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Nick Potts/PA Wire
UK News

Chaplain says cricket win is great opportunity to encourage 'Christian values of sportsmanship'

In an emotional and electric atmosphere at Lord's, both sides scored 241 in their 50 overs and were level on 15 when they batted for an extra over apiece.

It meant England were crowned world champions by virtue of having scored more boundary fours and sixes - 26 to New Zealand's 17 - in the entire match.

Reverend David Chawner, chair of Sports Chaplaincy UK and chaplain at Northamptonshire County Cricket summed up the game in one word, "exciting".

He told Premier: "It was one of those games which went one way and then another and you thought one team was on top and then the other team seemed to be on top, and then it looked as if England were way out of it and they came crashing in at the end."

On Premier's News Hour programme, he said: "I don't think God's on anybody's side, you know, he enjoys the game. I think that is the most important thing.

"The result of the game is on one level immaterial. Yeah, I like to win. However, somebody has to lose, that is the nature of sport. I would always be happy to pray for both sides, that they will give the very best that they can give.

"A lot of chaplains pray with players before the game. Not all players are necessarily Christians, but what we pray for is that everybody will be able to give their best and perform to the best of their ability and that is what we want in sport. We want people to show us the God given talents that he has given them, display them, and use them and that is the thrill of the whole thing."

Steven Paston/PA Wire

Rev David said England winning the World Cup was a great opportunity to encourage more people to get involved with the sport, he told Premier: "I think for cricket as a whole, it's an opportunity to get the message out there that cricket is a great game and to get more youngsters playing, we've got a real problem that it's not played as much in state schools.

"We've got to get more youngsters involved in sport. Not just for the sake of sport, but for the sake of the youngsters and giving them a purpose in life; helping them find teamwork and all those things that are so vital in life and great values around team sport, which, to a large extent coincide with Christian values of sportsmanship.

"Learning to lose, being gracious to your opponents, respecting people, working as a team together, all those things are vital if we're going to have good societies and good communities."

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