New Zealand all-rounder James Neesham has become an overnight star for his Tweet and Instagram post after the end of the World Cup 2019 campaign. New Zealand had to return home with a heartbreaking loss as ICC officialese gifted the World Cup 2019 trophy to England despite tying both in the match and in the Super Over. People around the world were disheartened at the injustice of it all, given the Kiwis’ stellar display in batting, bowling, fielding and playing positive cricket.
Of the entire team, Neesham has had a tough ride before finding a place in the sun. After being rejected from the World Cup 2015 squad, he got so frustrated that he nearly quit the game. His regular absence from the team and then being axed from the Champions Trophy 2017 team made him think of retirement.
Kids, don’t take up sport. Take up baking or something. Die at 60 really fat and happy.
— Jimmy Neesham (@JimmyNeesh) July 15, 2019
In an interview to ESPNCricinfo, he said he called New Zealand Players’ Association CEO Heath Mills to share his thoughts. He said it was almost quits and he told Mills of his decision to retire, and credited Mills for encouraging him to stick on and not give up in frustration.
Neesham said he consulted his psychiatrist to know the reason behind his depression and then took a break from cricket to focus on his studies.
After wrapping his studies, Neesham made a strong cricketing comeback. He scored a blistering 503 runs at an average of 62.87 with a strike rate of 110.79 in a domestic tournament. His brilliant performance didn’t go unnoticed, he was called back to the NZ squad for the home series against Sri Lanka.
In that series, he clobbered five sixes in the 49th over against Thisara Perera. He scored 123 runs with an average of 123.00 and took six wickets.
This series became the turning point for Neesham’s career, and later for his all-round show, he earned the ticket to England for World Cup 2019. In his World Cup campaign, Neesham scored 232 runs and took 15 wickets.
In the super over, he thrashed the second ball for a 6 over deep square leg. It helped New Zealand inch closer to the victory which was snatched away cruelly by the boundaries rule.
(This article was written by Umang Bhatia, who is pursuing journalism form IP University and interning with NewsX.)