The pain must have been unbearable for him. After all, a World Cup trophy had slipped away from his hands despite being inches away from it literally. New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson was arguably the best captain in the ICC World Cup 2019. In the final against England, he produced all his skill and nous to stop England from chasing a relatively small total of 242 on a slow pitch. He almost did too but luck wasn’t on his side.
First a catch of Ben Stokes, the Player of the Final, was taken on the boundary in the 49th over, but unfortunately Trent Boult couldn’t keep his balance and stepped on the ropes. But Williamson didn’t lose his cool. He simply shrugged and smiled. Then in the final over, as Stokes was going for an extra run, a throw from the deep hit his bat and deflected towards the boundary, giving England an extra four runs for free which eventually proved detrimental. Williamson still didn’t lose his cool.
When the match was tied and then went into the Super Over, the Kiwi skipper maintained his composure. Even when the Super Over was tied and England won on technicality – because they had more boundaries – Williamson shook his head in disappointment but had a wry smile on his face.
This defeat must have been a very bitter pill to swallow. Even three days after the final, most cricket fans around the world have still not come to terms with the loss, and the unfairness of how the result was decided. But Kane Williamson has maintained his poise and calm and never once appeared frustrated, angry or bitter. In fact, he has been the opposite – calm, composed and unruffled.
Undoubtedly, Williamson must be hurting too. It must have been a soul-crushing moment losing out on clinching a World Cup trophy for his country for the first time.
“I sort of explained it to a few people, it’s like it sort of hits you in waves. You feel like, 10 minutes, you forget about it and then you make little jokes and then it comes back to you and you go… ‘that just happened’ and ‘did that just happen’,” Kane Williamson was quoted as saying to the media a day after the final.
This shows that Williamson is keeping the storm within from exploding. He has been like a monk who refuses to bow down to anger and frustration. And that is why the world has been completely amazed at Kane’s poise in the moment of immense pain. Current and former cricketers are marveling at how the New Zealand captain has been so tranquil despite the frustration and fans have been pouring in their love for the man all over social media for the past three days.
Therein also lies a lesson for the modern day cricketers and youngsters. It is very easy to give in to one’s emotions these days, especially for young and aggressive cricketers on the field with a hundred cameras tracking their every move. Modern day cricket has become a lot about chest-thumping, fist-pumping and jumping in anger. But it takes immense character to rein oneself in and lead yourself with dignity and equanimity even after a heartbreaking failure. Kane Williamson has exemplified those virtues and deserves all the accolades and more.