Two years after their heartbreak in the World Cup final at Lord’s, New Zealand returned to English soil and emerged triumphant, ending their long wait for ICC silverware. In the World Test Championship (WTC) final, Kane Williamson-led New Zealand registered an eight-wicket victory over India to be crowned the champions of the inaugural two-year cycle.
Williamson was at the non-striker's end when Ross Taylor hit the winning boundary on the reserve day. The sun smiled down on Williamson as he had a smile, stretched from ear to ear. The dressing room roared in joy too after "nice guys" and "underdogs" New Zealand chased down the 139-run target to gain Test supremacy.
The morning after New Zealand's historic victory at the Hampshire Bowl, Williamson celebrated the occasion in a "slightly unique" way. He revealed that he drove to Somerset in a rental manual car to be with his family. He also had to do "daddy duties" including changing diapers of his six-month-old daughter.
"That was part of the plan. My family was in Somerset. I drove to meet them the next day. I had to do a couple of photoshoots before that and a couple of interviews. Then got in the car and drove to Somerset and started changing nappies. It's a slightly unique way of celebrating,” Williamson told Cricbuzz.
"To be honest, I wasn't thrilled when I got into my rental car and it was a manual. After not having driven a manual car for so many years, I was thinking sheesh I just need to make sure I'm focused here and try not to stall. Anyway, the journey was successful in the end. Rather than enjoying the countryside, I was pretty switched on to my GPS and making sure I was changing gears smoothly," he said.
Williamson's focus may have changed quickly but he's aware of the "buzz" in his country. He described the win as a "special" one but said nothing tops the feeling of spending time with the family.
"We had a really enjoyable night and the rest of the team were flying back to quarantine for two weeks. That's sort of the world we live in. I know it sounds funny, after such a long period of time, there's no better place you'd rather be than with family."
"I've been fully engaged in daddy duties. So, the focus has changed quite quickly. But there's been a number of chats with the other guys and a real buzz in the country around cricket and around that specific tournament you can call it, over two years.
"And yeah, a real thrill over such a long period of time, so much hard work to try and create the opportunity to be involved in a final. And to have such a competitive and closely contested match, and to come out on the right side in a world event, is pretty special," Williamson further said.