The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced that it will be giving out awards for the decade based on the performances in the last 10 years.
ICC had first started to give out awards for upholding the Spirit of Cricket from the year 2004. It was initially given out to teams which continued till 2010.
The winner is selected based on 'upholding the spirit of the game.' This involves having respect for your opponents, your own teammates, the match officials, and having the traditional values.
The prestigious honor has been given to individuals since 2011. To adjudge the winner of the Spirit of the Cricket Award for the decade, ICC is conducting a poll in which all the winners of the last decade are candidates.
Let us have a look at the candidates for this award and the gesture which helped them received the award in the respective years.
ICC Spirit of Cricket Award of the Decade nominees
Virat Kohli (India - 2019)
The India skipper won the Spirit of Cricket Award in 2019 for stopping fans from booing Steve Smith during the World Cup encounter between India and Australia.
The crowd had shouted “cheater” on the back of the sandpaper gate. Kohli revealed that he later apologized to Steve Smith on behalf of the crowd.
Kane Williamson (New Zealand - 2018)
The 2018 award for Spirit of Cricket was given to the New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson. His behavior on and off the field was cited as the reason.
ICC stated that “Williamson is a shining role model for how our game should be played.”
Anya Shrubsole (England - 2017)
The English medium-pacer was one of the chief architects in England's victory in the 2017 Women’s World Cup.
The semifinal between England and South Africa saw a touching moment when Shrubsole consoled South African skipper Dane van Niekerk who broke down after ending up on the losing side.
This gesture won her the Spirit of Cricket Award for 2017.
Misbah-ul-Haq (Pakistan - 2016)
Former Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq received the Spirit of Cricket Award for 2016 for “inspiring the Pakistan side to play the game in its true spirit” and captaining the side to become number one in Test matches.
Brendon McCullum (New Zealand - 2015)
Brendon McCullum was the captain of the New Zealand side that reached the finals of the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup. They had defeated the South African side in a close encounter to reach the final.
After the game, McCullum invited his counterpart AB de Villiers and the whole dejected South African side to the Kiwi dressing room.
This broad-minded gesture won him the Spirit of Cricket Award for 2015.
Katherine Brunt (England - 2014)
The ICC Spirit of Cricket award winner for 2014 was Katherine Brunt of England. This award was given for recalling South African Marcia Letsaolo during the second T20I between the sides played in Northampton in September 2014.
Having completed the run-out of the batter, Brunt called her back and told the on-field umpire that she wasn’t sure if the ball was in her hand when she dislodged the bails.
Mahela Jayawardene (Sri Lanka - 2013)
Batting on 91 against New Zealand in a Test match at Galle, Mahela Jayawardene gloved one to the keeper and walked off without waiting for the umpire to raise his hands.
This happened at a really crucial stage of the match. ICC clearly took cognizance of this and selected him for the Spirit of Cricket Award in 2013.
Daniel Vettori (New Zealand - 2012)
During New Zealand’s tour of Zimbabwe, Daniel Vettori asked his team to turn down an appeal for the run out of Regis Chakabva after he had unknowingly blocked the path of the non-striker who was going for a quick single.
This happened during a crucial point in the game when Zimbabwe required 64 runs to win with five wickets in hand.
Vettori was adorned with the ICC Spirit of Cricket award for this brilliant gesture.
MS Dhoni (India - 2011)
Former Indian skipper MS Dhoni was the recipient of the ICC Spirit of Cricket award in 2011.
Dhoni’s decision to recall England’s Ian Bell after a controversial run-out decision had prompted ICC to give him this award.
Bell had hit the last ball before Tea and walked off thinking it had gone for a boundary. But the ball was still in play and the bails were removed based on which umpires had adjudged him out.