Aasif Sheikh wins the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award 2022
The ICC Spirit of Cricket Award is an annual award given by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to recognize a player or team that best exemplifies the spirit of the game. The award is intended to celebrate exceptional sportsmanship and fair play in international cricket.
2022 cricket match between Nepal and Ireland:
Nepal’s wicketkeeper Aasif Sheikh was awarded the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award for his decision not to run out the Irish player Andy McBrine. During the match, McBrine tripped while attempting a run and was lying on the ground, unable to move. Instead of running him out, Sheikh, who had the ball in his hand, waited for McBrine to recover and get back on his feet before continuing with the game, demonstrating exceptional sportsmanship and fair play. This decision earned Sheikh the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award, which recognizes individuals or teams who exemplify the spirit of the game through their actions and conduct on the field.
Aasif Sheikh has made history by becoming the first player from Nepal to win the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award, recognizing his sportsmanship and fair play during a match against Ireland where he demonstrated exceptional conduct on the field by not running out an opposing player who had tripped.
A heart-warming #SpiritOfCricket moment from Nepal's wicket-keeper Aasif Sheikh 👏— ICC (@ICC) February 16, 2022
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Nepali wicketkeeper Aasif Sheikh bags ICC Spirit of Cricket
What had happened
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.