Daryl Mitchell wins the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award

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Daryl Mitchell has won ICC Spirit of Cricket Award


Daryl Mitchell wins the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award

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SportsCafe Desk


New Zealand all-rounder Daryl Mitchell has won the prestigious ICC Spirit of Cricket Award for 2021 on Wednesday, February 2. Mitchell received the ICC honour for refusing a single during a high-pressure run chase in a fixture against England in the semi-final of T20 World Cup 2021 in Abu Dhabi.

New Zealand's Daryl Mitchell has won the prestigious ICC Spirit of Cricket Award as announced by ICC on Wednesday, February 2. Mitchell was rewarded for an incident from the T20 World Cup last year, during which he displayed spirit of cricket. Mitchell refused to pick a single at a crucial stage of the run chase during the semi-final clash against England in the T20 World Cup 2021. 

New Zealand were chasing a target of 167 to enter the final of the marquee event. At a stage, the Kane Williamson-led side were in need of 34 from 18 balls. Adil Rashid tried to stop a ball on his follow-through after James Neesham played it just wide of the bowler. Rashid collided with non-striker Mitchell and the latter refused to take single as he felt he was in the bowler’s way. 

Mitchell eventually won the match for the team as he played a knock of unbeaten 72, and guided New Zealand into the final of the T20 World Cup 2021. After receiving the Spirit of Cricket Award, Mitchell stated that his team wanted to win the game within the spirit of cricket, and so he refused the single 

"It is a real honour to receive the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award and it was absolutely amazing to be part of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup that happened in UAE last year," Mitchell said. "Reflecting back, it was a pretty tight game against England at the semi-final of the tournament with only a few overs to go, Neesh hit a single down to long-off and I think I obstructed Rashid who was trying to get to the ball.

"We pride ourselves as a team, in the way we play our cricket and I guess that's the spirit of cricket. Personally, I felt like I got in the way, and we wanted to win but on our own terms. I guess it paid off in the long run, that we won the game. We want to win every game, but we don't want to do it in a way that goes against the values of cricket. The spirit of cricket is very important. It is a platform for young cricketers to watch and learn and to get inspired to play the game and go about winning it in the right way."

Mitchell is the fourth player from New Zealand to have received this award after Daniel Vettori, Brendon McCullum and Kane Williamson.

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