London: England fast-bowling all-rounder David Willey was shattered when he was left out of England’s World Cup squad despite spending the years in the lead-up to the quadrennial tournament with Eoin Morgan’s unit and being picked in the preliminary squad.
He thought his international career was over when he was overlooked for white-ball assignments in New Zealand and South Africa.
However, good news came his way when he was picked in the England ODI training group for the ongoing series against Ireland, which marks the return of limited-overs international cricket after the enforced break due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Wasn’t sure if my opportunity would come again after the last 12 months. Obviously I’ve been part of the group four years, to miss out at the 11th hour was difficult. For me, it’s about going out and enjoying every minute. Every opportunity could be the last one,” Willey said after being named Man of the Match on Thursday.
David Willey helped world champions England begin with a bang as he picked up 4 wickets inside his first 4 overs as Ireland were left reeling at 28 for 5. Willey ran through the visitor’s top-order captain Andy Balbirnie, Paul Stiling and Gareth Delany cheaply.
England completed the 173-run chase as early as the 38th over as Billings and Morgan went after the Ireland bowlers after steadying the ship for the hosts. Billings remained unbeaten on 67 (54 balls) while Morgan got 36 (40 balls) as the duo added 96 for the 5th wicket.
Having sealed a 1-0 lead, England will take on Ireland in the 2nd ODI on Saturday before the final ODI on Tuesday in Southampton. All 3 ODIs are being played in front of empty stands with the players living and training at biosecure bubbles at the Ageas Bowl.