The newly crowned domestic one-day cricket champions, the Wellington Firebirds, have moved quickly to dampen expectations of their future success by promising fans that their first trophy in 12 years was only a false dawn and wouldn’t herald a new era of success for the region.
“Look, I think it’s pretty important that people realise that we were ridiculously lucky to even make it to the final,” captain James Franklin said on Saturday after the match. “Given how abysmally we played in other forms of the game, and how few international quality players we possess as a region, people shouldn’t get ahead of themselves just because we won this trophy.
“If it wasn’t for Kuggeleijn’s inability to bowl at the death, I’m pretty sure that we would have been screwed.”
Franklin went on to point out that, “We’ve seen people get far too excited about Wellington side’s winning titles before. Remember when the Lions won the NPC in 2000? They went on to do not much else for a long time, same thing when they won the Ranfurly Shield too. So as a team we’re keeping our sites set pretty low, which is basically trying not to embarrass ourselves completely next year.”
New Zealand Cricket Board member Martin Snedden agreed with Franklin’s sentiments. “We’ve seen how painful increased expectations can be,” Snedden said. “After the Blackcaps spectacular home series against the West Indies and India, getting knocked out of the T20 World Cup demonstrated how important it is to be honest about false dawns and the like.”
Snedden went on to add that, “Obviously we’d like to remind fans that, despite having home advantage, we fully expect the Blackcaps to choke at the ODI World Cup next year.”