Former Black Caps skipper Brendon McCullum says most of the credit for New Zealand's incredible rise in recent years should be credited to his successor, Kane Williamson.
At the launch of sports entertainment branch SENZ today in Auckland, McCullum said he got up to watch the final hours of action in Southampton this morning after his phone kept going off from messages sent from all over the cricketing world.
"I'm just so proud of what those guys have been able to achieve," McCullum said.
"They've been knocking on the door of the ultimate success for a while now and to continue to keep doing it and keep believing in what they're about as a cricket team and to be repaid now with the ultimate success of a World Test Championship is just so significant.
"I'm really proud for them and all of us who have played before them - I've had phone calls from players across multiple generations and we're all just so proud of them."
McCullum, who captained the side from 2012 to 2016, said one of the things he was most proud of was the culture the team had developed - one fans credit the former batsman with helping create after the Black Caps' abysmal 2013 Test in South Africa when the they were all out for 45 runs.
However, the 39-year-old said it was much more than just that one moment and himself.
"I didn't start it - everyone reflects back to 2013 as a bit of a ground zero moment for us; it was an important moment but you've got to go back generations.
"For generations we've been trying different formulas and different fabrics and we've always been searching and I think in 2013, our search was pretty brutal.
"But to me, the last few years is where New Zealand has really [risen] under Kane Williamson's leadership - that team is a real image of the skipper."
McCullum said the Black Caps have become a loveable team in global cricket under Williamson's watch.
"The culture of that side is so much of what is New Zealand - we're humble, hard-working, innovative when we need to be and represent our country with great pride and that's what those guys do.
"This New Zealand cricket team is the perfect fabric of what we want."
McCullum said therefore the credit belongs to his successor.
"I think most of the credit goes to Kane and [coach] Gary Stead and the senior players," he said.
"You look at the Ross Taylors and Tim Southees, Trent Boults, BJ Watlings - these guys have been around for a long time now and they've achieved great things as a side."
McCullum said he, along with other past Black Caps, will take a wee bit of the leftover credit though.
"Us past players will certainly revel in it."