World Test Championship: Victorious Blackcaps 'best in our history', says Sir Richard Hadlee

Kane Williamson's world champion Blackcaps test side has been anointed the best in New Zealand's history by the player widely regarded as the country's greatest ever player.

In the wake of New Zealand's eight-wicket win in the World test Championship final on Thursday (NZ time), Sir Richard Hadlee paid the ultimate tribute to the side.

"Over the years [NZ Cricket] have built a significant depth of players, which makes us one of the most competitive teams in world cricket," says the Sir Richard.

"It's fair to say that this current group of players is the best in our history."

Now 69 years old, Sir Richard owns a unique place in Kiwi cricketing lore. The iconic swing bowler was the first player to reach the hallowed mark of 400 test wickets, spearheading a golden era of NZ cricket during the 1980s.

Those teams - which also included the likes of fellow greats Martin Crowe, Bruce Edgar, John Wright, Martin Snedden, and Ewen Chatfield - have previously been held aloft as New Zealand's finest - until now.

Sir Richard was one of thousands of fans across the country to awake early to take in the final stages of a momentous day in NZ sports.

"This is a special day in the history of NZ cricket," Sir Richard remarks. "A day to celebrate the magnificent achievement of winning the inaugural World Test Championship.

"It was a thrilling test match, with twists and turns throughout and, despite the inclement weather and loss of time, it was a dominant Blackcaps performance over a very good Indian team."

The Blackcaps earned their place in the final with a remarkable run of results in whites, stretching back to their win over Sri Lanka in August 2019, through to series sweeps against West Indies and Pakistan during the most recent home summer.

Victory in the final in Southampton is just reward for 24 months of excellence, says Sir Richard.

"Over the past two years, the Blackcaps' performances in the test arena have been outstanding, with test match and series wins at home and abroad, and they thoroughly deserve to be crowned world champions," he notes.

"The whole team has shown a high degree of professionalism. Their skill sets have complimented each other to make them a complete playing unit.

"The management and support staff have also played important roles in preparing players to perform at the highest level."

Since 2018, Sir Richard has been battling with stage four colorectal cancer. He's undergone multiple surgeries and chemotherapy treatment, and says his health is "very good at the moment".

"I have regular checkups every 3 months (blood tests and scans if necessary). Fingers crossed for the future."