Captain Kane Williamson brushes off latest New Zealand World Cup failure


SYDNEY: Kane Williamson tried to play down concerns that New Zealand seem incapable of winning a global limited-overs title after they again failed to go the distance at the T20 World Cup on Wednesday.

The Black Caps have long been a force in white-ball cricket, but they have yet to turn it into any silverware despite coming agonisingly close in recent years.

They fell at the last hurdle to Australia in the T20 World Cup in 2021, which followed final defeats in the 50-over World Cup in both 2015 and 2019.

Despite being favoured to make Sunday’s decider in Melbourne, they crashed by seven wickets to Pakistan in the tournament’s first semi-final in Sydney.

“We want to achieve something every tournament,” said Williamson, whose team will head home as Pakistan prepare for a final against either India or England in Melbourne on Sunday

“To me, it comes down to the cricket and that’s where our focus is, the environment, how well we’re tracking and there’s been a lot of good stuff.”

Williamson denied time was running out for his team and this group of players to win a global white-ball trophy.

“I mean guys get older and that’s the nature of the sport,” he said.

“We have a bit of time. We have another one (World Cup) next year,” he said, referring to the 50-over World Cup in India, to be played in 12 months’ time.

New Zealand scored 200-3 on the Sydney Cricket Ground wicket when they crushed Australia by 89 runs to open their T20 World Cup campaign on October 22.

But they never looked like matching that against Pakistan, whose fielding and disciplined bowling restricted them to 152-4.

The New Zealand attack was then unable to shackle Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam, who shared in a 105-run partnership in 12.4 overs to set their team on the road to victory.

Williamson, who scored 46, admitted it was disappointing, but claimed there were positives.

“I think we have played in a number of finals and put in good performances, enough to win. And we got met by a side that played a little bit better or was equal. And we accept that,” he said.

“The frustrating part of today is that we were not quite on top of our game. We fought hard and showed some good characteristics that are important to our team. But it wasn’t to be.

“Having said that, we know the fickle nature of T20 cricket.”