5 revelations made during the Spirit of Cricket speech over the years
The MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture is delivered every year by legendary stakeholders in cricket and it is useful in getting to know the opinions and perspectives of players.
The lecture is organized by Marylebone Cricket Club, England, during the summer and is named after Mr. Colin Cowdrey, one of the past presidents of the club who fought vociferously for the inclusion of 'Spirit of Cricket' as the Preamble to the Code of Laws of cricket.
The series started in 2001 and in 17 years, the speakers have made some highly interesting revelations in their lectures that have stirred the cricket world. Brian Lara's revelations during this year's speech have continued this tradition and in light of Lara's statements, we take a look at five other revelations made over the years during the Spirit of Cricket speech.
#5 Brendon McCullum apologizing for his acts, questioning ICC and remembering Hughes' death, 2016
Brendon McCullum was known for his 'all-or-nothing' attitude while batting and he stuck to that while delivering the spirit of cricket lecture in 2016. The former New Zealand captain conceded that he was anything but a sport during his initial years and in fact loved being called brash and arrogant.
He also recalled his controversial run-out of Muralitharan against Sri Lanka in 2006. Although the run-out was in accordance with the rules of the game, many at the time felt it didn't comply with the spirit of the game.
Looking back, McCullum confessed that what he did was morally wrong and he offered a sincere apology to Kumar Sangakkara, who was batting on 100 at the other end.
He also reserved stern words for the ICC and questioned the board's failure in addressing the ways the anti-corruption unit performs investigations. He gave the example of Chris Cairns and elaborated on how his own name was unnecessarily dragged through the mud in the entire matter. He also questioned ICC's decision to ban Lou Vincent for life even after he "co-operated fully and accepted responsibility for his actions."
However, the most touching part of the former New Zealand player's lecture was the way he narrated the impact Phil Hughes' death had on cricket. He said his teammates wept uncontrollably when they heard the news and weren't in any position to take the field.
"Cricket was meant to be a game, not a life or death struggle," he said. “There was also the realization that it could have been any one of us. None of us ever anticipated that someone could die from a cricket ball, not in this day and age."
McCullum pointed out the void Hughes' death had created by saying, "...no one wanted to be playing cricket. It had lost all meaning."