New Zealand have been awarded the Christopher Martin-Jenkins Spirit of Cricket award for their sportsmanship after the 2019 World Cup Final defeat. The Black Caps ended up losing the match against England at the Lord’s by the slimmest of margins. After managing a tie in the mandatory 100 overs, there was nothing to separate the teams even in the one-over eliminator.
Yet, the Kiwis couldn’t get their hands on the trophy, falling short on boundary count. Martin Guptill failed to complete the second run and New Zealand ended up losing consecutive World Cup final after the one against Australia in 2015. The judging panel of the ‘Spirit of Cricket’ award, lauded Kane Williamson and Co for their humility and selflessness even after the defeat.
New Zealand’s actions deserve this recognition, says Sangakkara
The award was created back in 2013 by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). It is presented annually to those teams, which has “best epitomised the principles of playing hard but fair”. Kumar Sangakkara, former Sri Lanka player and current MCC President, praised the Black Caps and said that they are ‘worthy winners’ of the award.
“In the heat of battle, they displayed a level of sportsmanship that was fitting for such a fantastic final, and indeed tournament. It is a testament to their squad that even after a match that will live long in the memory for the cricket that was played, we are still talking about the Spirit of Cricket. Their actions deserve this recognition,” Sangakkara was quoted as saying in ESPNcricinfo.
Williamson, the Kiwi skipper, was given the award during the second Test between the Kiwis and the Three Lions at the Seddon Park in Hamilton. In the same match, captain Kane scored an unbeaten 104 on the fifth day and helped his team draw the match and therefore win the series 1-0.
Earlier, after all the chaos and criticism on giving the World Cup to England on boundary count, the controversial rule was eventually scrapped. The ICC formed a rule wherein teams will have to play another Super Over with no limit placed on number of Super Overs for breaking the deadlock.
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