Martin Devlin: Black Caps' pain of losing World Cup still lingers on

Author
Martin Devlin,
Section
Video,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 18 September 2019, 1:59PM

Losing sucks. We know this. And the pain of losing more often than not never goes away. 

We also know this because in an interview with the ICC on the weekend Black Caps skipper Kane Williamson admitted  as much saying something along the lines of our players still being in regular touch lamenting the One-Day WC final defeat, trying to fathom exactly how it happened and what if anything can be done to lessen the ongoing pain of remembrance.

OK, so that may sound a little overly dramatic but I'm using creative licence  here to make the point that sporting disappointment can and often is as big a wrench to us as any other personal grief we might suffer. It's the emotional  attachment we have to our teams and their games that causes this pain.

The powerlessness to change the result creating an angst, an emptiness that days,  months even years later means the defeat doing nothing but fester and grow  into its own open wound with little or no chance of healing unless, by sporting chance, there comes the opportunity for resolution by replayed redemption.

In the case of Captain Kane and our cricketers NOTHING will ease the sadness surrounding that loss at Lord's because it's a World Cup final and who knows  how many of them will even be around to have another crack in 2023 if the possibility arose?

Hence the effectiveness of George Gregan's infamous "four more years" sledge after the RWC semi loss in 2003. 

Gregan, more than aware how deep his words would cut, deliberately rammed the knife right through multiple failed All Black campaigns capturing perfectly the paranoia felt by players and fans alike at yet another miserable, unexpected loss.

The lingering pain of that defeat, doubled down by quarter-final failure four years later in Paris, didn't start to subside until the final whistle vs France in 2011. And didn't really fade 'til the All Blacks went back to back in 2015.

Hopefully Kane Williamson gets his own opportunity to rewrite cricket history in India next time because, if not, that draw which became a loss due to some silly rulebook will remain in his conscious long after his career calls time.

The biggest irony surely being that England, despite that win, ended their own summer losing the Ashes - a trophy long considered the pinnacle of everything about their  cricketing achievements. And just like the One-Day final they didn't actually lose.

In fact they drew but lost because of the way the rules work. Something Kane Williamson needs never to be reminded of.

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