LONDON: “Just gutted,” were his first words as Kane Williamson settled down to address the packed media hall. Minutes after winning the Player of the Tournament for his exemplary leadership, the New Zealand skipper gave a masterclass on how to cope a tragic defeat so graciously.
The smile was infectious when he spoke about the “uncontrollable.” He laughed off suggestions that the Kiwis lost to the quirky rule book and not to England. In the end, a standing ovation and a round of applause from the world media was a fitting tribute to one of the finest gentlemen of the game.
“Laugh or cry, it’s your choice, isn’t it? It’s not anger. There’s a lot of disappointment, I suppose. We know in this game it can be fickle in its nature and there are parts that, as hard as you try, sometimes those cards don’t fall your way. Today it ebbed and flowed,” said Williamson.
The 28-year-old didn’t want to take anything away from England’s campaign. “Not just this match, but throughout, all the cricket they have played, they are deserving winners,” he added.
Those who watched the Lord’s thriller would remember the Black Caps for a couple of moments of outstanding sportsmanship. When Trent Boult stepped on the rope after completing the catch of Ben Stokes, Martin Guptill who was stationed at midwicket immediately signalled it wasn’t out. The Kiwis didn’t make a hue and cry when Stokes’ bat deflected a throw from the outfield for an overthrow boundary. “I suppose we have just finished the game, haven’t we? So, whether people will talk about it in years to come we will have to find out. It is quite hard to look at it in a rational way when we have just been through what we’ve been through,” said Williamson.
Should all cricketers be a gentleman like him? “Everybody should be a little bit different. That is a good thing about the world. Just be yourself and try and enjoy what you do,” William-son walked away leaving an indelible mark on cricket’s grandest stage despite not laying his hands on the silverware....