As competitive as it might get, cricket isn’t about just winning and losing, as exhibited by the following five players, who stood out for their amazing sportsmanship on the field.
Virat Kohli, 2019 World Cup
The Indian captain is known to stand up for what’s right, be it on the field or on social media. Batting against Australia in the 2019 World Cup, Kohli set an example by urging fans to support Steve Smith, who was being booed by a section of the public. The gesture towards the Australia player, who had returned from a year-long suspension, saw Kohli win the ICC Spirit of Cricket award.
Grant Elliott, 2015 World Cup
New Zealand’s unlikely hero in the 2015 World Cup semi-final against South Africa, Elliott famously hit Dale Steyn for a six to seal a memorable win, letting out a massive roar after sealing a spot in the final for the Kiwis. Next to him lay a dejected Steyn, who was helped to his feet by Elliott, marking a defining moment of sportsmanship.
Adam Gilchrist, 2003 World Cup
Many players have ‘walked’, but one name that instantly comes to mind when thinking about a dismissed batsman who didn’t wait for the umpire is Adam Gilchrist. The wicketkeeper nicked one behind in the semi-final against Sri Lanka off Aravinda de Silva, but instead of waiting for Rudi Koertzen to raise his finger, he ambled away.
Ajinkya Rahane, 2018 Test against Afghanistan
Despite his stellar Test credentials, Rahane has always been the soft-spoken, unassuming figure in the Indian dressing room, letting his actions do the talking. Aside from his bounty of runs, Rahane’s act of inviting Test debutants Afghanistan for a post-match photoshoot with the Indian players was a sight that would have melted many hearts.
Andrew Flintoff, 2005 Ashes
Perhaps the most memorable moment of sportsmanship in this century was captured at the end of the Edgbaston Test in 2005, when Andrew Flintoff put his hand on a dejected Brett Lee after Australia’s heart-breaking two run loss. While the rest of his teammates were jumping about in joy, Flintoff crouched next to Lee, the non-striker, extending his arm out in one of cricket’s most iconic pictures.