"Greatest sporting finale in my lifetime": The gracious moment that left fans in awe at Cricket World Cup
As England celebrated their victory in the Cricket World Cup after an intense, nail-biting final, the emotions on the other end of the spectrum could not have been more different.
Martin Guptill is New Zealand’s fastest player, but his efforts weren’t enough to help him score a second run on the final ball of the match. The difference came down to a metre as the Black Caps saw their dream slip away from their hands when Guptill was caught short of his ground to give England its first ever World Cup title.
As Lords erupted in cheers for the host country, the heartbreak on Guptill’s face is one that cricket fans around the world will never forget.
The 32-year-old sunk to his haunches after an electrifying ending, the look of devastation evident on his face. Needing two runs off the final ball to take home the trophy, Guptill was shattered that he couldn’t get his side home.
— Eleanor Oldroyd (@EllyOldroyd) July 15, 2019
But in one of the classiest moves of sportsmanship the game has seen, England seamer Chris Woakes approached the batsmen and his partner Jimmy Neesham to offer his condolences.
Rooted to the spot, Guptill was inconsolable, and instead of celebrating his victory, Woakes chose to show an act of sportsmanship by offering his support to the opposition.
The historical match is one that will be remembered, a rare game where neither side deserved to lose. But the image of Woakes standing by his crushed rivals will forever stand the test of time and act as a reminder that the spirit of cricket is more than a wicket or a trophy.
The classy gesture was reminiscent of one from the past, between Brett Lee and England’s Andrew Flintoff in the 2005 Ashes series.
Andrew Flintoff and Brett Lee - 2005 Ashes series
After England won a thrilling Test by two runs at Edgbaston, as they battled it out against Australia who delivered a stunning fight, Flintoff showed his true spirit by comforting a fallen Brett Lee, who similar to Guptill, was struggling with heartbreak.
Fans took to Twitter to react to the exciting end to the tournament, commending both sides for their perseverance and hard work in hoping to obtain the World Cup with one claiming that it was “the most exciting game of cricket ever seen.”
“I can state without a doubt that it was the greatest final of sport in my lifetime,” wrote one user.
“We should have won it comfortably, but New Zealand played a superb match,” said a British fan.
“This game really showed sportsmen at the top of their game,” said another.