New Zealand went down in a thrilling World Cup 2019 final against England on Sunday after the scores were tied even post the Super Over. As the New Zealand players come to terms with the disappointment of the loss, former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum has opened up on his post-match advice to the current players as they dealt with the defeat.
McCullum, who led the Kiwis to the final of the last edition of the World Cup – also ending as runners-up – said that it was easier for him to move on from the 2015 loss as that match wasn’t nearly as close as the Lord’s final.
“It’s a bit different [from 2015] but I thought they’ve handled themselves magnificently in the aftermath of that result. Yes, it would’ve been lovely to have been a World Cup champion but I’ve always said the game doesn’t define you but it’s the person and character you are. I was so pleased with how our team handled that loss, also the success throughout that tournament.
“That’s the thing and it’s going to be so difficult for those guys. I was lucky enough to have a beer with them in the changing room and they were pretty broken, that’s for sure,” McCullum told Stuff.co.nz.
McCullum also believes that with time the players would come to realize the magnificent part they played in one of the most memorable games ever, even if the loss could be hard to swallow at the moment.
“They were also really proud of what they did and how well they played. Over the coming months and years, whilst it’s still raw now, they’ll understand just how magnificent that spectacle was. And for it to happen on the biggest of stages, to have played the hand that they played in that match is absolutely amazing,” he told Stuff.
“It was a missed opportunity but I looked at the positives of the rest of the World Cup and what it did for the game in our country rather than focusing on that last moment,” McCullum said of 2015.