The 12th edition of Indian Premier League got underway on 23rd of March with CSK defeating RCB by 7 wickets in a low scoring affair. The matches following that saw some big-hitting by Andre Russell and Rishabh Pant who single-handedly contributed for their team’s victory.
Victories and defeats are a part of the game, but the character of a player on the field can be an example to others. In order to promote sportsman spirit, the Fair Play Award was awarded after every season of the tournament for the team with the best record in terms of fair play. The winner is decided based on the points they get in every match which is allocated by the umpires. They have criteria like good rapport with the opposition, adhering to the rules as well as respecting the decision of the umpires which account to points.
CSK have won the Fair Play Award six times in twelve seasons. In 2018, Mumbai Indians took home this award. Let us look at the five instances where the spirit of the game was held high.
#1 David Warner stops midway while taking a run to hand the bowler his shoe
This was SRH’s second match of the 2017 edition in their backyard. After a convincing victory against RCB in the opener, they faced Gujarat Lions. Having won the toss, the hosts put the opposition into bat. They managed to score just 135 runs in 20 overs, thanks to some inspirational bowling by Rashid Khan and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar. The target was very gettable with David Warner and Moises Henriques taking the team home after losing Shikhar Dhawan early in the innings.
One incident that was appreciated was the gesture shown by Warner during the chase. It was the tenth over of the match when Moises Henriques pushed the ball down the ground bowled by Basil Thampi. The bowler, in an attempt to stop the ball, lost his shoe in the process. Warner, who was at the non-striker’s end, stopped between the wickets to hand over the shoe and completed the run. Henriques was stunned for a moment, not aware of what had happened.
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#2 Jersey-swapping between Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul
The Kings Punjab took on Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede stadium in a league stage match of the 2018 IPL. MI batted first and put up 186 runs in 20 overs. In reply, the openers scored 34 in the first four overs before Chris Gayle departed which brought Aaron Finch to the center. The pair put up a crucial 111-run partnership for the second wicket.
But in the 17th over, Jasprit Bumrah dismissed Finch for 46 runs. The middle order started to crumble after this which resulted in Punjab losing to the hosts by just 3 runs. KL Rahul’s valiant effort with the bat went in vain with Mumbai’s hopes of qualifying to the playoffs still alive.
After the match, Hardik Pandya and Rahul exchanged their jerseys as a goodwill gesture. This is the first time something like this had happened in cricket but is a common ritual in football. This was widely appreciated in the cricketing fraternity.
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#3 Ajinkya Rahane takes a blinder but admits to having touched the ropes
Rising Pune Super Giant were brilliant with the bat as well as with the ball in the first Qualifier which helped them to book a spot in the final of IPL 2017. Other than their performance, it was the sportsman spirit of the team that caught the eye. It was the 19th over of the Mumbai innings who were nearing a defeat with 8 wickets down already when this happened.
Mitchell McClenaghan slogged the delivery from Jaydev Unadkat towards deep mid-wicket boundary as Ajinkya Rahane tried to hold on to it but put his foot on the rope at the last moment. He also succeeded in throwing the ball to Steve Smith before falling back but was aware that he had made contact.
Without any hesitation, he signaled that it was a six. This not only got praises for him but also added valuable points in Fair Play table. Rahane has always been a man of principles and that has earned him a lot of respect.
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#4 Hashim Amla walks off despite the opposition not appealing
Hashim Amla has always been the player to watch out for in all the formats. He had a very successful run in the 2017 season. Besides, he is also known for his calmness and positive attitude on the field. It was the match in the M Chinnaswamy Stadium against RCB in the 10th edition.
RCB won the toss and put the opposition to bat. Aniket Choudhary started off the proceedings with the new ball and Hashim Amla edged one to the keeper while trying to play a big drive. Nobody in the field appealed for it. Even wicket-keeper Kedhar Jadhav didn’t seem too interested.
To their surprise, Hashim Amla started walking off without waiting for the on-field call. This restored the fact that the spirit of the game was still existent. The whole stadium gave a standing ovation as Amla got back to the pavilion. Punjab went on to defeat the home team by 19 runs.
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#5 Suresh Raina appreciates Rishabh Pant’s knock
This was the league match between Delhi Daredevils and Gujarat Lions at the Feroz Shah Kotla in 2017 IPL. The Lions batted first and put up a mammoth total of 208 runs on the board. The home team chased this down in just 17.3 overs with Sanju Samson and Rishabh Pant contributing for the cause.
Pant was virtually unstoppable as he blasted 97 runs off 43 balls which consisted of six boundaries and nine maximums. He had almost got to his maiden century but fell short by three runs when he nicked one to Dinesh Karthik. He felt dejected and stood there disappointed.
While getting back to the pavilion, the Gujarat Captain Suresh Raina walked towards the young lad, patted his back and appreciated his knock. Pant will never forget this considerate gesture of Raina towards him. Raina is known for his sportsman spirit both on and off the field.
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