the New Zealand Cricket team have been awarded the 2019 Christopher Martin-Jenkins Spirit of Cricket Award.
The team has been recognised for their sporting conduct in the aftermath of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Final at Lord’s.
After losing to England in a thrilling final – regarded as one of the most exciting One-Day International matches of all time – Kane Williamson’s team displayed an exceptional level of sportsmanship, humility and selflessness in defeat.
On an unforgettable day at Lord’s, England won their first ever ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, as they initially levelled the scores to tie with New Zealand at the end of the 50 overs before going on to tie the Super Over as well – winning the tournament by virtue of striking a higher number of boundaries during their innings. New Zealand were widely praised for their sportsmanship in the immediate aftermath of the final, and their exemplary conduct towards opposition players throughout the tournament.
The CMJ Spirit of Cricket award was created in 2013 by Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and the BBC in memory of former MCC President and BBC Test Match Special commentator Christopher Martin-Jenkins (“CMJ”), who was passionate about promoting the spirit of the game. The sporting attitude of the New Zealand team was exactly the type of behaviour that Christopher would have applauded.The award has previously been won by: Wayne Madsen of Derbyshire; Sussex’s Luke Wright; Brendon McCullum of New Zealand; Tom Fell of Worcestershire; and England’s Anya Shrubsole.
Last year’s joint winners were Dan Bowser and Chris Edwards of the England Learning Disability Team, who were recognised for their outstanding sporting actions during the team’s tour of the Netherlands.
MCC President Kumar Sangakkara said: “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.
“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.”
BBC Test Match Special Producer Adam Mountford said: “Our much missed former colleague Christopher Martin-Jenkins always wanted to see the game played in the right way.
“He would have loved to see England win the men’s World Cup for the first time, but he would have equally applauded the way New Zealand coped with the disappointment of defeat.”
A presentation was made to New Zealand captain Kane Williamson during the second Test Match against England at Seddon Park in Hamilton.