IN TIME New Zealand will be able to reflect rationally on losing a World Cup final in which they tied both the match and the Super Over but skipper Kane Williamson admits losing on fine print was a bitter pill to swallow.
The Black Caps skipper was named Player of the Tournament for his efforts with the bat, not to mention his captaincy, and he almost masterminded an unlikely victory at Lord’s last Sunday.
But while England’s celebrations following their maiden men’s World Cup victory will continue into the upcoming Ashes, Williamson was still coming to terms with falling short of a maiden world title on number of boundaries.
He said: “From our side of things, we were really proud of the way the guys went about their business, and I’m sure the English were as well, they had a great campaign. It showed that we went toe-to-toe and I guess it was fine print that decided it.
“All in all, it was a real shame that the tournament was decided in the way it was after two teams went at it in two attempts at playing cricket games and it was still a tie. There were two great campaigns.
“In time there will be a lot of reflection and we’ll view it in a rational way. It might be tricky. We look at the campaign as a bigger picture and there is a lot of pride. The guys will feel that in time.
“We talk about not getting too caught up in the results. We know that is a little more difficult when you have a World Cup final on the line. If we do remove that a little bit and look at the cricket we played and the way the guys went about their business I think they can be really proud.”
Williamson caught up with England counterpart Eoin Morgan in the immediate aftermath, grabbing a beer with his opposing skipper after the game.
He added: “I’m mates with Eoin so it was a fairly natural thing to do. Eoin was a bit lost for words and said he didn’t really know what to say. That’s fair.
“Especially after two months of getting to the final stage and to have a tie. He said ‘Look there was nothing that separated the sides’. It’s an odd feeling not to have a loser of a match but to have a crowned winner.”
Since the game, focus has turned to the decision to award six runs in the final over when Ben Stokes inadvertently diverted Martin Guptill’s throw to the boundary while diving to avoid being run out.
It has since emerged that England should only have scored five runs, with the batsmen having not crossed when Guptill threw for the stumps.
Williamson admitted he was not aware of the rule and played down its significance in a final which had countless twists and turns.
He added: “I wasn’t aware of the finer rule at the point in time. You trust the umpires and what they do. You throw that in the mix of a few hundred other things that may have been different.
“You wouldn’t be talking about just one thing. That’s how we’ve looked at our whole campaign, as a much more holistic thing.”
Williamson’s plan now is to spend some time with his family and disconnect, although there are still some moments when he wonders whether that unlikely finale truly happened.
“It hits you in waves,” he explained. “For ten minutes you forget about it and make little jokes and then it comes back to you and you think ‘did that just happen?’ I woke up wondering whether it was a bad dream, and it wasn’t, was it?”
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