New Zealand team skipper Kane Williamson has expressed his elation after the New Zealand cricket team raced their way into the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) finals.
Williamson appreciated the hard work put in by the team to accomplish the achievement. He further acknowledged the positive impacts that the tournament has had on the game.
“It’s really exciting and (I’m) really chuffed for all the guys,” Kane Williamson said.
“It acknowledges a lot of hard work through the summer. Obviously, COVID changed the qualifying a little bit but it meant a number of teams were in the hunt. Coming into our summer it was going ‘right if we win these four Tests, that gives us an opportunity to be there’. We did manage to do that and play some good cricket along the way and it’s really exciting to get the nod. The Test guys will be really excited at that prospect.”
On Tuesday the New Zealand team became the first entrant into the inaugural season of the ICC WTC. It happened after Cricket Australia (CA) pulled out from Australia’s tour of South Africa that was to get underway later this month.
“Because it’s such a long competition when it starts you are just focusing as a group on the session that you have in front of you, the period of cricket that is important. You can’t look down the line. It’s just focusing on the cricket that you have at hand.
In the ICC WTC standings, New Zealand is sitting on the second position, followed by Australia in the third position and England in the fourth position. India tops the rankings. Which team among India, Australia, and England will compete with the Black Caps in the finals is dependent on the outcome of upcoming India vs England four-match Test series.
“For us, we had the four Tests in front of us. Within those you saw perhaps some declarations that were quite fair because you understood the carrot at the end was far more valuable than just perhaps this one period of cricket. You really wanted to push for the opportunity to win it,” the Black Caps skipper said on the WTC rankings acting as a motivation for the team.
“All the players are incredibly chuffed to have the opportunity to play in it. Whoever you play, it is what it is. It is their cricket that they’re playing, we’re just trying to control what we can control,” Williamson concluded.
The 2019-21 ICC World Test Championship that is the inaugural season of the ICC WTC, started on August 1 2019. The final of the season will take place at the Lord Stadium of England in June.