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New Zealand captain Kane Williamson did his best to remain positive after enduring one of the toughest press conferences of his life, in the wake of the T20 World Cup defeat to Australia in Dubai.
The Aussies had plenty to celebrate after becoming men's T20 world champions fo the first time, having been largely written off by critics before the tournament.
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Suffice to say, the drinks were flowing, the Aussie team was singing and dancing and the party atmosphere was in full effect after the final.
Unfortunately for Williamson, the Black Caps skipper had to carry out his mandatory post-match press conference with the raucous Australian celebrations very much in earshot.
The roars from the Australian dressing room could be heard booming through the walls as the Kiwi captain sat down to answer questions about his side's latest heartbreak in a cricket final.
Despite the torturous nature of the situation, New Zealand's classy skipper did his best to smile through the pain, even giving his Aussie rivals a shout-out in the process.
“Australia played really, really well, and you can hear them celebrating next door,” Williamson said while shaking his head with a wry smile across his face.
“And rightly so. They had a fantastic campaign. They’re a team full of amazing players and they really stood up today.”
Images of the Aussies partying in the dressing room then began circulating on social media, with Williamson's press conference visible on a TV in the background.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) November 14, 2021
The Kiwi skipper could see the funny side of it and said he wanted to focus on the "bigger picture" around the growth of his side, despite once again coming so close but failing in the major cricket final.
Australia's win brought back memories of their dominant win over the Black Caps in the 2015 ODI World Cup final in Melbourne.
NZ skipper focusing on 'bigger picture'
The Kiwis also lost the 2019 ODI World Cup to England in a dramatic final that was decided on boundary count after a Super Over.
Williamson interrupted a journalist when reminded of New Zealand's three losses in World Cup finals by asking "And championship final?"
He was referring to this year's victory in the Test Championship final over India in England.
"You sign up to play the game, and you win and you lose, and these are things that can happen on any day," Williamson told reporters.
"You know, if you look at the campaign on a whole, which we do, and the type of cricket that we have been able to play, I can say that we are very proud of our efforts throughout this period of time.
"You get to a final and anything can happen. You mentioned perhaps that white ball in 2019, which might be a longer discussion if you have some time."
Williamson admitted Australia had deserved to win the World Cup as they chased down their target of 173 for the loss of just two wickets.
New Zealand picked themselves up quickly after their opening loss to Pakistan and won four successive Super 12 games with pace bowlers Trent Boult and Tim Southee rattling the opposition.
Martin Guptill, Daryl Mitchell and Williamson scored over 200 runs in the tournament with Jimmy Neesham coming up with a splendid cameo in their semi-final win over England.
Williamson said they will look for gains ahead of next year's T20 World Cup in Australia.
"The bigger picture is the important one, and it is trying to continue to improve as a group," said Williamson.
"I thought we came here with some relatively — or a mix, I suppose, of experience and younger players, that a lot of them, it's their first time in a World Cup and they played extremely well and are much better for the experiences they have had and there's a lot of growth here."
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