JOHANNESBURG – At 1.30am UK time yesterday, New Zealand’s all-rounder James Neesham tweeted the following: “Kids, don’t take up sport. Take up a baking or something. Die at 60 really fat and happy.”
Neesham was on the field when that match at Lord’s ended on Sunday. Strolling back towards his teammate Martin Guptill, who was just rising up to his knees, removing his helmet after he’d dived trying to make that second run, but failed to beat Jos Buttler’s stretch back that broke the stumps. He was centimetres short of his crease. While England celebrated, Guptill, Neesham and their teammates were crestfallen.
There is no way Neesham and the New Zealand team’s disappointment could be described. Emptiness probably comes closest. Neesham, as his tweet suggested, treated it with humour.
They gave us a chapter in an epic afternoon of sport on Sunday. With apologies to Shakespeare and some fine writers of books, television shows and films out there, nothing gives us drama quite like live sport.
It also serves up characters like Neesham, who can mask their disappointment in humour and Kane Williamson, who just is humane in the coolest way.