Team New Zealand won World Test Championship prestigious mace after defeating India in the finals by eight wickets at Ageas Bowl, Southampton. Team Kiwis received a great welcome while returning to the home with the mace. The blackcaps registered their name on record books after winning the first-ever World Test Championship final, this was after 21 long years that New Zealand got hands on an ICC trophy. Talking about his way towards the home, left-arm pacer Neil Wagner stated that he never got greeted in customs as he did after returning home with the title of WTC winners.
Wagner told that people grabbed their passports and started asking about the WTC mace as soon as they reached New Zealand
“I don’t think I’ve ever walked into customs and got greeted the way we did. Everyone was just straight away [saying] congratulations, pretty happy, grabbed our passports and all they wanted to ask was, Where’s the mace, where’s the mace? Seeing even police officers stopping wanting to have a photo from a distance with it… it was nice to see the smiles on everyone’s faces,” stuff.co.nz quoted Wagner as saying.
Depicting the feelings of being crowned as the first-ever WTC winners Wagner said the feeling is surreal, Wagner helped kiwis in the final match with his contribution of two in the first innings and one wicket in the second innings.
“It’s still hard to put into words, to be fair. It still feels unreal. Everything is socially distanced, so you can’t even really shake their hands, and we had the mace, everyone wanted to take a photo, you can’t even do that, or we couldn’t pass it on. It’s a bit of a shame but it’s part of the world we live in at the moment. It was quite nice to see some Kiwis walk past and see what it means to them, albeit in the distance waving away, and saying congratulations, it means a lot to all the boys,” said Wagner.
Blackcaps left-arm pacer also told that the mace has been handed over to wicketkeeper-batsman BJ Watling for two weeks by the New Zealand players.
“We shared the mace around on the plane and throughout the whole night while celebrating, everybody had their turn to carry it around and make full use of that. And then on the plane, Ross Taylor got me to hand over the mace to BJ Watling, he’s going to take care of it for the next two weeks in isolation.
“I think it’s a fitting way for him to send his career off, it’s been an amazing career for us, the role he’s played for a number of years now, just the whole person he is and heart and soul of the team. He epitomises everything we are about as a team, the team-first attitude, being a guy that scraps and fights for everything, he’s led that all the way from the start. He’ll be sorely missed in this team,” he added.
Bj Watling retired from international cricket after playing his last match against India in the WTC final. He kept the wickets till the very end even after fracturing his finger during the match.