Cricket is a sport which is termed as a ‘gentleman’s game’. However when players of two sides compete on-field often the word gentle goes missing as the intensity of competitiveness becomes so high. The sense of victory & defeat is so extreme that often tenets like fair play & honesty get ignored.
The true sportsman spirit often gets deemed under the high urge of emerging victorious in front of the opponent’s team. However, there are several moments where the cricketers have stood up for what is right & displayed good sportsmanship which is inculcated in them since their formative years. Sportsmanship is not mentioned under the laws of ICC or taught like a skill but it is present inside every cricketer which reflects the values they hold as a sportsperson.
Let’s have a look at five best situations when cricketers have stood up for what is right & became true examples of sportsman spirit:
1) Virat Kohli acts as a savior to Joe Root during India’s home test series against England
Virat Kohli is ruling millions of hearts not only because of his excellence on the field but also because of his genuine nature which proudly made him ‘King Kohli’ of gentleman’s game. Kohli’s kind gesture for England’s Captain Joe Root during the first test match of India’s home series against England held earlier this year, indicates the heart of gold he possesses.
During India-England’s first test match Joe Root suddenly suffered a cramp & he lay down on the ground in pain. However ‘King Kohli came ahead to help Joe Root to stop the cramp before it damaged any of his muscles. Joe Root scored a swashbuckling century on day one of the first test match.
Though Root’s in-form batting was proving lethal for India’s victory, Virat Kohli didn’t allow cramp to damage his opposition captain’s batting stint. Virat came for Joe Root’s rescue by stretching his leg & helped him to recover from cramps till the time England’s physio came on the field to check Joe Root.
Virat’s selfless gesture was applauded by his fans & even by Joe Root who thanked the Indian Captain for his kind gesture & sportsman spirit in the post-match conference. Time & again Virat Kohli has depicted the value of good sportsmanship he posses by often behaving genuinely with the opponent team.
2) Andrew Flintoff’s kind gesture towards heartbroken Brett Lee
Ashes are regarded as one of the most crucial test series between arch-rivals England & Australia. The Ashes 2005 is termed as one of the most fairly contested test series ever played in the history of World Cricket. Thrilling ends & some hard-fought battles on-field made Ashes 2005 as one of the most memorable test series to date.
Despite fiery matches played on the field, few moments during the Ashes 2005 displayed true sportsman spirit. One such moment was England’s all-rounder Andrew Flintoff’s heartwarming gesture towards Australia’s cricketer Brett Lee.
England surpassed Australia in the second test of the Ashes series by winning the test by a low margin of two runs. The England team started celebrating their victory but England’s Flintoff ran towards Brett Lee & consoled him. He also congratulated Brett Lee for his fightback that took the visitors very close to victory.
3) Adam Gilchrist fair Gesture during 2003 World Cup Semi-Finals
Adam Gilchrist is famous for his aggressive batting style but less did the world know that Gilchrist possesses a gentlemen’s heart. An incident during the 2003 World Cup Semi-finals displayed the unbiased nature of Gilchrist.
During the 2003 World Cup Semi-finals Gilchrist hit a full delivery off Aravinda De Silva but ended up edging the ball to wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara. However, umpire Rudi Koertzen dismissed their appeal resulting in disappointment among the Sri Lankan players. Despite the umpire’s not-out decision, Gilchrist started walking towards the pavilion. Later Adam Gilchrist was appreciated for his honest gesture taken at one of the biggest stages of International cricket.
4) Imran Khan calls Srikanth back on crease during the India-Pakistan ODI series in 1989
During India-Pakistan ODI in 1989, the Indian opener Kriss Srikanth was wrongly adjudged LBW by the umpire while Srikanth had managed to get an inside edge onto the ball before it hit his pad. Srikanth was upset by the decision & gestured towards the umpire that the ball hit his bat first. Pakistan Captain Imran Khan also knew that the decision given by the umpire was wrong. However, Imran Khan didn’t ignore the fact & talked about it with the umpire. It was Imran Khan who called Srikanth back on the crease again as the umpire was forced to change his wrong decision.
Imran Khan’s genuine gesture despite the fact that Srikanth is of opponent’s team & calling him back to bat could prove costly for his side, reflects his true sportsman spirit. This fair behavior of Imran Khan for Sri Kanth is still remembered in the cricket fraternity as a sheer example of good sportsman spirit.
5) MS Dhoni called Ian Bell back on crease during the 2011 India-England test series
India’s ‘Captain Cool’ can also be termed as ‘Captain Right’ for the impartial decision he took during India vs England test series in 2011. Back in 2011, during the India-England test series, Ian Bell left a run incomplete thinking that the ball had reached the fence & not knowing that the ball was still in the play he started walking back to the pavilion as it was the last ball before the tea break. An active Indian fielder whipped the bails as Ian Bell was outside the crease & it was within the rules. However, at the start of the next session, MS Dhoni called Ian Bell back to bat as England’s batsman misunderstood the scenario & according to Dhoni’s consensus it was wrong to get him out this way. MS Dhoni is not only one of the finest cricketers in World Cricket but also a good human being & a true sportsman which is quite evident with this kind gesture of Dhoni.