LONDON: It was quite a long press conference but Kane Williamson kept a brave smile on his face.
It was, however, apparent that the New Zealand captain was holding back the tears as he interacted with the media less than an hour after his team’s courageous effort to win its first World Cup title was foiled by Ben Stokes, pure bad luck and a controversial rule.
As England chased 242 to win their maiden World Cup, the Black Caps were on top during the best part of the run-chase. But in the end, aided by luck, Ben Stokes single-handedly helped England to tie the match. The Super Over was also tied and in the end England were crowned new world champions for hitting more boundaries in the match.
Asked whether it was a fair way to decide who takes the coveted trophy home, Williamson smilingly replying, “I suppose you never thought you would have to ask that question and I never thought I would have to answer it. Yeah, while the emotions are raw it is pretty hard to swallow when two teams have worked really, really hard to get to this moment in time and when sort of two attempts to separate them with a winner and a loser. It is what it is, really. The rules are there at the start. But, yes, very tough to swallow.”
Williamson talked about controlling the uncontrollable and how New Zealand couldn’t do it despite putting up a fantastic show in what was perhaps the greatest cricket match of all time.
While England won the cup, the Black Caps won the hearts of millions of fans who were glued to their TV set all over the world.
Williamson did look the proverbial tragic hero as he shared his pain after New Zealand’s defeat in a second successive World Cup final.
“I’m just gutted, the guys put in a huge amount of work to get this opportunity and we still could not quite get across the line,” said Williamson, one of five players who were part of the New Zealand eleven that fell to Australia in the 2015 final in Melbourne.
“I have spoken about ‘uncontrollables’ and there were a couple here that were pretty hard to swallow.
“Take nothing away from England’s campaign, not just this match, but throughout, all the cricket they have played, they are deserving winners. However, either side walking away with the title probably feels a bit fortunate.
“Someone had to win the title and we’re gutted that it’s not us.”
“It was a fantastic game to be a part of,” he said. “But it is quite hard to look at it in a rational way when we have just been through what we’ve been through.
“Laugh or cry, it’s your choice, isn’t it? I don’t feel anger but there’s a lot of disappointment. This game is fickle at times.
“When it comes down to a tie, you start looking at every single delivery, don’t you? It’s a pretty tough pill to swallow.