When Tim Southee recently auctioned off his World Cup final shirt to raise funds for the treatment of an eight-year-old child suffering from a rare type of cancer, it shone a wonderful bunch of guys.
Over the years, the Kiwis have encountered disappointments with a smile rather than a frown, and their behavior raises the bar.
And if we were talking about disappointments, there could have been a bigger setback than seeing the ICC ODI World Cup final on Lord snatched away from them by a bizarre rule. Most teams in a similar situation could have exploded from hurt and anger. Not the Kiwis.
They collected their runner-up awards with grace and dignity and highlighted their glowing qualities.
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And in Kane Williamson, the New Zealanders have a captain and a role model. Play the game hard but fair. While important, the means to do so are more important.
Southee’s gesture to help a young girl is not in isolation. Over the years, the Kiwi cricketers have engaged in their own quiet way for noble purposes. Yet they do not advertise it. You hear from them when you’re in New Zealand, from those who know things.
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The way the Kiwis get their former captain together and Martin Crowe, the good batsman, is an example of this.
Crowe was in pain when he attended the 2014 Wellington Test. The cancer has returned. Yet throughout the match he was surrounded by his former teammates who made their skipper laugh, felt at ease and instantly forgot the great physical discomfort he had.
This is how honorable men honor their leader. Unfortunately, Crowe died in 2016, but his men dampened the anxiety when the plague devoured him.
But for the occasion when Ross Taylor lost his captaincy to Brendon McCullum under controversial circumstances, the Kiwis were quite impeccable in the way they approach their cricket.
And as the WTC final revealed, you too can sweep the world.