London, Sept 12 (IBNS) India's Mahendra Singh Dhoni has won the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award 2011 at the LG ICC Awards in London.
Despite being wrapped up in an intense and difficult Test series in England, the India captain showed the right spirit in agreeing to allow England batsman Ian Bell to continue batting when he was run out in controversial circumstances during the second Test at Trent Bridge in July 2011.
On what was the last ball before tea on the third day, Bell hit the ball towards the boundary. He mistakenly thought it had gone for four, left his crease and headed towards the pavilion assuming the session was over and the ball dead.
Meanwhile the ball, which had not reached the rope and therefore was still in play, was returned to the middle, the bails removed and Bell was correctly given run out.
Upon reflection during the tea interval and following a request from the England team, Dhoni withdrew the appeal and recalled Bell thus turning boos into cheers from the appreciative Nottingham crowd.
ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said: "While the initial appeal and umpire decision were correct to the letter of the law, the decision by Mahendra and his team to withdraw the appeal shows great maturity. To see players and officials uphold the Great Spirit of cricket, which has underpinned the game for more than a century, is very special."
This award is voted by the members of the Emirates Elite Panels of ICC Match Referees and Umpires.
Dhoni's gesture was voted as the winner ahead of that of South Africa's Jacques Kallis, who twice demonstrated such spirit during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 by walking once he had clarified with opposition fielders directly that they had caught the ball cleanly rather than waiting for the umpires to decide.