Nepal national cricket team’s wicketkeeper batter, Aasif Sheikh, has been honoured with the Christopher Martin-Jenkins (CMJ) Spirit of Cricket Award 2022.
Aasif is awarded for his brilliant sporting conduct shown in a Men’s T20 International between Nepal and Ireland in February 2022. Nepal’s star batter was awarded the International Cricket Council (ICC) spirit of cricket award 2022 for the same action.
What is the CMJ Spirit of Cricket Award?
The CMJ Spirit of Cricket Award was created in 2013 by 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. For the first time in its history, MCC and BBC invited public nominations for the award in December 2022. Aasif Sheikh’s conduct for Nepal was adjudged to be the winning entry.
Aasif declined to run out Ireland’s Andy McBrine during the match in Al-Almerat, which was a part of the Oman Quadrangular T20I Series. McBrine was unintentionally turned over by bowler Kamal Airee while trying a run in the 19th over of the Irish innings.
When bowling to Mark Adair, Kamal fielded off his own bowling, and Aasif successfully caught the throw. Although having plenty of time to run out McBrine before the batter was due to make his ground at the striker’s end, Aasif chose not to remove the bails. Sandeep Lamichhane, the captain of Nepal at the moment, supported the action and shook McBrine’s hand as soon as it ended. CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO.
As per MCC, Aasif Sheikh said of the award: “This feels surreal. The CMJ Spirit of Cricket Award is an honour and to receive it, I am simply grateful.
“My parents raised me to be humble and kind in all contexts, my coaches taught me what true team play is, and my teammates who keep encouraging me to do my best are equally a part of this success.
“Regardless of the result, we always strive to play fairly, respect everyone on and off the field and give it our all.
“The moment itself was a spontaneous decision on my/our part not to take the wicket because it would have been unfair to the opponent. We wouldn’t be pleased if our team had got the wicket in that manner since it would be against our culture and the spirit of sportsmanship.
“They say that cricket is a game of gentlemen, and I believe the Spirit of Cricket Award truly signifies that. Thank you, MCC.”