“Yesterday was a really special day. It was a magic moment in the game,” Andrew Leonard, the Irish cricket commentator, who was on air at that time, told TOI on Tuesday.
1/9) 🎙️It’s been so inspiring to see this moment go that viral around the world. There’s a few things I might not h… https://t.co/noC9dzFAEj
— Andrew Leonard (@CricketBadge) 1644923148000
“It all happened in a split second. Having followed Nepal cricket closely, instinctively I knew the keeper was not going to take the bails off and was going to do the right thing. I am so glad that he did. It is great credit to him as well as captain Sandeep Lamichhane, who asked the keeper not to rattle the stumps.”
The incident occurred off the second ball of the 19th over, off Kamal Singh Airee, a right arm medium pacer. Batsman Mark Adair’s attempted heave did not go too far. As the bowler rushed to collect the ball in his follow through, he tripped an onrushing non-striker Andy McBrine who, explicably, failed to reach the batting crease. Wicketkeeper Mahamad Asif Sheikh decided against taking the bails off.
“As a team we believe in honesty and always want to play within the spirit of the game. It’s a great character shown by all the boys on the field by greeting the other team. As soon as I saw McBrine fall down, I told Asif not to dislodge the bails and it’s amazing to see he reacted to that quickly and that shows how good this team is,” Lamichhane (21) told this website from Muscat.
Added Asif (22), “Actually, he (McBrine) was running in his line and our bowler accidently crashed into him. He threw the ball towards me and we decided not to run him out. I was clearly watching him running and he was on a right track, so I decided not to take the bails off. Yes, it was a team decision, so credit goes to the team members.”
The entire Nepal bench clapped to applaud the decision. “Culture comes from the top. Head coach Pubudu Dassnayake and all the Nepal players have clearly come together brilliantly. There’s often a lot of talk about the Spirit of Cricket and if it has been lost in the modern age. Nepal may have lost the match but they no doubt won the cricket world’s hearts,” Leonard, who specializes in the world of associate and developing cricket as well as doing the ICC Pathway Events including next week’s T20 World Cup Qualifier, recalled.
McBrine (2-13), Barry McCarthy (2-15) and Simi Singh (2-32) bowled well as Ireland comfortably defended a modest 127 and won 16 by runs in the game of the T20 Quadrangular Series that also involves Oman and UAE. The four teams are preparing for the T20 World Cup Qualifier ‘A’ that starts, also in Muscat, on Friday (February 18) where four more teams — Canada, Germany, Bahrain and the Philippines — will join them. All eight teams will be vying for two spots in the Twenty20 World Cup, to be held in Australia later this year.
The occurrence is reminiscent of famous Courtney Walsh-Abdul Qadir incident in the 1996 World Cup, when the West Indian bowler did not run the batsman despite backing up too much. Daniel Vettori did the same to Zimbabwe’s Malcolm Waller (in November 2011). Similar Spirit of Cricket incidents were witnessed involving GR Vishwanath when he recalled Bob Taylor of England (in a 1980 Test), something Marvan Atapattu did to Andrew Symonds (in an ODI in 2004).