Kane Williamson needs no introduction as a modern-day legend of cricket, and even as a great ambassador of the sport. His off-field conduct has often earned him the title of the ‘nicest guy’ in cricket. And now the tales of his niceness are crossing over to other sports as well. This man is the […]
Kane Williamson needs no introduction as a modern-day legend of cricket, and even as a great ambassador of the sport. His off-field conduct has often earned him the title of the ‘nicest guy’ in cricket. And now the tales of his niceness are crossing over to other sports as well.
Shamsi said that both the athletes have transcended all boundaries and are equally loved by fans irrespective of their affiliations. Kante was recognised as the Player of the Match after the big final in Porto. “This man is the Kane Williamson of football. Nobody can ever dislike him,” Shamsi tweeted.
Williamson has been held as the benchmark of what an ideal cricketer should be like, by several former players and experts of the game. It sometimes make you wonder how ‘nice’ could the man actually be? I did a background check from whatever info was available on the internet, and it turns out that the guy is apparently born this way.
1. Showing respect for teammates from a young age
His childhood batting coach David Johnston had echoed a similar sentiment. In an interview, he spoke about the time when Williamson was 12. He had scored three consecutive hundreds, so he was sent down the order. Batting at number six, he scored another hundred, and formed a game-changing partnership with the number 10 batsman.
When they walked off the field, all the boys came out and clapped in admiration.“He saw that, stopped, let the other kid walk first and clapped him off the field. When I saw that, right then, I understood his character. The sensitivity in a 12-year old to realise the other young boy might feel left out, the need to put his team ahead – that was a defining moment for me. He isn’t just a good batsman but a good person,” Johnston said.
2. Quiet act of kindness towards staff member
During a home ODI series against India, he took out time to visit a hometown club he had played at, to attend the funeral of a staff member. “He went quietly through the backdoor, paid his respects and left. No fanfare. New Zealand doesn’t really know how good he is,” Syms said.
“Oh, he has this amazing ability to take nuts and bolts off any situation, take the emotion out of it, assess what’s the problem and what he can do to solve it,” said Syms. “Not just now, on a cricket field, but even back at the classroom. He was always like this.”
3. Talking about England after tense WC final
“So they won on the number of boundaries,” Williamson enquired politely after his New Zealand suffered a heartbreaking loss in the final of the 2019 World Cup trophy on technicality. The final had gone right down the wire; even a Super Over couldn’t separate the Kiwis and hosts England. But the Kiwis had to bear the brunt of the rules.
However, Williamson refused to blame anyone or the rules for their defeat. He gave due credit to winners. “We’re gutted that it’s not us but England had a very good campaign and they deserve the victory,” journalists were almost confused by his level-headedness in the press conference after the game.
4. Taking the knee
Williamson was seen consoling West Indian pacer Kemar Roach ahead of a Test match between the two teams, last year. Roach’s father had passed away before the game and the picture of the duo sharing an embrace had gone viral on the internet.
It wasn’t just that moment that caught the eye of the media, but fans also noticed the Kiwi skipper’s decision to take the knee in that match for the Black Lives Matter movement. West Indies captain Jason Holder, who had previously played alongside Williamson in the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) lauded his counterpart, saying “it just shows the kind of individuals that New Zealand cricket has”.
5. Helping victims of a bomb blast
The Kiwi cricketers are not the best paid in the sport, but that didn’t stop Williamson to part away with his match fee for an entire series to support a cause. He donated his fees for the entire ODI series against Pakistan in the UAE, to help the families of the Peshawar school attack victims. The incident in December 2014 took lives of 141 people, which had included 132 children.
Images: Twitter/Virat Kohli, Instagram/Kane Williamson