New Zealand all-rounder Daryl Mitchell has bagged ICC Spirit of Cricket Award 2021 for his heart-touching gesture in the T20 World Cup last year. (More Cricket News)
Mitchell had refused to take an easy single in the Black Caps’ T20 World Cup semi-final game against England after he mistakenly came on the way of Adil Rashid, who could have collected the ball.
The incident had happened on the first ball of the 18th over bowled by Adil Rashid. New Zealand were 133/4 and needed 34 off the final 18 balls in a tight chase. Jimmy Neesham, who was on strike, failed to connect his bat to the ball properly and the ball went down the ground with one bounce. Rashid ran to his right to collect the ball but he met Mitchell in between and collided with him, while the ball ran towards the long-on.
Watching the ball travelling for an easy single, Neesham got out of his crease to complete a run. He went half-way down the pitch, but Mitchell denied the single, indicating that he didn’t want to take it as he mistakenly obstructed Rashid’s collection.
"It’s an honour to receive the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award," Mitchell said. "To be part of that T20 World Cup in UAE was an amazing experience, and to receive an award like this is pretty cool.
"It’s something that we pride ourselves on as New Zealanders, the way we go about playing our cricket, and yes, the Spirit of Cricket side. Personally, I felt I got in the way and we wanted to win on our own terms, and didn’t want to be controversial in such a big game.
"It paid off in the long run that we won the game. Looking back, it all happened pretty quickly."
Mitchell becomes the fourth player from New Zealand to be felicitated with the award. He follows Daniel Vettori, Brendon McCullum and Kane Williamson.