I really do not think you see this level of sportsmanship in any other sport. No wonder we have the adage “it is just not cricket” to describe ‘bad behavior’ (of the Donald Trump kind).
Earlier this year, as I documented, we had British National Hero Ian Botham wiping a tear from his eye when (black) South African youngster Temba Bavuma score his maiden century in Tests — against England. Where else would you see that. A national hero shedding a tear when somebody in the other team scores a century against their country. That was brilliant.
Then Denesh Ramdin indicating that it was NOT a fair catch AFTER the umpire gave it as OUT. There are NO REVIEWS in T20. It would have been a done deal. Even if they saw it on replays after nothing would have been said or done. It was all legit. But Ramdin voided the catch. Yes, we have seen West Indies players not say anything in other ‘questionable catch’ situations — but this was nice. Yes, I know that the outcome of this match did not matter. The West Indies had already qualified for the Semi Finals. But it was grand. Made my day.
And then to have Chris Gayle helping the victorious Afghan players celebrate. Meant a LOT to them and you could tell that. Here was a cricket superstar, from the opposition, sharing their joy. Yes, Chris Gayle did NOT play in the match — and as I just said the outcome of this match did not matter. But it was another lovely gesture. And even greater … The commentators (echoing the views of the fans) applauded. Nobody misinterpreted it as Chris Gayle not being loyal to his team. We all knew that this WAS CRICKET.
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