We were never supposed to be in the final




Whaleoil reader George writes

It all happens on Sunday night. The New Zealand cricket team’s quest for glory. What an inspirational story. What a remarkable team. The result is ?almost? irrelevant, win or loose, they have brought pride and dignity to this country and to the game of cricket.

It was never supposed to be like this. I, and many other armchair critics, bought into the adversaries mentioned below and that is why this team is so remarkable.

It was 1997 when a gangly 18 year old was selected to the New Zealand cricket test side: 18 years later Daniel Luca Vettori will play his last game for New Zealand. Long thought of as a broken down memory and now, as a bearded veteran, he has achieved cult status, not for his long stellar career but his exploits in his final hurrah to NZ cricket. Daniel, you are a true champion.

It has long been said by commentators and players alike that 50 over cricket heavily favoured the batsmen. Brendon McCullum never received that memo. He said “Why not four slips and a gully”, suddenly the bowlers were taking wickets, batsmen were
tentative and other captains and coaches started following his conception. Brendon, you are a visionary.

Having been written off as a “consistently out of form batsman unworthy of his place in the squad”, Martin Guptill scored an all time tournament record 237 run
innings having scored a century in the innings prior. Martin you personify “form is temporary, class is permanent”.

His primary role was that of a specialist test opening bowler, not considered suitable for the shorter version of the game. He was often overlooked for one day duties. Trent Boult is now the leading wicket taker in the tournament. Trent, you are the man for all occasions.

A young man, not considered a prospect for international honours in his country of birth emigrated to NZ twelve years ago. He was the last player selected into the squad. He almost single handily put NZ through to the finals. In doing so, Grant Elliott handed defeat to his country of birth. Grant, you are Kiwi through and through.

Having only coached the National Kenya cricket team previously, Mike Hesson was viewed by many as too inexperienced to take on the head coaching role of our national team in 2012. We were ranked 8th in the fifty over game and the administration of Cricket NZ was in disarray. Controversy followed with the sacking of Ross Taylor from the captaincy and the appointment of Brendon McCullum as his predecessor. “Job for a mate” was levelled at Mike. Stand up Mike, you?re an inspiration.

And last but the most significant, the great Martin Crowe, captain of our last great World Cup team literally fighting for his life, offering inspiration, encouragement and guidance to his young charges. They have done you proud as you did us proud. You?re a legion.

The movie has to be made.