One of the most anticipated awards at the ICC annual awards is the spirit of cricket award. A few years back cricket had become so intense that some players thought it was a boxing ring where just the victory mattered.
Thankfully, the boards have become proactive now, and are
instructing their teams not to step over the line.
The disciplinary action against some well-known hell-raisers has made the authorities look seriously at the issue. The players though still have an odd chirp here and there, but that's generally not personal and nasty.
New Zealand won the Spirit of Cricket Award this year which is adjudicated by the umpires and match referees. Just a day earlier, the cricketing world had seen the evidence of the spirit when Daniel Vettori recalled Paul Collingwood after he was adjudged run-out as he went down the pitch after awkwardly moving away from a short delivery thinking the ball was dead and it was the end of the over.
Brendon McCullum who had gathered the ball behind the wickets saw Collingwood out of his ground and rolled the ball and knocked down the stumps and appealed.
The square leg umpire went up to the TV umpire who ruled it out since the batsman was quite clearly out of his crease. Collingwood stood his ground and both umpires, after conferring with each other and then with Daniel Vettori, withdrew the appeal and so Collingwood could resume his innings.
It was quite ironic that Collingwood was the beneficiary, since a couple of years back when he was captain of England's one-day squad, he had refused to recall a New Zealand batsman who had collided with the bowler and so was stranded well out of his crease.
He was criticised heavily in the media then and it was probably one of the reasons why he opted to quit the captaincy a little while later.
Again ironically it was the same New Zealand team which had appealed successfully when Muttiah Muralitharan went out of his crease to congratulate Kumar Sangakarra on completing his century.