Some day, when you have time, sit an Arsenal fan down and ask them for their views on things. You will certainly get some interesting perspectives.

“Following Arsenal prepares you for life,” one of them told me once.

Now repeat this exercise with the people supporting New Zealand in the cricket World Cup (which, I feel, was everyone except the English) and hopefully, you will learn a lesson or two in acceptance.

With the match drawn twice and the trophy going to England by the virtue of more number of boundaries, it was tough not to feel for the Kiwis. Especially, their captain Kane Williamson.

Leading his team to the final against the general expectations, the guy never showed any air of superiority and was so humble in defeat, it was almost unreal. 

The ICC’s controversial rule for deciding the winner was criticised by everyone, except the captain of the side that lost. That says something about him, right? When asked to comment on the rule after the match, Williamson said:

What did they win it on, boundaries? While the emotions are raw it’s pretty hard to swallow when two teams work so hard to get to this moment in time. We had two attempts to separate us and still couldn’t. It is what it is, the rules are there at the start and they probably never thought they would have to use them.

Entering the final, both the sides had a lot at stake. Neither of them had won a World Cup before and this was their chance at changing the course of history, their chance of becoming ‘the first’.

And they played like it was a big deal. Almost as if it were the last game of their lives, with both New Zealand and England scoring 241 runs in their original innings and 15 runs in the super-over.

For New Zealand, however, it was not meant to be; but their captain Williamson kept a brave face on even as everything around him was presumably crashing down.

And then, this happened…

Standing second on the list of highest scorers and leading his team to the final, Williamson was easily the best performing player of the tournament. Naturally, he was given the Man of the Tournament award; but you have to look at his expressions when was informed about the same. 

“Me?” he asked.

Yes you Kane, who else but you?

It wasn’t surprising, though, coming from him. Through the course of the World Cup, we had gotten used to his humility.

Earlier when New Zealand defeated India in the semi-final and he was asked about MS Dhoni, he had no qualms in accepting that he’d like former India captain to be a part of his side.

Is he looking to change nationalities? Because we will consider that selection if we have to! His experience at his level and in these occasions is so important and his contribution today and yesterday, but throughout this campaign, it was extremely, extremely important.

That’s Kane Williamson for you: Rooted in times of success and in times of defeat. 

When Williamson left the post-match press conference yesterday, he was given a standing ovation by the media members. As someone who writes about sports, I understand why. When you see a player like him, bowing out and leaving the spotlight after giving the best performance of his life, that’s all you can do – stand and applaud.

If there was any doubt that he is an all-time great, there is none now. Until next time, Kane, you are becoming a habit – a very good one.