London - With the 2019 Cricket World Cup now over, Sport24's Lloyd Burnard talks us through his last couple of days in England before returning home. 

Monday, July 15

Can nostalgia exist when the times you look back on happened just a few short weeks ago?

It's been a strangely emotional day.

Yesterday, we sat at Lord's watching a cricket match that can and will never be topped.

It was theatre.

When I was a kid, I dreamed of Lord's. Most who played cricket did at some point. Back then, I dreamed of scoring a century there in a Test match.

"You'll make it to Lord's ... I know you will," my grandmother, central to my entire fabric, told me when I was 8.

She was a warm individual who loved the game.

Watching the Proteas play at the Home of Cricket at a World Cup was special, but losing to Pakistan to be eliminated from the tournament in unspectacular fashion was not.

What happened on Sunday was the Lord's dream realised.

It made up for all of the South African heartache that had come before. It was powerful.

Looking back on the last 7 weeks, there have been numerous memories that will last a lifetime.

The Proteas may not have delivered on the field, but they inspire nonetheless.

The story of the Gary Kirsten Foundation, where 13 kids from Khayelitsha made the trip to the most affluent parts of England for a four-match tour and a chance to mingle with their heroes, was the unrivalled highlight.

Cricket matters. It is a vehicle that can change lives, and we saw that in these wide-eyed kids.

From the most trying living circumstances and downright poverty to the lush fields of the Weybridge Cricket Club in Surrey. That's what these kids experienced, and cricket did that.

The Proteas never got out of first gear until it was too late, but it mattered to them too.

They were once kids with a dream, and this was their chance to make those dreams a reality.

It didn't happen, and they went home.

But when they went home, we stayed. We stayed and we were rewarded with a moment that made time stand still.

That final will live with everyone who was at Lord's on Sunday, July 14 for as long as they breathe this game. 

Tuesday, July 16

A lie-in is followed by a cup of coffee and then the mammoth task of packing seven weeks' worth of living back into one suitcase.

That process takes around an hour, and then it's off to Heathrow.

The trip, in the blink of an eye, is over.

We haven't stopped.

London, Southampton, Cardiff, Birmingham, back to London, Durham, Manchester … we followed the Proteas everywhere.

Along the way there were new friendships born and old friendships tested.

As I sit here now at Heathrow, waiting for flight EK030 to take me home, I feel incredibly privileged to have been given the opportunity to have covered this tournament.

There is something special about this game and those who play it.

There will be time to reflect in the days and weeks to come.

For now, though, the wind, rain and cold of Cape Town has never looked more appealing.

It's home time.

@LloydBurnard is in England covering the 2019 Cricket World Cup for Sport24 ...