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In October 2019, Kane Williamson recounted the World Cup defeat on the Oxford stage. The audience felt totally engaged by the player’s first-hand account of the spectacular loss. That Q & A session looked nothing but ordinary. The venue has seen many famous and infamous people over the decades — from Michael Jackson and O. J. Simpson to Mother Theresa and Ronald Reagan.

This time, the nation remembered its stunning cricket loss. If you have not yet seen the video, you can watch it on specific resources or portals like the sportsadda com to never miss a big event like this. It was exactly the same stage that saw New Zealand Prime Minister Lange say: “If you hold your breath for just a moment… I can smell the uranium on it as you lean towards me.”

Calm and Composed

Williamson spoke calmly and modestly, showing the level-headedness he is known for. He said he was not sure whether he was the right person to invite, given the list of influential speakers taking the stage in the past. After all, the Oxford Union is the world’s most prestigious debating society. He described the event as a humbling experience.

The audience was more than excited. And what they wanted to learn about was the final match that brought the crushing defeat. This is what Williamson realized from the start. This was when things almost got tearful. In the beginning, however, he was asked to describe where his interest in cricket originated.

Early Journey in Cricket

Although Williamson had scored 40 centuries by the time he left school, representing New Zealand internationally was not always on the cards. Born to a large family enthusiastic about sport, he developed a natural interest for cricket and started practicing at a school field near his home. “I loved the sport and the progression part kind of came off the back of enjoying what I was doing.” Williamson first got experience playing some professional cricket towards the end of his college years.

Given his phenomenal start, Williamson had to adjust to the spotlight at a very young age. “You never could foresee the opportunity to play for your country, it was probably less of a goal and more of an idea or a dream that only real when it was actually happening.”

Test Cricket

Answering the interviewer’s question about Test cricket being technically more challenging, Williamson explained, “it’s different with it being longer the examination is a bit more intricate, so you’re playing people that are trying to work you out as a batter or vice versa for long periods of time and lapses and concentration can a big part of the outcome.” Although the white-ball cricket does not pose these challenges, it comes with its own skill requirements. While the red-ball game is “a game of self-control”, the alternative demands “playing different shots” and “moving the game forward”.

Women’s Cricket

Agreeing with the need to invest in women’s cricket, Williamson pointed to the recent growth in the women’s game, acknowledging, however, that its pace has not been sufficient. Williamson described his experience travelling around the world as part of his career, in particular celebrating his birthday in Sri Lanka. “I’ve probably never had a bigger celebration.”

“Don’t make me cry now”

The audience could not help questioning Williams about the World Cup loss, particularly how he and managed to conduct himself in almost a zen-like manner. “We’ve played so many games of cricket in our life, and we know what winning and losing looks like”, Williamson explained, that it was a “technicality”. “We reflect on the match, we do feel proud in the way that we played the game and what we set out to do and what we could control. We felt that it was a good performance from us.”

Describing the soul-crushing defeat, Williamson said, “We come to the end of the game and go “what the… what just happened?” But the common theme was how much people enjoyed the match and were still scratching their heads at who won and who lost and who tied.”

Viewers lavished praise on the speaker, with comments like he is “one of the best, most likable athletes today personality-wise, and a great batsman.” Most commenters noted how classy, dignified and authentic he looked. “For guys like this, cricket is called gentleman’s game.”

 

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