Mark Wood column: 'I drove home wearing my World Cup medal'

Mark Wood

There will never be another game like that World Cup final.

Four years came down to one ball in a super over. I'll never forget it as long as I live. Winning the Ashes was amazing, but nothing will ever top that last ball at Lord's on Sunday. Nothing.

I can't count the number of times I've watched it back. The International Cricket Council released a video on Twitter that had me in tears. Someone else put it to the song from Titanic, and that did the same.

It is surreal to say that we are the champions of the world, but it is the best possible feeling.

That is a big contrast to how I felt for the majority of the second innings of the final, which was absolutely awful.

If you've read before, you'll know I am a terrible watcher, and I hated the 50 overs when we were batting.

When we'd finished bowling, coaches Trevor Bayliss and Chris Silverwood said we'd done well to restrict New Zealand to 241 and that we would knock them off if we batted well. Having bowled on that pitch and seen the ball nip around, I wasn't so sure.

I was right. The chase was a grind.

I hate rushing, so, even though I was batting number 11, I was fully padded up when number eight Liam Plunkett went in.

At that point, with the run-rate rising, there were people hiding behind chairs in the dressing room, unable to watch. Jos Buttler was punching the physio's bench because he was so disappointed that he had got out.

When I started to realise that I might be needed, either to hit runs or, as it turned out, merely run, I felt sick.

Eoin Morgan came over to me and asked if I was clear with what I had to do. I said I was, but the tension must have clouded my judgement. My job was simply to go out there and run, but I was still fully padded up with a chest-guard, thigh-pad and arm-guard. On reflection, it would have been better to go out there with less kit.

I ran down the pavilion steps, trying to get myself ready to sprint. When I got to the middle, I could tell by the look in Ben Stokes' eyes that he was totally in the zone.

I didn't want to say too much to him, so just said I was running whatever happened. He only nodded, so I thought 'he's got this'.

Plenty have asked me why he didn't try to hit the last ball, a full toss, for four or six. I think he was just trying to find a gap, rather than risking getting out and us losing by one run.

He hit it too well, though, straight to a fielder. I knew I was going to be miles out and I've had plenty of people tell me that the Titanic turns quicker than I do. Maybe I need to work on my running.

Stokesy booted his bat about 20 yards in frustration. I went up to him and said 'you've been absolutely fantastic. You've given us a chance of winning'. I doubt he paid any attention.

When we got back to the dressing room, it was chaos. Morgs, Jos and Trevor were planning what to do. Stokesy went into the showers to compose himself, then was asked if he wanted to bat again.

He said he did, but suggested that Jos and Jason Roy should go first. It was Eoin who said it should be Stokes and Buttler, because he wanted a right-handed and left-handed batsman. It was the right call.

Still, Jason was scrambling because he couldn't find his box. I had to lend him mine.

I thought 15 was a good score, but I was powerless to help in the New Zealand innings because I'd injured my side when we were bowling and poor James Vince had to field for me.

Jofra Archer was asked if he wanted to bowl our over and, as a young lad without much international experience, showed balls of steel.

On the last ball, when the throw was coming in, I was up from where I was sitting and leaping over the fence. When Jos demolished the stumps, I sprinted towards him as fast as I could.

He threw off his gloves and high-fived me as a he ran past. Jofra was on the ground, Plunkett had Morgs in the air. Stokesy was in tears. You couldn't hear a thing because of the noise.

What I do know is that I had leant Stokesy my sunglasses and, in celebrating, he threw them somewhere on the Lord's outfield and they have not been seen since. He owes me a pair of shades.

It was, though, pure ecstasy.

We were on the field for a long time afterwards - collecting the trophy, a lap of honour, then the families of both our team and New Zealand came out. We all mingled together and for there to be no hard feelings shows was a great bunch of lads the Black Caps are.

When we got back to the dressing rooms, we sang so many songs that I lost my voice. Me and Jos came up with a version of 'Allez, Allez, Allez' that we wrote on one of his bats.

There were family and friends in there, so much pride and love in the room. At one point, Morgs took the team into a quiet corner and spoke briefly about how we should make sure we enjoyed the moment.

We actually had to leave Lord's because there was a midnight curfew, so we went back to the team hotel - all still in our pale blue playing kit.

I left the bar at about 2am, but some of the lads carried on into the small hours. One of the advantages of being teetotal is that I can remember everything that happened and didn't feel too shabby the following morning, when I woke up still wearing my medal.

When we went to The Oval, it was lovely to see the children that we hope to have inspired, even if a few of the lads were a bit worse for wear.

Later that day, at Downing Street, Plunkett and Roy tried to sneak into the cabinet room, which I'm not sure was allowed.

Theresa May
Prime Minister Theresa May, a keen cricket fans, greets members of England's triumphant World Cup squad

It was great to chat to the Prime Minister. She spoke nicely on how proud the nation was of us and how we had joined 1966 and 2003 as the great sporting moments in the country's history.

On Tuesday morning, we all went back to Lord's to collect our kit from the dressing room. We signed each other's playing shirts - Stokesy's stank of dirt and champagne, but he still said he wouldn't wash it - then we said our goodbyes.

Driving away, I wore my medal, but felt flat that it was all over. I wanted to stay and celebrate with the team for longer. The Test lads meet up this weekend, but I'm not sure when the 15 World Cup winners will all be together again.

We do, however, still have our WhatsApp group, where each day we greet each other with 'morning, champions'.

It's funny how quickly you settle back into normality. On Sunday, I was part of the team that won the World Cup. Now, I'm back at home.

I've slept a lot - you don't realise how much these things take out of you - and a few people who live nearby have spoken to me about it but, apart from that, life has been normal.

The side injury will keep me out for between four and six weeks. I'll rest up and hopefully play some part in the Ashes.

For now, though, I'll reflect on what we have achieved.

From a personal point of view, there have been times when I have been injured or doubted myself and there have been people who have convinced me to keep trucking on.

Without family, friends and fans, I'm not sure it would have been possible for me to do this, but the tough times make it all the sweeter to be a World Cup winner.

I'll forever be grateful.

Mark Wood was speaking to BBC Sport's Stephan Shemilt.

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