A special welcome home is being planned for the New Zealand Black Caps captain Kane Williamson and fellow Tauranga-born teammate Trent Boult.
Tauranga cricket fans woke up to a nail-biting Super Over in the 2019 Cricket World Cup final this morning to watch England take the final glory in a heartbreaking end for the Black Caps.
Despite the loss, plans are still in place to celebrate the heroic Black Caps in Tauranga and welcome home Williamson who was named Player of the Tournament.
Tauranga Mayor Greg Brownless said he was proud of the way Tauranga's own Williamson led the New Zealand team throughout the World Cup.
"Not only is he a fantastic player, but he is a fantastic gentleman," he said. "I am very proud."
Brownless said the city was still deciding on how to appropriately welcome home Tauranga players.
Tauranga Boys' College principal Robert Mangan was in Canada for an international boys' school conference and said he had been listening to the commentary "ball by ball".
"I think they have done incredibly well. We always believed they could go all the way and they went all the way," he said.
"I just can't help but feel devastated for them having got so close and fallen at the last hurdle."
Mangan said it was great to have the association with Williamson.
"He is an outstanding role model," he said. "I give huge credit to his parents and all of the cricket coaches."
The Tauranga principal hoped to invite Williamson back to the college for a special assembly.
"We would like to acknowledge the outstanding performance of the team and the recognition of Player of the Tournament," he said.
"It is a well-deserved honour recognising his leadership and superb performance as a cricketer to be named best in the world from Tauranga and Tauranga Boys' College.
"We are extremely proud and it is important for New Zealand to acknowledge their performance in getting so close."
Otumoetai College principal Russell Gordon was considering a special assembly to acknowledge former student Boult.
Gordon said teachers at the school remembered Boult as a "humble man with no ego".
"He did what he did and he did it well," he said.
"From a school's perspective, whenever anybody excels at school, in the community, in New Zealand or the world, we look to celebrate that."
Gordon said the efforts of Boult, Williamson and the team in the 2019 Cricket World Cup were "astounding".
"It will be a thrill for all those involved in cricket. We share in their success."
Dave Randell, who was Boult's principal at Otumoetai College more than a decade ago, said it was an amazing achievement for the Black Caps.
"Man we have got to be proud of them," he said.
"The whole of New Zealand is celebrating. We didn't win but their performance was brilliant. It is a credit to all Kiwis."
Bay of Plenty Cricket manager Tai Bridgman-Raison said the final was an "emotional rollercoaster".
"I feel disappointed for the team, but it was pretty clear it was a once in a lifetime game. You won't ever see a cricket match like it," he said. "It was an amazing game."
Tai Bridgman-Raison said he was incredibly proud of the way Tauranga cricketers Williamson and Boult conducted themselves throughout the World Cup.
"It is genuinely who they are, it is not an act," he said.