World Cup: Moeen Ali hopes England's diversity can impact society and bring people together
"[There is] a diversity you can get through playing cricket - it shows in our team actually. We feel like we can make such a big impact..."
Last Updated: 15/07/19 1:49pm
Moeen Ali hopes the diverse nature of the World Cup-winning England team will help the growth of cricket throughout the country and bring communities together.
Ali and Adil Rashid are both Muslims and the team includes several players who were born in other countries.
Bowler Jofra Archer is Barbados-born to a Liverpudlian father, all-rounder Ben Stokes was born in New Zealand, batsman Jason Roy was born in South Africa and captain Eoin Morgan was born in Ireland.
All-rounder Ali, who watched from the sidelines at Lord's on Sunday after making a number of appearances in the group stage, told Sky Sports News at The Oval on Monday: "We felt like we had the ability to change the game, big time in our country.
"To have more followers, more kids playing, [there is] a diversity you can get through playing cricket - it shows in our team actually. We feel like we can make such a big impact and hopefully yesterday was a massive step forward in doing that."
Morgan, who switched his allegiance from Ireland to England a decade ago, also hailed the diversity of the England team following their dramatic victory in the final when he was asked: "Do you think the luck of an Irishman got England over the line?"
He replied: "We had Allah with us as well. I spoke to Adil, he said Allah was definitely with us. I said we had the rub of the green [too].
"It actually epitomises our team. It has quite diverse backgrounds and cultures... to actually find humour in the situation that we were in at the time was pretty cool."
The ECB, meanwhile, aims to capitalise on England's World Cup success by increasing participation in cricket over the next few years.
Chief executive officer Tom Harrison told Sky Sports News: "We've got a plan to capitalise, to get more cricket back into schools.
"We are going to try and double the participation in schools' cricket over the next five years, to transform the women and girls' game so that we are recognised as a sport as much for women and girls as we are for boys and men.
"If this World Cup has shown us anything, it's the richness, the diversity, the vibrancy and colour of our audiences around the country. So connecting with our South Asian communities and making sure we are putting cricket as often as possible into their lives is something we will be focusing very hard on."