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Cricket World Rewind: #OnThisDay - Kane Williamson is born - 1/4 of Fab Four, cricket's global ambassador

New Zealand's Kane Williamson during the presentation after the match
New Zealand's Kane Williamson during the presentation after the match
©Reuters

August 8, 1990 - At 30, Williamson still has a long way to go, and with 6,476 runs from 80 test matches, there is no doubt that by the time he decides to hang his boots, he will break a lot more records.

Kane Williamson is part of the Fab Four, the best four batsmen of his generation, and why shouldn't he be with a test average of over 50?

Williamson was born in Tauranga, the largest city in New Zealand's Bay of Plenty region and had a sporting culture in his family. His father had represented Northern Districts in under-17 cricket while his mother was a competitive basketball player. His sisters played volleyball and cousin Dan Cleaver played for Central Districts. Former All Black Gary Briad lived in his neighbourhood.

Williamson certainly has a good gene pool as he was good at most sports that he played in his childhood, not least rugby. Despite his small frame, Williamson excelled at rugby and basketball but took to cricket more seriously.

The result was visible as at just 17 years of age, Williamson led the New Zealand under 19 side to the World Cup semi-final in Malaysia 2008, losing to Virat Kohli's India who went on to win the title.

Billed to represent New Zealand since the age of 14, the batsman finally made his debut against India at 20 in Ahmedabad in conditions that were completely opposite to the one which he was born and bred in. Williamson gave a glimpse of his talent with a 131-run knock on a wicket that suited the Indian spinners. He scored another half-century in his next game.

 

 

It took him over a year to score another test ton but his unbeaten 102 in the second innings in South Africa helped New Zealand save a test match, with Dale Steyn baying for blood. The knock left no room for doubt about Williamson's ability and is also hailed as one of the best knocks ever played by a New Zealand batsman.

If he has not got the tag already, Williamson will certainly be known as the best batsman to come out of New Zealand. Martin Crowe has been considered as the holder of the title for a long time but Crowe, before his unfortunate death due to cancer, had already said that it was only a matter of time before the title rests with Williamson.

Other than batting in his tidy routine and punching the ball through point on his back foot, winning hearts seems to be his favourite thing to do. Be it accepting birthday cake from spectators in Colombo or walking up to thank New Zealand fans for their support after a painful defeat at the MCG, Williamson is at it all the time.

How can one person do so much good? And, even if you leave that aside for a moment, how can a person and a cricket captain at that, remain calm in the face of a defeat in the World Cup Final, when there was never really any defeat.

More than his batting exploits, Kane Williamson is as an ambassador of the game globally. His leadership ability and the way he handled the situation after New Zealand missed the 2019 World Cup trophy by the barest of margins was exemplary.

At 30, Williamson still has a long way to go, and with 6,476 runs from 80 test matches, there is no doubt that by the time he decides to hang his boots, he will break a lot more records.

 

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