Indian captain Virat Kohli has won the ‘Spirit of Cricket’ award for stopping fans from booing Australia’s Steve Smith during the ICC World Cup in England. Kohli was named in ICC’s list of awards for the year 2019. The incident took place when India took on Australia in a round robin match at the Oval, which the Indian team went on to win by 36 runs.
During the clash the Indian fans booed Smith and chanted “cheater, cheater” when Australia were fielding. Kohli urged them to calm down and instead cheer his batting. He was lauded for his act by former Australian captain and legend Steve Waugh.
“Leadership reveals itself in many forms but I thought Virat Kohli’s gesture in calming down the rough reception given to Steve Smith from the Indian spectators was a class act that calmed a volatile situation,” Waugh, who led Australia to World Cup title in 1999, wrote for the ICC.
“I just felt for him, and I told him, ‘I’m sorry on behalf of the crowd because I have seen that happen in a few earlier games as well’. In my opinion, that’s not acceptable,” the Kohli had said in the post-match press conference.