New Zealand's captain Kane Williamson
New Zealand's captain Kane Williamson Image Credit: AP

London: Kane Williamson may not have lifted the World Cup in the end, but he certainly won the hearts of everyone. Despite being the vanquished captain, he was clapped all the way out of the room after his press conference — an honour which even the winning captain Morgan was not accorded.

Williamson had spread a lot of positivity and warmth through the tournament, always playing and speaking with a smile on his face. When Gulf News asked the Man of the Tournament that despite having the same number of runs in the innings and in the Super Over, was it the rules that beat him or England, his response was: “The rules are there I guess, and certainly something you don’t consider going into the match is about having that extra boundary should there be two tied attempts at winning. I don’t think England thought about it either. I don’t even know what the boundary count was, but I imagine we were slightly behind. So yes. very, very tough to digest ... but there you go.”

How would Williamson sum up his emotions? “I am just gutted. 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 just because of some small margins. Throughout this campaign, I have been speaking about the ‘uncontrollables’, and there were a couple today that were pretty hard to swallow.”

Despite his dejected state of mind, Williamson went on to laud England. “I take nothing away from England’s campaign, not just this match but throughout ... all the cricket they have played, they are deserving winners. Well, either side walking away with the title today probably feels a little more fortunate having it go down to a tie after regular time and then another one. So yes ... it is one of those things,” he remarked.

Having said that, the New Zealand skipper felt that if they had posted the score they had aimed for, then probably everything would have gone their way. “We sort of wanted 250, 260. We knew that would not be easy, but we were expecting it to dry a little bit more and it did do so. We saw that in the first 10 overs, we were able to get the movement and pick those early wickets with the bowlers putting the ball in great areas, something they have done all through the tournament.”

Williamson then summed up how he and his team would walk away from this World Cup. “I think we will walk away with this big amount of heart and fight the guys have shown throughout this whole campaign, but probably none more than the match we just witnessed. And both sides showed that today. But I still don’t know how they won it — what was it, boundaries or something? (Smiling) Well, someone had to walk away with the title and we’re gutted that it’s not us. England had a very good campaign and they deserve the victory.”