The 2019 Cricket World Cup final was a nail-biting match until the very end and though New Zealand lost on a technicality, the Black Caps have won the hearts of many.
Former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag admired the Kiwis' sportsmanship: "New Zealand had many fans in India and today they have won many more, by their calmness and spirit.
Kane Williamson, smiling after the tie. Beautiful to see."
Other fans around the world acknowledged that New Zealand had emerged as champions.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said: "I feel nothing but pride in Kane [Williamson] and the team.
"It was an outstanding tournament but that final match will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the most memorable games. And it was played by Black Caps who are just outstanding sportsmen, plain and simple. They absolutely deserve our admiration. They certainly have mine."
The Queen congratulated the hosts on their victory, saying it was a thrilling victory.
A message from Her Majesty The Queen:— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) July 14, 2019
“Prince Philip and I send our warmest congratulations to the England Men’s Cricket team after such a thrilling victory in today’s World Cup Final.” (1/2) #CricketWorldCup pic.twitter.com/FEKsFFe40s
However, she also tweeted a message to the Black Caps, praising them for competing so admirably in the final and throughout the tournament.
The Queen: “I also extend my commiserations to the runners-up New Zealand, who competed so admirably in today’s contest and throughout the tournament.” (2/2) #CricketWorldCup— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) July 14, 2019
The TV cameras caught the moment Kane Williamson was told he was the Player of the Tournament, and his reaction furthered endeared him to fans.
Kane Williamson getting told he’s the player of the tournament cracks me up! “ME?!” pic.twitter.com/yuF79sfUkE— DK not a DJ (@Davidkane11) July 14, 2019
Many more spoke of the qualities they admired in Williamson.
Never sledges opposition, never shouts at own players, never fights with umpires, never gives up. The most respected captain of WC— Ch Xee F (@Chaudhry_Xee) July 14, 2019
Really feel sad for Kane Williamson
!! Well Played Sir !!#CWC19Final pic.twitter.com/XLKxZ41ftC
Kane Williamson!— Md. Hasibul Amin (@mdhasibulamin) July 14, 2019
Remember the name. He has just lost a World Cup final and He is smiling! What an humble person he is!
What a sportsmanship has been shown by him!
Such a class act ❤❤❤
Hats off man. You deserve better than this.#CWC19Final #KaneWilliamson ❤❤#ENGvsNZ pic.twitter.com/mEqSuNTXTY
Others drew comparisons between Williamson and tennis great Roger Federer, who also lost in heartbreaking fashion at the Wimbledon Championship this morning.
It was not lost on Kiwi fans that English batsman, Ben Stokes, who crucially deflected a ball to the boundary, was born in New Zealand.
Others lamented and questioned the rules that awarded England with the victory.
Don't understand how the game of such proportions, the #CWC19Final, is finally decided on who scored the most boundaries. A ridiculous rule @ICC. Should have been a tie. I want to congratulate both @BLACKCAPS & @englandcricket on playing out a nail biting Final. Both winners imo.— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) July 14, 2019
Still, England's win did produce these great reactions: