World Cup 2019: Families play a big role in New Zealand's rise

Updated: Jul 13, 2019, 07:47 IST | Harit N Joshi

India's World Cup dream was cut short at the semi-finals and while there will be a lot of discussion about the team's on-field performance, the BCCI could possibly take a cue from one of the New Zealand board's off-field policies too.

World Cup 2019: Families play a big role in New Zealand's rise
NZ players with their families after the semi-final victory over India

London: Moments after New Zealand stunned India in the semi-final at Manchester, the Kiwi players' wives and families strode on to the Old Trafford turf. It seemed like a familiar get-together for the Kiwis as the players, their wives and kids, all mingled with each other even as members of the Indian team walked towards their team bus.

India's World Cup dream was cut short at the semi-finals and while there will be a lot of discussion about the team's on-field performance, the BCCI could possibly take a cue from one of the New Zealand board's off-field policies too.

With the tournament stretching across 45 days, the NZ board permitted their players' families to travel with them for the entire duration of the event unlike the BCCI which turned down a similar suggestion from skipper Virat Kohli. As per its policy, the Indian Board permitted the players' families to be with them 20 days after the tournament began.

The BCCI also restricted the players' wives and family members from travelling with them whenever the cricketers went from one destination to another. The cricketers travelled exclusively in their private bus while their wives moved around in separate vehicles. On the other hand, the NZ cricketers' wives and girlfriends have been with them right from the day they landed in the UK for cricket's most prestigious tournament.

Coach Gary Stead yesterday acknowledged the role of families in helping the players relax off the field and perform well on it. "They [families] have played a really important role. We embrace having our family around. That's important for guys especially when you haven't had the day you want. You can go back [to the hotel room] and keep it real. You can hold your baby or give them a bath. You can go out with your wife or your partner for dinner. I think that's a big part of what we are about and what we have been trying to do on tour as well. It is great that they [families] can share the experiences that we are having," said Stead.

Meanwhile, speaking about tomorrow's final against England, Stead admitted that it will be all about keeping one's emotions in check. "We just turn up and try to get better every day. That's all you can ask of everyone. I don't think we overly focus on the end result. We are just going out there and playing the best we can, understanding that you don't have to play perfect cricket all the time. As a team, we have worked on three different goals during this tournament. We have achieved two of them. Now we have to get the third," he said.

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