Who has won the Spirit of Cricket award over the years and for what reason?
Former Indian Captain MS Dhoni who bid goodbye to cricket in August last year won the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award of the Decade. He was awarded for his decision to recall Ian Bell after a controversial run out in the 2011 Nottingham Test between England and India. He had also won ICC Spirit of the Cricket Award of the year in 2011 for his gesture. Ian Bell was run out on 137 on the final ball of the afternoon session on the third day of test as he mistakenly assumed that ball had reached the rope and gone 4, but the fielder had stopped the ball before it touched the rope. Abhinav Mukund then broke the stumps while Ian Bell wandered off to talk to non-striker Eoin Morgan. Indian Captain decided to retract the appeal over the course of tea.
Here are other winners of ICC Spirit of Cricket Award over the years in the last decade.
Daniel Vettori -2012
New Zealand left-arm spinner, Daniel Vettori had won the ICC Spirit of Cricket award for a sporting gesture during a Test against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo in November 2012. The match was heading for a close finish, when Daniel Vettori accidentally collided with the non-striker Malcolm Waller during his follow-through. Waller was hindered while taking the single and by that time, the striker Regis Chakabva was too far down the track to get back. New Zealand wicketkeeper Reece Young took off the bails, but Vettori immediately indicated that he had blocked Waller. Then New Zealand decided not to appeal for Chakabva’s wicket.
Mahela Jayawardene- 2013
The great Sri Lankan batsman Mahela Jayawardene while batting on 91 with Sri Lanka on 229-7, gloved Jeetan Patel’s delivery and was caught by New Zealand wicketkeeper Kruger van Wyk. He started walking before the umpire raised his finger. His nomination came from a member of New Zealand’s team who felt that Jayawardene deserved recommendation for the award as it happened at a very crucial stage of the match.
Katherine Brunt – 2014
The England cricketer Katherine Brunt won the ICC Spirit of Cricket award in 2014 as a result of an incident during England Women’s second T20 game against South Africa in Northampton in September 2014. Brunt had called South Aftica’a batter Matshipi Letsoalo despite completing the run-out. She told the on-field umpire that she wasn’t sure if the ball was in her hand when she dislodged the bails. When checked on the television replay, the umpire reversed the decision and Letsoalo continued her innings.
Brendon McCullam- 2015
Former New Zealand Captain Brendon McCullam bagged ICC Spirit of Cricket Award 2015 for his gesture against South Africa in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. New Zealand’s team won the match in the penultimate ball of the game. South African players were devasted after the loss. Some players couldn’t control their tears after the loss. However, Brendon McCullam, being the true gentleman, called opposite captain AB de Villers and their whole team to New Zealand’s dressing room after the match.
Former Pakistan’s Captain Misbah-ul-Haq won the 2016 ICC Spirit of the Cricket award for inspiring his team briefly to number one position in the Test rankings. He also became the first Pakistani player to have won such award.
Anya Shrubsole – 2017
England bowler Anya Shrubsole won the ICC Spirit of Cricket award in 2017 for consoling Dane can Niekerk after winning the ICC Women’s World Cup semi-final at Bristol. Anya Shrubsole consoled distraught Niekerk instead of celebrating after hitting the winning runs in a highly dramatic match.
Kane Williamson – 2018
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson clinched the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award 2018 for an exemplary year for his both on-field and off-field behaviour. Following the path of his former captain, Kane Williamson is considered a true gentleman of the game like Brendon McCullam.
Indian captain Virat Kohli had won the Spirit of Cricket Award in 2019 for showing great sportsmanship during the 2019 World Cup match between Australia and India. During the match when Virat was batting, a section of the crowd was booing Steve Smith. Virat stepped in and asked the crowd to cheer for the former Australian captain rather than booing him. Steve Smith had returned to international cricket following a one year ban for ball-tampering.
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