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Babar Azam viral on social media during PAK vs AFG Match

Babar Azam viral on social media during PAK vs AFG Match

Babar Azam, the captain of the Pakistani cricket team, has been in the news lately for his performance on and off the field. In a recent ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 fixture against Afghanistan, Babar Azam won social media by showing respect to Afghanistan cricketer Mohammad Nabi. However, this time around, it wasn’t his performance that broke the internet.

Babar Azam Viral Moment

During the match, Babar Azam was tying his shoelaces when Mohammad Nabi approached him for help. Instead of asking him to wait or asking someone else to help him, Babar Azam decided to do it himself as a sign of sportsman spirit. This was a beautiful gesture that won hearts all over the world.

Here are some examples of sportsmanship in cricket:

1. Andrew Flintoff vs Australia (2005 Ashes): During the 2005 Ashes, England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff consoled a heartbroken Brett Lee after England edged past Australia in a cliff-hanger in the second Test in Edgbaston, winning by a slender margin of just two runs.

2. Kane Williamson vs England (2019 World Cup): After New Zealand lost the final of the World Cup on a boundary-count rule in the super over at Lord’s, captain Kane Williamson handled the disappointment with dignity and represented a bunch of cricketers that had played the tournament hard but fair.

3. New Zealand team during the 2019 Cricket World Cup: New Zealand team were lauded for their sportsmanship during the 2019 Cricket World Cup. They displayed an exemplary act of sportsmanship when they chose to appeal against England’s Ben Stokes for obstructing the field during the final.

Here are some well-known cricketers celebrated for their fair play:

  • Sir Don Bradman: Regarded as the greatest batsman ever, Sir Don Bradman stood out for his flawless technique, consistency, and sportsmanlike conduct.
  • Kane Williamson: The current captain of the New Zealand cricket team, Kane Williamson is admired for his composure and ethical play. His sportsmanship has earned him praise on multiple occasions.
  • Imran Khan: While a formidable competitor on the field, former Pakistani cricket team captain Imran Khan was also recognized for his sportsmanship and sense of fairness.
  • Rahul Dravid: Former Indian cricketer Rahul Dravid was noted for his technical skills and sportsmanship. He was honoured with the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award in 2012.

The “Spirit of Cricket” signifies the unspoken principles and values that guide the sport of cricket. It places significant importance on fair play, sportsmanship, and showing respect to both opponents and the game’s officials. This ethos is embedded in the introductory section of the Laws of Cricket, where it’s mentioned that “Cricket’s unique charm lies in playing the game not only by its rules but also in the spirit of the game. Any action that goes against this spirit harms the essence of cricket itself.”

The MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club), responsible for upholding the Laws of Cricket, has always upheld the traditional spirit of the game. The Spirit of Cricket entails playing with determination and integrity, displaying respect towards teammates and adversaries, and exercising self-control. These principles aren’t confined to cricket alone; they also extend to life and other games. Adhering to the rules, demonstrating politeness and respect, and finding lessons in defeat all contribute to making an individual a better person.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) serves as the worldwide governing body for cricket and has undertaken various initiatives and programs to promote sportsmanship among players. Here are a few examples:

  • Spirit of Cricket: The ICC actively promotes the “Spirit of Cricket,” emphasizing fair play, sportsmanship, and respect for opponents, umpires, and the game itself. This ethos is enshrined in the introduction to the Laws of Cricket, stating that cricket’s uniqueness lies in not just following its rules but also embodying the spirit of the game. The ICC has further launched the “Cricket for Good” campaign to highlight cricket’s positive impact on society.
  • Code of Conduct: The ICC has established a Code of Conduct for both players and officials, setting clear standards of behaviour both on and off the field. This code includes provisions for fair play, respect towards opponents, and deference to umpires and match officials.
  • Anti-Corruption Unit: The ICC has formed an Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) aimed at preventing corruption within cricket. The ACU educates players and officials about the risks associated with corruption and provides guidance on how to avoid such practices.
  • Match Officials: The ICC maintains a dedicated team of match officials tasked with upholding the Laws of Cricket and the Spirit of Cricket during matches. This team comprises umpires, match referees, and third umpires.

While the Spirit of Cricket is paramount, several other values hold significant importance in governing the sport. Here are some of them:

  • Respect: Central to the Spirit of Cricket is the value of respect. Players are expected to show respect to their captain, teammates, opponents, and the authority of the umpires.
  • Fair Play: Another crucial value in cricket is fair play. Players are encouraged to compete vigorously but fairly. Accepting the umpire’s decisions and maintaining a positive atmosphere through their own behaviour is integral to this value.
  • Self-Discipline: Self-discipline is also highly valued in cricket. Players are expected to exhibit self-control, even when facing adverse situations.
  • Learning from Defeat: Learning from defeat is a fundamental value in cricket. Players should use losses as opportunities for growth and work to enhance their skills and performance.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is actively advancing diversity and inclusivity in cricket through several initiatives and programs, including:

  1. Gender Equality: The ICC has partnered with UNICEF to promote gender equality and empower women and girls through cricket, fostering inclusion and equality.
  • Olympic Inclusion: The ICC has been striving to include cricket in the Olympic Games. In a significant development in October 2023, the International Olympic Committee’s executive board approved cricket’s inclusion in the program for the 2028 Games in Los Angeles.

In cricket, a hat-trick is a rare and impressive feat achieved by a bowler when they take three wickets with consecutive deliveries in the same match. The deliveries may be interrupted by an overbowl by another bowler from the other end of the pitch or the other team’s innings, but there must be three consecutive deliveries by the individual bowler in the same match.

Only wickets attributed to the bowler count towards a hat-trick; runouts do not count, although they can contribute towards a so-called team hat-trick, which is ostensibly a normal hat-trick except that the three successive deliveries can be wickets from any bowler in the team and with any mode of dismissal. Hat-tricks are rare, and as such are treasured by bowlers.

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