New Zealand might have ended runners-up for the second successive edition of the World Cup, but skipper Kane Williamson believes that the players have done a brilliant job and they should now be let free to do whatever they like.
“Yeah, obviously, just gutted. You know, the guys put in a huge amount of work to get this opportunity, to come here and play in another World Cup final and to pretty much do all you could and still not perhaps get across the line with some small margins. I think throughout this whole campaign in a lot of my press conferences I have spoken about ‘uncontrollables’ and there were a couple today that were pretty hard to swallow.
“Once again, take nothing away from England’s campaign, not just this match, but throughout (the tournament), the entire cricket they have played, they are deserving winners. Well either side walking away with the title today probably feels fortunate having it go down to a tie after regular time and then I think another one, wasn’t it, after six more balls?” he pointed.
While it has been a tournament that has seen teams struggle to score in the range of 300-350, the Kiwis have scored lesser, but defended really well. Talking on the same issue, Williamson said: “Yeah, we sort of wanted 250, 260. We knew that it wasn’t easy and we were expecting it to dry a little bit more and it did do that and I think we saw in the first sort of 10 overs, the movement that we were able to get and were able to pick up those early wickets and I think that was due to the pitch and the bowlers putting the ball in great areas which they have done all tournament.
“It’s very difficult to look at one or two areas when the margin is so small and you could look at anything. I think the thing you walk away with is the amount of heart and the amount of fight the guys have shown throughout this whole campaign, but probably none more than the match we have just witnessed and both sides showed that today and it did come down to — I don’t know how they won it — what was it, boundaries or something? (Smiling) Someone had to walk away with the title and we’re gutted that it’s not us.”
Commenting on the legacy back in New Zealand, Williamson said: “I have heard that a lot of people are enjoying it. I haven’t had a huge amount of contact from back home and I suppose being in another country, every game felt like an away match.
“And I think the way you play it and obviously getting into different stages of the tournament and it attracts a little bit of attention and we can only hope that the people back home enjoyed what we were able to achieve and hopefully the way that we played the game, I just hope that there was that enjoyment and perhaps a few kids might start playing a bit of cricket and all these sorts of things. We will have to wait and see when we head back and hopefully there’s a bit of interest there.”
Williamson also looked at the funny side of things as a throw from Martin Guptill hit Ben Stokes’ bat before heading to the boundary to give England four extra runs.
“I guess — ‘uncontrollables’. I suppose you can’t control them, can you? So it is up to someone else, I don’t know (smiling).
“Yeah, I guess there is a bit of that at times, and the game that we play where there are so many variables and whether it is the surface, the opposition, any sort of condition that can have an influence, but that is why the game is so great I think. On any given day anything can happen, there is not much constant about it and we saw that in this match and in a lot of other matches as well,” he said.