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06 April 201515:17

World Cup leaves New Zealand with a lasting legacy

McCullum’s men were brave and bold with their performances and it is safe to say a new generation of children will have been inspired to follow in their paths

World Cup leaves New Zealand with a lasting legacy - Cricket News

When the Black Caps flew back into the country after the final, they were given a heroes’ welcome as fans waited to greet them at Auckland airport waving flags and holding signs.

New Zealand returned to Auckland on Tuesday without the trophy it had hoped for, but the legacy left by the Black Caps’ at the 2015 Cricket World Cup will ultimately outshine any piece of silverware.

Everywhere the Black Caps travelled through the World Cup, full houses and fervent support followed as a nation of people who would generally reserve their sporting mania for their rugby heroes took the Black Caps to heart.

From Hamilton to Hagley Oval, Napier to Nelson, New Zealand played in front of capacity crowds in full voice, while at public appearances, long lines stretched along city streets as fans patiently waited for a chance to get up close and personal with their heroes.

When the Black Caps flew back into the country after the final, they were given a heroes’ welcome as fans waited to greet them at Auckland airport waving flags and holding signs.

Yet more fans attended a ‘welcome home’ function that evening, greeting their players with thunderous applause.

Taking the stage to speak to the thousands who turned out to see the Black Caps, Tim Southee, Brendon McCullum, Trent Boult, Grant Elliott and coach Mike Hesson thanked fans for their support, describing the turnout as “humbling”, while Boult said the support was "pretty magical".

Brendon McCullum’s men were brave and bold with their performances through the World Cup and it is safe to say a new generation of children will have been inspired to follow in the paths of their heroes.

While their cricket was attacking and aggressive, the Black Caps themselves were humble and their sportsmanship throughout the tournament won them plenty of fans around the world.

This sense of humility was best captured in the moments after New Zealand’s thrilling semi-final victory, when the Black Caps consoled the devastated Proteas before fully revelling in their own success.

The image of Grant Elliot bending down to help a despondent Dale Steyn to his feet was one that went around the world.



It perfectly captured the spirit of cricket.

From an emotional start to the tournament in Christchurch – hosting its first major sporting event since the devastating 2011 earthquakes – where New Zealand trumped Sri Lanka by 98 runs, through to a record-breaking victory over England and history-making semi-final win over South Africa, the Black Caps entertained and inspired.

Late in the tournament, skipper Brendon McCullum noted his team’s goal of earning respect through more than just results.

"I think we've earned some respect around the world in the last 12 to 18 months through the way that we have, not just performed, but I think the way that we have carried ourselves as a team and the brand of cricket that we are trying to play," he said.

After the final, McCullum said he believed the Black Caps’ achievements in the tournament would live on for a long time.

“I thought the way that we played throughout this tournament, the brand of cricket that we've played, the way we've entertained people and I guess left nothing out there in terms of the character and attitude on the field … it’s something that we'll remember for the rest of our lives,” he said.


“It would have been great to have got the silverware but it wasn't meant to be, but I think what we were able to achieve in this tournament will last for a long time.

“The friendships we've created, the experiences that we've had and I guess the people that we've been able to inspire throughout the tournament is something that we're really proud of.”

When fans look back at the Black Caps at the 2015 World Cup, their unique combination of belief, gritty determination, positivity and humility both on and off the field will be as well remembered as their record-breaking and history making performances.