Willey is not one to give up easily, he said that he has a new ‘focus’ in life, which is to play cricket at the highest level possible.