Following his gesture in the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup semi-final against England in Abu Dhabi, New Zealand’s Daryl Mitchell has been recognised as the recipient of the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award. Mitchell joins Daniel Vettori, Brendon McCullum, and Kane Williamson as the fourth New Zealander to receive the award.
Mitchell earns the award for refusing to take a single against England in the high-pressure T20 World Cup semi-final in Abu Dhabi on November 10, 2021.
Mitchell expressed his gratitude for receiving the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award, saying, “It is an honour to win the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award.” “Being a part of the T20 World Cup in the UAE was an incredible experience, and it’s wonderful to be recognised for it,” he said.
“The way we play cricket, and certainly, the spirit of cricket, is something that we as New Zealanders are proud of.” That, in my opinion, got in the way of us winning on our own terms.” I wanted to, but I didn’t want to cause a stir in such a major event.”
England and New Zealand battled it out in the first semi-final of the ICC Men’s 2021 T20 World Cup at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi to reach the final. With Moeen Ali’s half-century, England had posted a competitive 166/4 on the board in their first innings.
With a relaxed Mitchell forming a relationship with James Neesham, who was in blistering form, New Zealand was on their way to winning the run chase. With the score at 133/4, the incident occurred on the first delivery of Adil Rashid’s 18th over.
It would have been an easy single if Neesham hadn’t slammed the ball down the ground. But Mitchell, at the non-end, striker’s declined to run, admitting that he had obstructed Rashid – Mitchell’s gesture oozed elegance in a high-pressure chase with a place in the World Cup final on the line.
New Zealand eventually won the match by chasing down the total with an over to spare. Mitchell, who opened the batting, proved to be the match-winner, striking the winning runs with a spectacular 72* in only 47 deliveries.
New Zealand finished second in the competition after falling short at the final hurdle against Australia, who won by eight wickets.
Former England cricketer Nasser Hussain, who was commentating at the time, showered Mitchell with adulation. “Wow, that’s fantastic. That is unmistakably New Zealand. It’s very simple to go for a run there. ‘No, I’m in the path of Adil,’ answered the non-striker. “If there was one thing that summed up New Zealand cricket, it was that,” he added.
Mitchell, as stated by ICC, explained why he declined the run: “It was a fairly tight game against England in the semi-final, with only a few overs to go.” I felt like I’d stopped Rashid from getting to the ball because Neesh (Jimmy Neesham) smashed a single down to long-off.
In the prologue to the Laws of Cricket, this spirit is stated as follows: “Cricket is a game that has a lot of appeals since it should be played not only according to the rules but also in the spirit of the game. Any conduct that is perceived to be an affront to this spirit is harmful to the game itself.”