Kane Williamson feels several match winners across teams adds to the intrigue

Kane Williamson feels several match winners across teams adds to the intrigue

The Black Caps are still searching for their first title in the shortest format.

Kane Williamson
Kane Williamson. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Expect the unexpected was the main message from Kane Williamson ahead of the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, with the New Zealand captain insisting ‘anything can happen’.

Expect the unexpected was the main message from Kane Williamson ahead of the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, with the New Zealand captain insisting ‘anything can happen’.

The Black Caps are still searching for their first title in the shortest format, having previously reached the semi-final stages in the inaugural tournament in 2007 and again in 2016.

Their recent form in global tournaments suggests they will be tough to beat, having only narrowly lost out to England in the final of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 before claiming the inaugural ICC World Test Championship this year.

There are going to be a number of challenges along the way, reckons Kane Williamson

But speaking in the pre-event captains’ media sessions, Williamson warned that the calibre of match-winners throughout the tournament means nothing can be taken for granted.

“It’s an amazing competition and it’s obviously been a long time coming. There are match-winners throughout and anyone can beat anyone on the day,” said Williamson.

“There are going to be a number of challenges along the way. It’s a pretty short tournament so you want to hit the ground running, you want to try and get a bit of momentum early.

“But in these world events when you’re playing a different opposition every three days at a different venue there’s some adjustments to make quite quickly.

“Having a world event is always an exciting opportunity to showcase all the talent around the world and the T20 format naturally makes things exciting and ultra-competitive.

“The match-winners that are in every side that are involved in this tournament means that on any given day anything can happen. It’s a fantastic event and one all teams are looking forward to.”

Another team going in search of their first ICC Men’s T20 World Cup title are Australia, who were defeated in the semi-finals by eventual champions India in the very first edition in 2007.

The cricketing superpowers reached the final three years later but fell at the last hurdle to England while they also lost to the eventual champions in 2012 as the West Indies won their semi-final match.

And while they failed to reach the knockout stages in both 2014 and 2016, captain Aaron Finch believes his squad possesses the talent to finally end their T20 drought.

“It would be huge, obviously it is the one that has eluded us, we have been close a couple of times but we’ve also been quite a distance off in other times,” said Finch.

“We’re still very confident going into it. We’ve got a group here that has played a lot of T20, not a huge amount together, and guys are at different stages of their preparation.”