The ICC Spirit of Cricket Award is annually awarded by the ICC to recognise the player or team upholding the spirit of the game.
Nepal wicketkeeper Aasif Sheikh has been named the recipient of the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award 2022 for his decision not to run out Andy McBrine after the Irish star tripped while attempting a run.
Aasif thus becomes the first player from Nepal to win the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award.
Nepal and Ireland faced off in the sixth match of the Quadrangular series in Oman on 14 February 2022. Ireland were put in to bat first but Nepal had the scoring rate on a leash by picking up regular wickets.
At 113/8 at the end of 18 overs, Ireland needed a late flourish with the bat to post a fighting total.
Kamal Singh Airee was tasked with bowling the 19th over. Off the third ball, Mark Adair went for a big heave over leg-side but the ball hit his leg and dropped towards the leg side. The bowler, in his attempt to retrieve the ball, collided with non-striker Andy McBrine, as a result of which the Irish batter tripped and fell halfway on the pitch.
Airee quickly got to the ball and threw it to keeper Aasif Sheikh, at which point McBrine got back up but was well short of his crease. However, Aasif decided not to whip the bails off, a gesture that received widespread recognition across the cricketing fraternity.
Ireland ended up posting 127 and Nepal fell 17 runs short as they were bowled out for 111.
For the gesture, Aasif Sheikh bagged the Spirit of Cricket Award.
This spirit is described in the preamble to the laws of cricket: “Cricket is a game that owes much of its unique appeal to the fact that it should be played not only within its laws but also within the spirit of the game. Any action which is seen to abuse this spirit causes injury to the game itself.”
The preamble goes on to say: “The spirit of the game involves respect for:
* Your opponents
* Your own captain and team
* The role of the umpires
* The game’s traditional values