"There has been an aching void in my life since Tuesday evening. I have been wandering around the house, just looking at things with a sense of emptiness and loss. Yes, I can make myself a cup of tea. And it will be taste the same as it did before. But never again will I drink a cup of tea whilst thinking: 'Oh great, England are playing the 2015 New Zealanders.' My toaster will still pop. But it will never again launch the toast out of its slot just as Brendon McCullum launches a leg-side heave out of the ground. Sad days."
"I don't know what I'm going to do. Sure, there are other cricket teams, and other cricket captains, but McCullum's Kiwis made me think differently about the cricketosphere. They even helped provoke England to make a ripe mockery of their own drab uselessness at the World Cup. And now they're gone. Gone. Gone. In various different directions."

"I don't want to say goodbye. Not just yet. Can't we have one more match - maybe just ditch one of the Ashes Tests and replace it with a one-off Test-ODI-T20 simultaneous hybrid megamatch against New Zealand for the new Tavaré-Edgar Trophy? Is that too much to ask? They made cricket more fun. They made England more fun. Don't let them go. Please, don't let them go."

"They have been the perfect tourists - brilliant, thrilling, good-humoured, and generous enough to find themselves with an 80% rookie bowling attack for the decisive fifth ODI. They have won and, importantly, lost with dignified panache. The incoming Australians will only do, at most, one of those two things."

These are just some of the comments transcribed from the ECB's special confidential helpline, set up for English cricket fans who are struggling to come to terms with the end of New Zealand's tour.

"It was an action-packed smorgasbord of attacking cricket, the most vivid month of cricket on this island since the 2005 Ashes," explained the ECB Head of Supporter Counselling, Dr Aethrid Prebble, 53, from Glupp Road, Splenderswick, speaking on condition of total anonymity. "It is entirely normal to experience feelings of loss and regret after a tour like this. Sadness that there were only two Tests, or that we might never see Brendon McCullum in a major series here again; or, if we do, that his average innings will have condensed even further by then to getting out for 24 off five balls.

"There might even be a sense of confusion over some aspects of the cricket we have just witnessed," continued Dr Prebble, while standing on top of his filing cabinet, miming a Kane Williamson featherglide to third man. "For example, how on earth did these two sides transform two of the cricket schedule's least appealing concoctions - the two-Test rubber, and the meaningless bilateral ODI series - into unmissable sporting drama? That is some achievement - the calendar-filling contractual obligation magically mutated into a classic cricketing epic. And what are the authorities going to do to try to prevent this happening again? And why did it take a World Cup from beyond the outer reaches of ineptitude for England to wake up, smell the ODI coffee, and this time actually drink the coffee, instead of just pouring the coffee into a flowerpot and going straight back to sleep? So many happy memories, but so many questions."

Dr Prebble, who has been treating England supporters ever since he was appointed on an emergency short-term contract midway through the 1989 Ashes (after his predecessors all resigned due to the excessive workload), said he hoped the imminent short-awaited series against Australia would help England fans get over their disappointment. "It will probably be closer than many people were expecting," he mumbled. "And even if England lose, at least they are now well set to lose with some visible cojones."

● Batsmen scored at a strike rate of 113.9 in the England v New Zealand ODI series, almost 42% faster than the tournament average for the 2013 Champions Trophy, which was played at the same time of year. The mercilessly unhelpful pitches, unresponsive balls, and green bowling attacks unquestionably all conspired to aggravate the scoring rates, but the impression remains that, under the current regulations, ODI cricket is changing so fast that many of the techniques and tactics used in 2013 already seem almost charmingly obsolete. It sometimes appears that even strokes played two or three overs ago have become slightly archaic, and field positions dreamt up for the previous ball are now as outmoded as the top hat, the uncovered pitch, the maiden, the unbranded bat, or even the untattooed arm.

● Bangladesh's Mustafizur Rahman has made one of the more spectacular entrances to the international arena, taking five, six and two wickets in his first three ODIs, against a strong Indian batting line-up. He was only the 10th bowler to take five wickets on his ODI debut, and has already tied the best of the other nine for most career ODI five-fors. Even the standout name on this rather curious list, Allan Donald, only took one other five-wicket haul in an illustrious 164-ODI career that brought him 272 wickets at 21.7.

● West Indian cricket is once again snuggling in the safe confines of the CPL season, after another crushing Test series defeat. With Chanderpaul selectorially culled and Samuels indisposed, the top six blown away by the ominous baggy green attack in Jamaica were all aged 26 or under - the first time that has been the case for West Indies in a Test, and a rare occurrence for any nation. The previous all-under-27 Test top six was Pakistan's in the Auckland Test of March 2001, when the oldest of their specialist batsmen was - any guesses? - the relatively-long-in-the-tooth debutant Misbah-ul-Haq, currently still elder-statesmaning things up in the Test in Colombo. For a man to be his team's oldest batsman in Test matches 14 years apart is a truly spectacular achievement.

Prior to that, India had an under-27 top six in the first Test in New Zealand in February 1990 (Mohammad Azharuddin turned 27 before the second Test), and Australia in several Tests in 1978 and 1979 when shorn of their senior players by World Series Cricket. Before then, only four Test matches had featured top sixes aged 26 or under - Pakistan against New Zealand in Lahore in both 1969-70 and 1964-65 (the latter occasion only due to 30-year-old Hanif Mohammad being absent in the second innings), New Zealand at Old Trafford in 1937, and Australia in the first ever Test in England, at The Oval in 1880. That Australian top order included 23-year-old Thomas Groube - halcyon days for English cricket, when the Aussies sent over specialist batsmen with a first-class average of 8.5.

Trusting in youth is not always the best policy. The West Indies top six collectively averaged 16.91 in the two-Test series against Australia - the worst ever series average for West Indian top-six batsmen, and the worst by a top-eight Test nation in a home series since India's batsmen failed miserably against the Kiwis in the drawn series of 1969-70 (Bangladesh fared worse in a home series with Pakistan in 2001-02).