Like any other team sport, cricket involves empathy, sacrifice, and unselfishness at crucial moments. Cricketers have engaged in unbelievable selfless acts to help the spirit of the game live. Certain players have kept the wants of the game before their needs and this makes them grow not only as cricketers but as human beings. Growing for so many years cricket has seen a lot of history being created on and off-field. The best moments that could touch any person’s heart are-
1) Gautam Gambhir giving away his Man of the Match trophy to Virat Kohli:
These two Delhi batsmen shared a very touching moment when the former decided to sacrifice his prize in order to respect the latter’s efforts. When India had to chase a mammoth 315 in the Eden Gardens (2009) against Sri Lanka, Gambhir and Kohli stitched a match-winning 224 run partnership to help their country cross the line safely. Kohli had scored his first century during the chase as he got out for 107.
However, Gautam remained unbeaten on 150 and ensured victory. When the Man of the Match award was given to Gautam, he passed it on to Kohli as an appreciation of the youngster’s efforts. This act of unselfishness touched many fans and also projected the kinder side of Gambhir.
2) Richard Hadlee not pushing for a 10 wicket haul:
Richard’s 9/52 in the Brisbane test is better known for the way he selflessly denied himself the 10th wicket. The kiwi would have registered himself as the second player in the sport’s history to take all 10 wickets in an innings after English spinner Jim Lakers but he decided to sacrifice for teammate Vaughan Brown who took the 9th wicket before Haldlee cleaned the last batsman.
Brown claimed a wicket only when Hadlee selflessly caught a ball running backward. Sports journalist Frank Keating called it “Catch of the century, not because of the difficulty level but because of the selflessness Hadlee showed.”
3) Javgal Srinath keeps Wasim for Kumble:
14 years after Hadlee’s selfless show, Indian spinner Anil Kumble had taken 9 wickets against Pakistan at Ferohshah Kotla, New Delhi. It was Anil bowling from one end and the great Javgal Srinath from the other. Srinath completed his run-up with no intent to take any wicket as Waqar tried to give away his wicket and let Kumble wait for this once in a lifetime record.
However, Srinath kept bowling, well outside off stump and refused Waqar any chance. In the 61st over, Anil had Wasim Akram caught at short leg which made him the first Indian to reach this milestone. Anil Kumble still thanks Javgal Srinath for his selfless act.
4) Uthappa’s contribution to Rohit’s 264:
Robin Uthappa and Wriddhiman Saha were making a comeback in a series against Sri Lanka in 2014. Both of them needed to prove their mettle in order to continue being a part of the Indian dressing room. Wriddhiman had played the first three ODI’s and Uthappa had to play the final two.
Uthappa walked into the field with India comfortably sitting on 276/04 and Rohit playing on 155. Out of the 9 overs left, Robin played only 16 deliveries and let Rohit go after the others. Rohit Sharma ended up scoring 264, which is the highest individual score in the 50 over format. Rohit scored 91 runs in 43 balls after Uthappa’s arrival. If it wouldn’t have been for Robin’s sacrifice, the Mumbai batsman would have never scored this much.
5) Gilchrist walks off during the World Cup semi-finals against Sri Lanka:
Adam Gilchrist is probably the best wicketkeeper-batsman world cricket has ever seen. His ability to turn match results with the bat and not leave a single opportunity to stump the batsman is something that defines his career. However, the Australian wicketkeeper wasn’t only the best player the team has but also the best opponent other teams could hope for. Players sacrifice for their team but Adam demonstrated kindness for the opponent.
It was the World Cup semi-final match and Australia were playing Sri Lanka. The kangaroos started well by reaching a score of 34-0 in just 5 overs. Winning the world cup won’t have got Gilly so much fame that his actions at the end of the 5th overdid. Gilchrist tried to sweep Aravinda de Silva but managed only an edge that the umpire failed to notice. The Sri Lankans stood surprised and disappointed just before Adam Gilchrist decided to walk off. The entire cricket fraternity was surprised to see such respect for the game. Gilchrist is always remembered for his ethics and this act carved his name on the moral wall of cricket.