New Zealand’s outstanding display, both on and off the field, in the epic ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 final at Lord’s has earned them the Christopher Martin-Jenkins Spirit of Cricket award for 2019.
Kane Williamson and his team were universally lauded for their grace and humility after being denied the 50-over trophy despite tying scores in both the regulation 100 overs and the Super Over, as England trumped them on a boundary count.
On an emotionally charged night, with the most prestigious price in one-day cricket at stake, New Zealand showed nothing but class after suffering heartbreak. Kumar Sangakkara, the president of the Marylebone Cricket Club, one of the creators of the award, commended the Blackcaps, saying: “The New Zealand team are worthy winners of this award. In the heat of battle, they displayed a level of sportsmanship that was fitting for such a fantastic final, and indeed tournament.
He added, “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.”
The award was the brainchild of the MCC and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), created in 2013, in memory of Martin-Jenkins, the former MCC president and BBC Test Match Special commentator, to honour his longstanding passion and desire to see the game played in the right spirit.
It was presented to Williamson during the drawn second Test between his team and the same side they faced in the World Cup final, England, at Hamilton’s Seddon Park.