New Zealand won the Christopher Martin-Jenkins Spirit of Cricket award for their “sporting conduct” after the ICC World Cup final at Lord’s. Kane Williamson led New Zealand lost the World Cup after a tied super over in the final on the back of having scored fewer boundaries and were praised by the judging panel for their “sportsmanship, humility and selflessness in defeat” after Jos Buttler’s run-out of Martin Guptill.
The award, made in 2013 by the MCC and the BBC in the memory of the broadcasting great, is presented annually to the player or team that has “best epitomised the principles of playing hard but fair”. Kumar Sangakkara, the MCC president, said New Zealand were perfect winners of the award.
“In the heat of battle they displayed a level of sportsmanship that was fitting for such a fantastic final, and indeed tournament. It is a testament to their squad that even after a match that will live long in the memory for the cricket that was played, we are still talking about the Spirit of Cricket. Their actions deserve this recognition,” he added.
Kane Williamson was presented with the award during their drawn Test in Hamilton this week. New Zealand have registered a convincing win in the first Test against England by an innings and 65 runs on the back of BJ Watling’s 205 off 473 (24*4, 1*6) and Mitchell Santner’s 126 off 269 (11*4, 5*6). Along with this, Neil Wagner bagged a five-wicket haul in the second innings of England and Mitchell Santner picked up 3 wickets and bundled them within 197.
In the second Test, Tom Latham scored a century for New Zealand whereas Stuart Broad picked up a four-wicket haul and Chris Woakes’ three-fer restricted within 375 in their first innings. England Test captain Joe Root smashed 226 off 441 and Rory Burns scored 101 off 209 and put up 476 despite Neil Wagner picking up a fifer.
However, England’s second innings was based on both Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor. Both the experienced players remained unbeaten and have scored centuries before the game match ended in a draw due to rain.