The Spirit of cricket is a much talked about topic in the sport. Everyone has a different point of view on the same but whenever we see such moments of sportsmanship during a competitive game, it brings a smile to the faces of everyone.
Cricket remains a highly competitive sport where even a single misfield or a dropped catch can cost the team an entire match. Yet, there are some incidents in the 'Gentleman's Game' that continue to keep fans' belief in the 'spirit of the game' intact at the Oman Quadrangular T20 series.
In a match between Nepal and Ireland, one such incident of the 'spirit of the game' came alive as wicket-keeper Aasif Sheikh refused to run-out Andy Mcbrine despite the latter being well short of his crease.
It all happened during the third ball of the second-last over of the match which was being bowled by Kamal Singh of Nepal. The batsman on the crease facing Kamal was Ireland's Mark Adair. The batsman failed to properly connect the ball, yet called the non-striker for a quick single.
Though the non-striker responded to the batsman's call, he bumped into the bowler on his way to the other end of the crease. McBrine was a long way from the popping crease when the ball was thrown into the hands of the wicket-keeper.
Kamal Singh Airee threw the ball towards the wicket-keeper but what followed afterwards left everyone in awe of him. Aasif Sheikh collected the ball and while the batsman had lost all hope of completing the run, the Nepal wicket-keeper surprisingly refused to run him out setting a brilliant example of the spirit of cricket.
As far as the match is concerned, Ireland were bowled out by Nepal for 127 runs in 20 overs, with George Dockrell (28) being the top scorer. Curtis Campher (20), Andy Balbirine (19), Lorcan Tucker (15) were some of the other top contributors. Dipendra Singh Airee (4/21) was the top wicket-taker for Nepal.
In reply to the chase of 128 runs, Nepal could only score 111 runs in 20 overs, with Dipendra Singh Airee (28) being the top scorer. For Ireland, a total of 4 bowlers picked two wickets each.
The move, from Nepal who only gained One Day International status in 2018, was widely praised in the cricket community.
As the on-air commentators said, this moment will surely become one of the nominations for this year's ICC Spirit of Cricket Award. Last year, it was New Zealand's Daryll Mitchell who was the recipient of this award for his unbelievable gesture of not taking a single (because of a collision with bowler) in a crunch situation at the semi-finals of T20 World Cup 2021.
"I've got goosebumps here in the commentary box because that's a touching moment," he said.
"It was accidental, and he could have run him out here, and Aasif Sheikh has said, 'No, he's not going to do it because of the spirit of the game'.
"That's your nominee for the Spirit of Cricket Award for 2022 for the ICC."
The 'spirit of cricket' was once again raised, but was widely accepted the show of sportsmanship from Nepal was a good example to the top-tier nations.
Even Cricket Ireland's official page took it to their Twitter handle to appreciate the stunning act.
"It's been said already on many occasions over the last 24 hours, but once more we just want to acknowledge the sportsmanship shown yesterday by @CricketNep - thank you and good luck for the Qualifier ahead. 🙏," the tweet read.
The 'spirit of cricket' controversy resurfaced a couple of years back when Indian player Ravi Ashwin performed a mankad during the IPL in 2019.
The Indian spinner was at it again in 2021 when he was labelled "disgraceful" by Australian legend Shane Warne last year when he took an extra run after a fielder's throw ricocheted off his Delhi Capitals batting partner Rishabh Pant.