15 Jul 2019

'Traumatised' PM wants heroes' welcome for NZ cricketers

7:32 pm on 15 July 2019

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the Black Caps deserve a "heroes' welcome" home after a "remarkable" World Cup final in London overnight.

Dejected New Zealand captain Kane Williamson after the game. New Zealand Black Caps v England.
ICC Cricket World Cup Final at Lord’s, London, England on 14 July 2019.

Skipper Kane Williamson and the rest of the New Zealand squad deserve to be celebrated for their performances, once they return home, the prime minister says. Photo: © Photosport Ltd 2019

Ms Ardern was very blurry-eyed and still "traumatised" at an announcement in the Coromandel this morning after staying up most of the night to watch the game, which New Zealand lost after a tied game and a super over.

The scores were level after 50 overs, and the Black Caps matched England's 15 in a super over but lost because they had scored fewer boundaries during the match after an extraordinary final at Lord's was tied.

NZ players celebrate the wicket of Morgan.
ICC Cricket World Cup FINAL.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is proud of the way the Black Caps represented New Zealand throughout the 2019 World Cup tournament. Photo: © Photosport Ltd 2019

Ms Ardern said she spoke to Auckland Mayor Phil Goff quite early this morning about how to welcome the players back.

"We've had a bit of a chat, one of the key things for both of us was getting a sense of what the Black Caps themselves would like,'' she said.

"Of course, they've been away for some time and just whether or not they'll all be in one place when they arrive... there's a few conversations to be had but there have been some phone calls already."

The prime minister has always been a cricket fan and said the final was the most remarkable of all the games she's ever watched.

"I think probably like a lot of New Zealanders I'm still feeling quite traumatised by that match. It was an incredible game, I can't recall seeing a game like it and I think it will just go down in history for just being a remarkable game of cricket.

"But regardless of that final outcome I just feel incredibly proud of the Black Caps and I hope every New Zealander does because they played remarkable cricket across the course of that tournament, and they certainly did in that last match,'' Ms Ardern said.

She said the way the Black Caps lost - two ties before losing on a technical boundary rule - means it's likely there will be plenty of commentary for "a long time because of the way [England] won''.

When they do get back on home soil she said they'll get the celebration they deserve.

Auckland mayor Phil Goff said he also stayed up to watch the game.

He said there would be discussions with the Black Caps and New Zealand Cricket about when and how they would like to be honoured.

"We really would like to honour them, not only for their superb skills, but also for their sportsmanship and the graciousness with which they accepted that loss."

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