Competition in sports gets the better of players so often, we learn to forgive them for that. We don't expect them to be 'perfect gentlemen' all the time.
Unless they are Kiwis.
And that is because of the reputation they have made for themselves over the years. With heartwarming gestures and kind words, they have made a permanent place in our hearts and things have come to a point where you can't hate them even when they are playing against India.
Ask captain Kohli.
Here we have made a list of a few of such gestures by the New Zealand cricketers, that make them deserving of all the sportsmanship awards.
1. When West Indies batsman Kirk McKenzie couldn't walk off the field due to cramps, New Zealand Under-19 players Jesse Tashkoff and Joseph Field carried him to the pavillion, in their arms.
The incident happened during the quarter-final of the U-19 World Cup, 2020, and won the young Kiwi players a lot of applause from cricket lovers all around the world.
2. Despite being bogged down due to the team's poor performance against Australia in 2019, NZ captain Kane Williamson addressed the fans at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, and thanked them for their constant support.
"I imagine footballers feel a little bit like this, despite the result. But the passion has been truly inspiring. We want to thank you guys," he said.
3. New Zealand players showed the world what sportsmanship means, when they went to console a heartbroken Carlos Brathwaite whose valiant effort went in vain as West Indies lost the World Cup tie against Black Caps in 2019.
Carlos' 101 couldn't get his team the victory, but it did give Kiwis a big scare. After the match, they abandoned their celebrations to make sure the West Indies batsman was feeling okay.
An amazing picture that defines the Spirit of Cricket. After coming within inches of leading the West Indies to an improbable upset of New Zealand in the @cricketworldcup , Carlos Brathwaite is consoled by New Zealand's Ross Taylor. pic.twitter.com/wiTb3DMbG2— CricAmerica (@CricAmerica) June 23, 2019
4. On noticing that his Sri Lankan fans have brought a cake for his 29th birthday, Kane Williamson ran and had a bite of it, before thanking them for the gesture.
Surely made their day, right?
5. After helping his side clinch a victory in one of the closest-fought cricket matches, New Zealand's Grant Elliott went to a dejected Dale Steyn and helped him get to his feet.
The image of Elliot lending his hand to Steyn after the Cricket World Cup, 2015 semi-final - has become iconic at this point and this incident is talked about every time there is a conversation about sportsmanship in the sport.
6. In 2012, New Zealand bowler Daniel Vittori won the ICC Spirit of Cricket award for the gesture he showed towards Zimbabwe's Malcolm Waller, after colliding with him during one of his spells.
Vittori had collided with Malcolm, accidentally, hindering his run between the wickets. And by that time, striker Regis Chakabva was too far away from the wicket. Even though wicketkeeper Reece Young was successful in affecting a dismissal, Vittori overturned the appeal, confessing that he was at fault there.
7. In a touching gesture, New Zealand's Brendon McCullum asked umpire Steve Davis to lead the players off in his final match.
8. With the World Cup 2019 final and later, the super over ending in a tie, England were declared winners against New Zealand owing to a better boundary count. However, showing great composure and class, Kane Williamson kept smiling through the ceremony and not for once, showed any sign of anger or aggression.
Q: Never sledges opposition??— Faqeer-sajid (@Faqeersajid2) July 15, 2019
Q: Never shout at any player??
Q: Never Fight with umpires??
Q: Never gives up??
Q: Always Smile Any movement??
Describe one word 🤔🤔🤔
Me: This Man💞😍#SpiritOfCricket #KaneWilliamson pic.twitter.com/gKRRsyLktx