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Cricket, known as the gentleman’s game, has witnessed Indian cricketers upholding this revered tradition in various instances. Modesty, a significant quality for leaders, has played a pivotal role in winning hearts while pursuing other objectives. In the realm of cricket, however, modesty may appear scarce amidst the rapid escalation of competition, occasionally giving way to unsightly behavior. Yet, players have defied this trend, consistently displaying sportsmanship that transcends the fierce nature of the sport. They serve as a reminder that, despite the challenges, upholding the values of fairness, respect, and humility is not only possible but essential for the spirit of cricket to thrive. In this blog, we will look at some of the instances where cricketers proved that cricket is a gentleman’s game.
MS Dhoni: Undoubtedly the Captain Cool
From a young lad with long hair who was famed for his destructive stroke-play, to a formidable leader who transitioned Team India, ushering in a sense of tranquility; the journey of MS Dhoni has been one to cherish for the ages.
While Dhoni always stressed on ‘winning big’, he also stressed on ‘winning fair’. He never adopted any unscrupulous means to edge over his opponents, and always played the game in its true spirit and integrity.
Instance: In the second Test match of the 2011 series against England at Lord’s, MS Dhoni exhibited a great sense of sportsmanship as he called England’s Ian Bell back after he was run out in one of the strangest fashions.
Eoin Morgan directed the delivery of Ishant Sharma towards the boundary, which was put into play by Praveen Kumar, who went outside the ropes in an effort to save the ball. This being the last ball before tea, the batsmen felt that the ball had gone for a boundary and started walking off the ground. However, Kumar threw the ball back which was collected by Abhinav Mukund, who dislodged the bails, appealing for the run-out.
The umpires consulted the third umpire, who ruled Bell out. However, everyone was amazed to see Bell walking back to bat post tea, as the appeal was withdrawn by MS Dhoni. Dhoni went on to receive the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award at a ceremony in London the next month for his sportsman spirit. This incident showed that cricket is indeed a gentleman’s game.
Rahul Dravid: As humble & modest as one can be
Instance: Like most children who grew up in India in the 1990s and the 2000s, Akshay Dhoke was a cricket fan and admired Dravid. Sadly, Akshay was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago and wished to speak to his idol. Although Dravid couldn’t travel to meet the boy, he took time out and interacted with him through Skype. It was a big day for Akshay as one of his dreams come true.
Unfortunately, Akshay succumbed to his illness later. If you watch the video uploaded by Akshay’s relative, you would be moved by the interaction.
When Sachin walked out!
Instance: During the 2011 World Cup in the match against the West Indies, Sachin Tendulkar showed no hesitation to walk after the ball had hit the glove while he faced a bouncer from Ravi Rampaul. The umpire was unsure but his quandary was solved by Sachin who decided to walk out off the field.
A great ambassador of cricket, Sachin will be remembered for this sporting gesture as much for his match-winning knocks during his career.
Assisting Faf du Plessis during cramps
Instance: This incident occurred during the fifth ODI between India and South Africa at the Wankhede, Mumbai, which was a series decider. Though the South African batsman was on great track, hot and humid weather was taking a toll on their bodies, with players constantly suffering from cramps.
Same was the case with Faf du Plessis. He was in excruciating pain by the time he reached his hundred. Hence, he tried hitting a few strokes to maintain the flow of runs.
In one such attempt, du Plessis got a horrible cramp on his legs and screamed out in pain. Dhoni immediately recognized the urgency of the situation and immediately went to du Plessis’ assistance, before the Protea medical team arrived.
In a situation when any captain would have been stressed due to the mounting pressure and take the break to make new plans, MSD went to Faf’s assistance, without wasting a second. This speaks volumes about his spirit and values for his competitors.
When New Zealand players carry injured West Indies batsman
Instance: In a heartwarming moment during the ICC U-19 World Cup quarter-final match between New Zealand and West Indies, Kiwi players Jesse Tashkoff and pacer Joseph Field came to the aid of injured West Indies batsman Kirk McKenzie, helping him off the field. It was one of the beautiful moments in sports.
The incident occurred in the 48th over when West Indies concluded their innings with a total of 238 runs. McKenzie, the final batsman to be dismissed, experienced cramps that made it difficult for him to walk off the field. Recognizing his struggle, the New Zealand players selflessly carried him off, displaying sportsmanship and camaraderie. This incident showed that cricket is indeed a gentleman’s game.
David Warner picks up the bowler’s shoe and returns it
Instance: In the 10th over, during the last delivery, Moises Henriques struck the ball and went for a single. David Warner, positioned as the non-striker, observed that bowler Basil Thampi had lost his shoe during his follow-through. Showing sportsmanship, Warner halted, handed the shoe back to Thampi, and then resumed and completed the single run. It was one of the beautiful moments in sports.
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David Warner Ties Hardik Pandya’s Shoelaces
Instance: In a heartwarming moment during the match, Australian opener David Warner assisted Hardik Pandya with his shoelaces. When Pandya encountered trouble with his laces in the 32nd over of India’s innings, Warner approached and tied them for him. After completing the task, Warner resumed his fielding position, but not before Pandya extended his arm for a fist bump. Showing sportsmanship, Warner reciprocated the gesture before heading back to his fielding position. This incident showed that cricket is indeed a gentleman’s game.
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