2019 World Cup would be most interesting and challenging tournament since its inception: Morgan

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“MoneyGram aims to educate and promote sports for awareness”, says Richard Levy

By M. Sarwar

LONDON: Just nine days before formal opening of the 12th World Cup (2019) on 30th May, England captain Eoin Morgan expressed his views on Tuesday that this tournament would be the most sensitive, interesting and strongest game ever played since its inception [in 1975] and will definitely worth to watch.

Addressing a press conference at the media centre of Lords Cricket Ground along with Richard Levy (Head of Marketing-Europe, MoneyGram), Campbell Jamieson (General Manager, Commercial at International Cricket Council) and Manmeet Singh (Marketing Manager, MoneyGram) and later during an exclusive interview with ‘The Nation’ Eoin Morgan was very much hopeful for the success of his squad and said since the game is unpredictable, any team can win the trophy but he believes that England team is absolutely in form and will not disappoint its fans.

Michael Schutze (Head of Europe, MoneyGram) was also present at the occasion which was organised by Simon Ogborn of Cross Media and his team member Navneet.

Eoin Morgan very diplomatically answered to a volley of questions when he was asked repeatedly that in his opinion which team has bright chances to lift the trophy, a target of all twelve playing teams. His simple answer was “the best performing team”.

Responding to a question related to performance of Pakistani team (the winner of 1992 World Cup), the English captain stated that team is strong and has potential to upset the game and all calculations and though  it could not win any ODI against England but just two years before, it had won the Champion Trophy. He agreed to this concept that cricket is unpredictable sports and nothing can be said definitely about the outcome of the tournament. “But you insists to comment, I shall say England is number one team and second  best is Ireland”.

Australia, India and Pakistan are potential teams and even Afghan team is also emerging. It is good sign for the promotion of cricket, he emphasised. When he was asked about Indian captain Virat Kohli, he said that Kohli is good player. India has lifted trophy twice in 1983 and 2011. “It is a long tournament and we all shall see ‘up and down’ hence it is not easy to predict who will be winner”.

The inaugural ICC Cricket World Cup final was held on 21 June 1975 at Lord’s, contested by Australia and the West Indies. Since then the popularity of the tournament increased continue and day by day. Eoin Morgan believes the tournament hosts have done everything they possibly could to get themselves ready for a tilt at the World Cup.

Now England, bidding to lift the trophy for the first time, head into a tournament starting on May 30 as the world’s number one ranked side in ODI cricket. “Absolutely no regrets, we’re positioned in the best possible place at the moment,” Morgan commented. Since the 2015 World Cup England have twice set a new record for the highest total in an ODI innings — 444 for three against Pakistan at Trent Bridge in 2016 and 481 for six against reigning world champions Australia, at the same venue, last year.

“Our exceptional days are better than we could have imagined — the world records etc — I could never have seen those at the start of 2015,” said middle-order batsman Morgan. The former Ireland international believes England can cope with the increased pressure to deliver a title-winning run.

“It’s a huge opportunity; we’re looking to express ourselves and continue to play as we have in the last four years. The other one is to inspire the next generation of cricketers to come into the game and pick up a ball and a bat, hopefully come out of the tournament worshipping one of the guys in our team.”

England wrapped a 4-0 home ODI series win against Pakistan on Sunday and Morgan would rather they were next playing their World Cup opener against South Africa — at The Oval on May 30 — than a warm-up match against reigning world champions Australia in Southampton on Saturday.

“We’ve had some really good preparation against Pakistan; I don’t think could have gone better, chopping and changing. Everyone just wants to get on with the tournament,” Morgan had said earlier during the course of five ODI series.

Interestingly, Eoin Morgan broke a roof tile with a huge six during the fifth and final ODI against Pakistan at Headingley. In the same match, his six caught in the crowd by a spectator.

Role of MoneyGram

It is pertinent to mention here that MoneyGram is a global provider of innovative money transfer and payment services. Its Head of Marketing-Europe, Richard Levy revealed a series of fun and fan-focused events leading up to 2019 Cricket World Cup. The four event activations take place throughout the current cricket season.

He reminded that MoneyGram has been an official partner of the International Cricket Council (ICC) since 2010. He said that Cricket is a very popular sport amongst the South Asian diaspora around the world (over 30 million strong). Of the billion fans across the globe a lion’s share of fans come from the South Asian region. India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan& Sri Lanka all have formidable cricket playing teams and as a business that has a key focus on these communities, the ICC association was a natural fit for MoneyGram.

 MoneyGram stands for ‘bringing people closer’ and it beautifully associates with the game which connects people across boundaries. Owing to the popularity of the game and the eagerness of the fans to engage with the game MoneyGram has developed some exciting campaigns and activations in stadium and around the globe.

“Cricket touches many lives and it’s truly exciting to be a part of this sport and witnessing its potential to inspire and transform lives firsthand,” “We are delighted to be able to help bring millions across the world closer to their heroes. Our association with the ICC has helped establish MoneyGram as a preferred brand for cricket fans around the world” said Richard Levy, MoneyGram’s Head of Marketing – Europe. “We are committed to the association with the ICC and we are proud to sponsor these events to bring fans even closer to their favourite sport,” Richard Levy emphasised.

Commentary Challenge 

During each International Cricket Council (ICC) 2019 Cricket World Cup matches, attendees can visit the MoneyGram Commentary Challenge stand and choose a 30-second video from a list to record cricket commentary. The top 15 entries will be selected and two final winners will be chosen and given one pair of tickets to the ICC Cricket World Cup Final at Lord’s Cricket Ground.

MoneyGram Sofa

A complimentary event tied to the MoneyGram tagline of “Bringing You Closer”. Selected fans will have an opportunity to enjoy a cricket match from a MoneyGram-branded sofa, designated as “the best seat in the stadium.” The winning fans will be chosen at random at certain cricket matches.

Send and Win

From 1st May until 2nd July, customers sending money anywhere using MoneyGram can enter to win tickets to the selected matches leading up to the ICC 2019 World Cup. After sending money, customers visit http://moneygram.co.uk/myway, click on the “Send and Win” image and enter their details for a chance to win. There is no requirement on how much money to send and winners will be chosen weekly.

Wishing Campaign

A spokesman for MoneyGram that his organisation has created a special microsite that will help fans ‘wish or bless’ their favourite teams in preparation for cricket’s biggest spectacle. Keeping in mind the traditional South Asian culture where you seek the wishes and blessings of your elders and loved ones, before an important milestone in your life, the marketing campaign aims to connect with South Asian cricket fans across the globe with an engaging activation, where they can ‘wish/ bless’ the Indian cricket team. Visit: https://cricket.moneygram.com/blessings/