The year is about to end, and what better to bid it farewell than to walk down memory lane and reminisce about the most memorable cricketing moments of the past 12 months. And, that is exactly what everyone seems to be doing. Editorials are being churned out, videos are being made by former cricketers, debates are being held as to who makes the best XI line-up in Tests, ODIs or T20Is.
In fact, polls are also being held where fans are being asked to vote for their memorable moments of not only the year but also the decade. But, the sport is not only about winning, losing, scoring hundreds, taking wickets or winning World titles. It is also about how the cricketers react to adversity. It is also about how the cricketers react to a defeat or how they display the ‘Spirit of Cricket’ moments. And, the year 2019 was full of such moments.
Here’s a look at top five ‘Spirit of Cricket’ moments in 2019:
5. Virat Kohli walking off despite the umpire not adjudging him out against Pakistan
India vs Pakistan in a World Cup encounter- It doesn’t really get bigger than this. In fact, the stakes are so high, that nothing but a win is acceptable by the fanatics. For Pakistan, every World Cup game against India comes as an opportunity to shrug off the horrors of the past while for the Men in Blue, it comes as a chance to extend their winning streak over their arch-rivals.
The latest World Cup encounter between Indian and Pakistan bore the same script as imperious India notched up yet another win over their arch-rivals, extending their unbeaten streak to 7-0. From the now cult yawning of Sarfaraz Ahmed to Rohit Sharma’s shellacking of the Pakistan bowling attack to the ‘brain fade’ of the Pakistani batting unit, the game had a plethora of cult moments, but none could beat the ‘Spirit of Cricket’ moment displayed by the Indian captain.
In what can be termed as a display of true sportsmanship, Virat Kohli decided to walk off when he thought he had nicked a Mohammad Amir bouncer to Sarfaraz Ahmed. Kohli, of course, hadn’t nicked the ball but the Indian captain decided to do a Adam Gilchrist when he walked off without waiting for the Umpire’s call.
4. New Zealand console Carlos Brathwaite in the wake of the Manchester heartbreak
From “Carlos Brathwaite!!! Carlos Brathwaite….. Remember the name” to “the dream has diminished for Carlos Brathwaite, here in Manchester”, life came a full circle for the burly West Indian at the 2019 World Cup. After having scripted a miracle for the ages in front of a packed Eden Gardens; one that led West Indies to T20 World Cup glory, Brathwaite was well on his way to script yet another sensational heist for his time- this time in the 50-over format- before he proceeded to learn a cruel lesson that this beautiful game.
After having rescued the West Indies from a hopeless situation of 7-164 in pursuit of New Zealand’s 8-291, Brathwaite played an innings of a lifetime [again], shellacking the Kiwis to the tune of 101 off just 82 balls. But, then tragedy struck! Needing 5 runs off the last ball, Brathwaite went for another maximum, only to see Trent Boult end his dream with a brilliant catch just inches short of the boundary.
Brathwaite was inconsolable. Life had come a full circle for him. But then, his opposition had been on the wrong side of the spectrum quite a lot of times in the past. And, they knew exactly how it feels to finish inches short. And, so just like Grant Elliot did with equally broken Dale Steyn in the aftermath of the 2015 semi-final, here were Kane Williamson and his group of men offering a hand to Brathwaite before congratulating him on what was a Brobdingnagian effort.
— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) June 22, 2019
3. Virat Kohli asking the Indian fans not to boo Steven Smith in the World Cup
Virat Kohli and his relationship with the Aussies, and in particular, Steven Smith has had its ebbs and flows in the past decade. Kohli had once declared his friendship with Smith was ‘over’ in the wake of the ‘Brainfade scandal’ during the Bengaluru Test in 2017. But, two years later, during a high-voltage World Cup encounter, it did not come in the way of the Indian captain asking his fans not to boo Steven Smith in the wake of that Newlands ball-tampering scandal.
“I think what happened was long back [Smith’s ball-tampering incident]. He’s back now, he’s trying to play well for his side. It’s not good to see someone down like that, you don’t want to see a guy having that every time he plays,” Virat Kohli had explained in the post-match press conference.
Steven Smith, who was subjected to boos all over England during the World Cup thanked Virat for his ‘Spirit of Cricket’ gesture. “It was a lovely gesture by Virat. It doesn’t really bother me what the crowds do to be perfectly honest. I am just blocking it all out but it was a lovely gesture from him.”
Wow. How good is this from Virat Kohli? Steve Smith is sent to field on the boundary, and immediately cops the most hideous boos from the Indian fans. So Kohli turns to that stand and gestures for them to clap Smith. #CWC19 pic.twitter.com/GBTPaolOXh
— Sam Landsberger 🗯 (@SamLandsberger) June 9, 2019
2. Indian physio strolls out to check the injured Bangladesh batsman
The Pink Ball Test between India and Bangladesh at the iconic Eden Gardens was a historic affair. Not only was it the first-ever Day-Night affair for the two nations, but it was also an occasion where the who’s who of Indian cricket was present to grace the historic affair. And, the Indian fast bowling attack made that event more memorable, albeit at the expense of the Bangladeshi batsman.
It was a combination of pace, hostility and relentlessness of the highest order and the hapless Bangladeshi batting-unit did not have any answers to the menacing trio of Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav. And, it all came to a head when as Nayeem Hasan was struck with a bouncer by Mohammed Shami. Such was the impact of that bouncer that Hasan immediately fell to the ground. But, at the end of the day, it is just a game, and what Team India did next, testified that to the hilt.
After Nayeem fell to the ground, Indian captain Virat Kohli and his fellow teammates converged to check on Hasan, before calling-on their team physio Nitin Patel to attend the injured Bangladeshi batsman.
— BCCI (@BCCI) November 22, 2019
1. Graceful in defeat, the ever-so-humble Kiwis
The World Cup 2019 final was one of the most entertaining encounters in the history of the game. Fans went bonkers after the clash went on to a high-octane Super Over, where England emerged victorious on the basis of superior boundary count. Both the teams were poised in a situation where either side would have been devastated after the heart-wrenching defeat. But not New Zealand, and certainly not the statesman masquerading as their captain, Kane Williamson.
On what was possibly the biggest heartbreak of their career, the Kiwis-led by Kane Williamson gracefully accepted the final outcome, and not for once did they grudge England and their World Cup-winning heist. The BlackCaps, with their humility, set a great example as to how one should react to adversity and heartbreaks. No wonder why, the entire squad was awarded the MCC Spirit of Cricket Award earlier this month.
SportsInfo offers cricket, soccer, kabaddi, tennis, badminton, racing, basketball and other sports news, articles, videos, live coverage & live scores, player rankings & team rankings. Also, offers minute details of any match along with live commentary.
- Top 10 international cricket teams and their New Year Resolutions in 2021
- One player from each country who can win the Man of The Tournament award in the 2021 T20 World Cup
- Team-wise one bowler who can be the leading wicket-taker in T20 WC 2021
- Country-wise number of overseas players who have featured in IPL
- Team-wise memorable moments of the decade