Barbados: Elated after winning England's maiden ICC event title in 35 years, captain Paul Collingwood on Sunday said a huge monkey has been off the back of his team with the Twenty20 World Cup triumph here.
"I am completely delighted today. I realise that this is the first English team to win a World Cup. There was a monkey riding on our back and I knew what it meant. It is a special moment. The guys deserved it," said Collingwood after his side's seven-wicket victory over Australia in summit clash.
"It was the belief that we take the fight to the opposition that made this victory happen. We played a brand of cricket unlike England in the past. We deserved this triumph.
It is a moment that cannot be taken away from us," he said.
Collingwood attributed the triumph to team work but single out Craig Kieswetter, Kevin Pietersen and the bowlers for special praise.
"We played consistent cricket and fought very well against all opposition. Kevin and Kieswetter and all the bowlers contributed today. We were all in it together and really jelled well as a team," said Collingwood.
"The bottom line is that we won today. We just wanted to win, whether it was in the last ball or much before that, it didn't matter to us. Over the next couple of days we will love to savour this special moment," he said.
He said his players believed that England could win the coveted trophy and the triumph could be the beginning of other successes.
"The belief was the key to the triumph. The moment we got the squad together, I knew we had a good chance. But it was all on paper. But once we got past Guyana with a little rain threat, I knew we could go all the way. Obviously, there is a lot of potential in this team to kick on and go further," said the England captain.
Kevin Pietersen, who was adjudged Player of Tournament after amassing 248 runs, said playing for Bangalore Royal Challengers in the IPL had helped him regain his confidence and touch.
"The long hours spent in the nets at Bangalore when I was not part of the team, has paid. I had disappointed for the last 12 months. I am happy that I am contributing. The entire thing is priceless," said Pietersen, who became a father during the Twenty20 World Cup.
"I am humbled for all the rewards. Had it not been for entire team, especially the way I batted in the series against Bangladesh, especially after I was coming out of injury, this could not have happened. The entire team backed me.
"Only one person gets the player of the series and a lovely trophy. But it has been my team throughout, and the leader (Collingwood) who has led from the front, that deserved it," said Pietersen.