The New Zealand cricket was handed the Christopher Martin-Jenkins Spirit of Cricket award for their exemplary show of sportsmanship during the epic final of the ICC World Cup at Lord’s in July.
Kane Williamson and Co finished runners-up after a boundary count rule – which has now been scrapped – saw England lift the trophy for the first time.
The New Zealand was presented the award, the brainchild of the Marylebone Cricket Club and the British Broadcasting Corporation, during the drawn second Test against England at Hamilton’s Seddon Park.
MCC President Kumar Sangakkara commended the BlackCaps, saying: “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.”
Set 242 to win, England needed nine runs from the final three balls when a throw by Martin Guptill deflected off diving Ben Stokes’ bat for a boundary and the hosts were awarded six runs by the umpires, who also considered the two runs taken by the batsmen.
That decision kept England in the hunt as they also tied the ensuing Super Over and lifted the trophy on the basis of the boundary count rule.
Former ICC Elite Panel umpire Simon Taufel felt the umpires should have given five runs instead of six.
The award was the brainchild of the MCC and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), created in 2013 in memory of Martin-Jenkins, the former MCC president and BBC Test Match Special commentator, to honour his long-standing passion and desire to see the game played in the right spirit.