Cricket is a cruel game. And it’s best example was on full display in the final of ICC World Cup 2019 where a series of senseless rules and some hard luck led to the defeat of an exciting New Zealand side who despite all obstacles, stood out as the epitome of sportsmanship.
The event took place on the third last ball of English innings. England required 9 runs of the last 3 balls with Stokes facing Boult in the nail-biting contest. Stokes shuffled the ball towards deep mid wicket and went for a double. The ball was thrown by Guptill but it hit a diving Stokes’ bat before racing off for an overthrow four. All in all, England were awarded 6 runs off that ball and hence the equation came down to 3 runs off the last 2 deliveries. Any other captain or team would have made up a big issue of the situation, but not Kane Williamson. He graciously accepted the heartfelt apologies of a heaving Ben Stokes and went about setting his field placements, after calming the whole situation.
If that was not enough, England were awarded winners on the basis of more boundaries scored during the game, which arguably is a pretty unfair rule. The world recognised the efforts of both teams and saluted their relentless pursuit of the World Cup.
After the heartbreaking result of the final, which left the entire New Zealand squad devastated, Kane was awarded the Man of the Tournament for his brilliant batting performances and his exemplary captaincy. Few may have left without complaining about the result, but Kane said that it was not fair to nitpick anyone and he just hoped “these things never happen again”. Not a single player from the entire squad complained and such sportsmanship has been unseen in this fierce game. Kane and the Kiwis deserve all the respect for upholding the true values of the gentleman’s game.