CricketJames Neesham: “It was the worst thing to happen to anyone in a cricket career”
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New Zealand all-rounder James Neesham has admitted that sharing the dressing room with Jos Buttler added to his pain after the 2019 World Cup final. Neesham said that he will never recover from that defeat and believes that no player can recover from it.

This fast bowling all-rounder was in the final between England and New Zealand at Lord’s three years ago. Martin Guptill and James Neesham batted in a Super Over bowled by Jofra Archer but failed to get the Kiwis over the line. With the Super Over tied, England won the final due to better boundary count.

Speaking to The Cricketer, Neesham said that keeping Jos Buttler in the same dressing room for two months in India for Rajasthan Royals put salt on his wounds. While the Kiwis have said that he will never recover from that stagnation, he has accepted it as part of his career.

In this regard it probably didn’t help to have Joss Butler in the room next to me for two months in India! But yeah, it’s that sort of thing… I’ll never go over that. I don’t think anyone achieves anything like this. It’s just a matter of owning it and accepting it as part of your career.

“I’ll probably be at speaking functions or being asked about it in a bar for the rest of my life, and that’s just the way it is. It would have been ideal for it to finish the other way around. But it also did something for me in different aspects. The doors have been opened. That’s why you take the good with the bad.”

Significantly, Buttler affected the run-out of Martin Guptill which resulted in England’s first World Cup win. Neesham took three wickets apart from scoring 31 runs in the memorable match.

“It was the worst thing to happen to anyone in a cricket career” – James Neesham

The Auckland-born player believes that recovering from a World Cup final loss gives him the confidence to survive anything and he is happy to seize every opportunity.

Neesham said:

“The way the World Cup ended, it was the worst thing to happen to anyone in a cricket career. To avoid it and keep moving forward gives you the confidence to know that you can pretty much avoid anything.

“I just go to tournaments like Blast, have a smile on my face, try to hit some sixes, and contribute to the team winning matches.”

And if it doesn’t, I’ll be happy to move on to the next thing. I am 31 now – as an all-rounder you never know when your last season is coming. So I try to take every tournament as a gift and what happens is what happens.

James Neesham was also a part of the 2021 T20 World Cup final against Australia. However, the Black Caps suffered an eight-wicket loss to their Trans-Tasman rivals. He started the countdown to the next T20 World Cup by tweeting “335 days” after the final on November 14 in Dubai.