Former England bowler Matthew Hoggard has challenged the current crop of players to build on a prosperous past few months and write their names into the history books.
Following on from their Ashes success last summer, England sealed a momentous Test series victory in South Africa earlier this year and surprised many by reaching the final of the World Twenty20, where they suffered an agonising last-over defeat to the West Indies on Sunday.
Their run in India with a youthful and largely inexperienced squad was all the more remarkable following last year’s 50-over World Cup shambles and has convinced Hoggard they can be a formidable prospect in any format in the next few years.
The Yorkshireman, who played all five Tests in England’s memorable 2005 Ashes-winning campaign, said: “I think we can go very far. The world’s at their feet. The more cricket they play, the better they’re going to get.
“It’s up to them to write their history. Every time you put on that Three Lions shirt you’ve got a chance of making history and I think they’ve got every opportunity to go on and challenge the best in the world across all formats.
“That’s the exciting thing for English cricket, it’s not just one format that we’re good at, we’re very promising in every format that we play.”
Hoggard cited the input of Trevor Bayliss, who succeeded Peter Moores as head coach last May, and assistant Paul Farbrace as a major factor.
He said: “We’ve seen the difference in the brands of cricket they play.
“Bayliss is very straight-forward talking. He doesn’t blow smoke up their backsides. He’s a very level-headed guy and his coaching record speaks for itself so I think with him and Paul Farbrace, England are going to go from strength to strength.”
England came up just short of landing a second World T20 crown after Ben Stokes was bludgeoned for four consecutive sixes in the final over by West Indies powerhouse Carlos Brathwaite in Kolkata.
Stokes was distraught at the conclusion of the game but Hoggard, who played 67 Tests and 26 one-day internationals between 2000 and 2008, has no doubt the Durham all-rounder will recover.
“It takes a lot to bowl the last over,” added Hoggard, who was promoting Saturday’s Grand Prix Poker Tournament at Elland Road.