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Winners of the 2018 Christopher Martin-Jenkins Spirit of Cricket Award

Winners of the 2018 Christopher Martin-Jenkins Spirit of Cricket Award
Winners of the 2018 Christopher Martin-Jenkins Spirit of Cricket Award

Dan Bowser and Chris Edwards of the England Learning Disability cricket team are the joint winners of the 2018 Christopher Martin-Jenkins Spirit of Cricket Award.

The duo have been recognised for their selfless and sporting actions during England LD’s tour of the Netherlands earlier this summer.

England LD had been defeated by Netherlands Under-17s and Yorkshire Under-17s before facing Denmark Under-17s in the final of three 50-over matches in three days.

After being bowled out for 145, Denmark had reached 138 for 9 when seamer Alex Jervis thought he had found the edge and after a huge appeal, the umpire raised his finger and it appeared that England had won the match.

However, two England players were absent from the celebrations as Bowser, from his position at slip, had informed his captain, Edwards, that the batsman had hit the ground rather than the ball. Edwards decided to withdraw the appeal and play subsequently restarted.

Denmark added four more runs and it looked like England had missed out on victory, however Jervis found the edge again – unmistakably this time – and England won the match by three runs.

Mark Costin, England LD Assistant Coach, said: “I would go so far to say that it is the best thing I have ever seen on a cricket field and I certainly have never seen such a courageous sporting gesture.

“Dan and Chris deserve the very highest recognition for what they did in that moment, under pressure with an international victory on the line, and for them to receive the CMJ Award is fantastic news.”

The award was created in 2013 by Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and the BBC in memory of former MCC President and BBC Test Match Special commentator Christopher Martin-Jenkins, who was passionate about promoting the spirit of the game.

The previous winners of the award since its inception are: Wayne Madsen of Derbyshire; Sussex’s Luke Wright;Brendon McCullum for his sporting conduct as captain of New Zealand; Tom Fell of Worcestershire; and England’s Anya Shrubsole, who claimed the award last year for her sporting actions in the ICC Women’s World Cup Semi-Final against South Africa.

MCC President Lord MacLaurin said: “The Spirit of Cricket is now fully a part of the Laws of the game, and its principles of playing hard but fair permeate all levels of cricket, from the village green to the international stage.

“Dan and Chris have shown not only outstanding sportsmanship, but also superb character and judgement, and they are worthy winners of the CMJ Award.”

BBC Test Match Special Producer Adam Mountford said: “This is just the kind of action which our much missed colleague CMJ would have applauded. He believed passionately that there should be no barriers to getting involved in the game, and that it should always be played in the right way.”