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T20 World Cup: Great to be playing our neighbour in a World Cup final, says Williamson

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Dubai, Nov 13 (IANS) New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson is excited by the prospect of playing their trans-Tasman Sea neighbours Australia in the final of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup final in Dubai on Sunday. He added that playing against each other in the past gives both teams to have a fair look at their resources. New Zealand are in their first-ever Men’s T20 World Cup final and will face off against Australia in what will be a re-match of the 2015 Cricket World Cup final.

“I think when you play each other, I suppose both teams get a reasonable look at one another. So probably not too many advantages to either side except that we do play each other and have done so recently on a number of occasions and had some really good contests. It’s great that obviously, we’re playing our neighbour on the other side of the world in a World Cup Final. A really exciting prospect for both teams,” said Williamson while replying to a question from IANS in the pre-final press conference on Saturday.

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Speaking on what makes the Trans-Tasman rivalry special, Williamson remarked, “I suppose the fact that we are sort of neighbours creates a bit of that, in a number of different sports as well. We play each other on a number of occasions. Naturally, it’s a little bit easier to fly across to each other’s countries and compete, and certainly in recent times with the Covid restrictions that have been going on. That’s been something that’s happened more frequently. It is always a great competition, a great occasion when we play each other. So, both teams I think are really excited at that prospect tomorrow.”

While reflecting on his team’s journey in the tournament, Williamson believes that the final gives another chance to his team to go out and enjoy playing the game. “I suppose it’s always a bit of a journey, and as a side, you’re always trying to improve and grow and it’s been great that it’s been the case over a period of time. We have sort of seen it in a snapshot here at a tournament where the team has managed to make steps forward and improve as a side, and I suppose that’s reflected in where we sit at the moment.”

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“But having said that, the challenge is going to be there and will continue to be there. So, we’re looking forward to the occasion tomorrow. It’s another match and another opportunity for us as a team to go out and play.”

Williamson felt that his team would rather focus on their game than on the ‘underdogs’ tag associated with them in ICC events. This is the third straight ICC final New Zealand is participating in after the 2019 Cricket World Cup final (runners-up) and 2021 World Test Championship final (winners). “It sort of doesn’t have a lot to do with us, really. We focus on our cricket, try our best, and want to keep improving as a side. The different tags and whatnot, that’s not really something that we control.”

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–IANS

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