Strangest Man of the Match choices in cricket
In cricket, Man of the Match awards are handed over as a token of brilliance to individual performances. A standout knock, a disciplined spell or a combination of both qualify the player for the best player honours.
Generally given to the best player of the winning side, there have been several instances when the MoM was given to a player of the losing side, making a deep impact on the proceedings of the game.
However, there have been some distinct incidents, where Man of the Match awards were given for reasons unprecedented. Let's have a look at these incidents:
#5 Team Man of the Match award
Man of the Match awards are given to appreciate the standout performance of an individual player in a game. However, there are some interesting incidents where the entire squads ended up getting the MoM Award.
The first instance occurred in the fourth ODI of the 1996 New Zealand tour of West Indies, where the Kiwis managed 158 runs batting first, with Spearman top scoring with 41. It turned out to be a low-scoring thriller, and the visitors edged the home side by four runs, helped by a disciplined spell of all the bowlers. The entire team received the Man of the Match award.
Five months later, another such incident occurred at Trent Bridge, where Pakistan locked horns with England in the third ODI of the tour at Trent Bridge. Batting first, England managed to put 246 runs on the board, as Nick Knight, who carried his bat with a wonderful hundred, failed to solicit support from the other end. Pakistani side executed their game plan to perfection as a team, with each player contributing vitally with the bat or the ball. Once again, the entire team ended up getting the best player honours.
One such incident also occurred in the longest format, in the fifth Test match of the 1998-99 West Indies tour of South Africa. The Proteas completed a whitewash, winning the game by a huge margin of 351 runs, their biggest win of the tour.
Such a resounding win requires sound coordination among all the three departments of the game, which was exactly what the home team did. The players justified their role to perfection, resulting in an all-round effort and another team MoM award.