Cricket is known as a gentleman’s game and although you can’t always have that same gentlemanly attitude when you are looking to compete hard, it is always important to play the game in a dignified and graceful manner. Over the years there have been a numerous instances when some of the gestures from the players on & off the field have managed to win hearts of fans and even the opponents. In this article, we take a look at few instances of goodwill gestures of Indian cricketers in modern day cricket.
Team India waves Sri Lankan Flag
It was the final of Nidhahas Trophy which was being played in Sri Lanka. Hosts were knocked out by Bangladesh in a controversial manner by Bangladesh leaving the home fans stunned. Their wild celebration made them angry as well. When India faced Bangladesh in the Final, lots of Sri Lankan fans even when their home side wasn’t playing filled up the stadium only to support India.
In return, when India won the match thanks to an incredible knock by Dinesh Karthik in the last moments, Indian team members acknowledged the crowd support by waving Sri Lankan flag in the stadium.
Virat Kohli telling Indian fans not to boo Steve Smith
This was one of the most talked about moment in the cricket world cup 2019. In a league game between India and Australia, Steve Smith who was making a comeback to cricket after facing one year suspension due to ball tampering was being booed by a section of crowd while fielding on the boundary line.
Virat Kohli who was batting at one end noticed it and instantly made a gesture to applaud Indian batsmen instead of booing Smith.
“Just because there are so many Indian fans here, I just didn’t want them to set a bad example, to be honest, because he didn’t do anything to be booed in my opinion” – Virat Kohli
Indian captain Virat Kohli was later awarded with ICC Spirit of Cricket Moment award for this heartwarming gesture in the ICC annual awards few days before.
Dhoni calls back Bell
This incident takes us back to 2011 when Team India was going through a rough phase in Test Cricket. India lost all their 8 Tests on their tours of Australia and England and subsequently their number 1 ranking as well but what won a million of hearts was Dhoni’s decision to call back Ian Bell after he was given run out legitimately under the laws.
The incident took place on the last ball of 66th over of the inning which also happened to be the last ball before Tea when Morgan flicked a ball to deep square leg to run 3. The English dressing room was at the bowling end and hence Morgan took off for the Tea break thinking it’s already a 4. Bell too from the wicket-keeper end jogged halfway through the pitch to join Morgan. A tumbling Praveen Kumar had saved the boundary and Abhinav Mukund had dislodged the bails at Bell’s end.
Indian persisted with their appeal, umpires found Bell out according to the rules. The crowd started booing Dhoni and Indian team which turned into cheers when Dhoni after the intervention of Sachin Tendulkar during Tea break decided to call Bell back withdrawing his appeal right after the Tea. For this incident, Dhoni was awarded with ICC spirit of cricket moment that year.
Rahane calls Afghanistan team for a photo at the podium
When Afghanistan played their first ever Test match which was scheduled in India, Ajinkya Rahane who was captaining Indian team in that game decided to call Afghan players for a combined picture on the podium even when they were badly defeated in their debut game. Rahane’s gesture was widely admired by lots of Indian and particularly Afghan fans who were just too pleased to see their players getting such treatment regardless of the result. Well, the game was beginning of an era for Afghan cricket and hence it was beyond any result.
When Indian players met their oldest fan
Another incident from 2019 World Cup which became talk of the town when Indian players greeted their oldest fan who unfortunately passed away just this week. 87 Years old Late Mrs Charulata Patel was seen cheering for Indian team in a World Cup league match against Bangladesh. Indian players, particularly Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma noticed it and went to meet & seek her blessings completing the match. She was also known as Team India’s Super fan.
Not just it’s important to play this game in the right spirits but sometimes acknowledging the fans also gets necessary since it is the fans who keep the game alive.