Cricket West Indies, was on Friday, confered with the 2020 Christopher Martin-Jenkins Spirit of Cricket Award for their courage of sending the men's and the women's team to tour England amid the COVID-19 pandemic that had caused a massive disruption to cricket's calendar year.
Jason Holder's men faced England in a three-match Test series in July, the contest that kicked off international cricket amid the pandemic. The team had arrived in the United Kingdom in early June and were quarantined for a mandatory period of 14 days before they played an intra-squad practice game followed by the Test series. Later in September, West Indies Women’s team, led by Stafanie Taylor reached England for a a five-match T20 international series.
The two contests helped pave the way for other international cricket fixtures around the world.
The Christopher Martin-Jenkins Spirit of Cricket Award was initiated in 2003 by MCC and the BBC and was previously won by Wayne Madsen of Derbyshire; Sussex’s Luke Wright; Brendon McCullum of New Zealand; Tom Fell of Worcestershire, England’s Anya Shrubsole, and Dan Bowser and Chris Edwards of the England Learning Disability Team. Last year, the New Zealand cricket team was honoured with the trophy for their sporting conduct in the 2019 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup in England.
MCC President Kumar Sangakkara said: “In a year when cricket has brought us much solace, it is entirely fitting that Cricket West Indies and their Men’s and Women’s teams should be recognised for the courage of their decision to tour England, an act which truly embodies the Spirit of Cricket. “The whole cricketing world appreciates the lengths that both they and the ECB went to so that cricket could be played at the height of the pandemic, and their contribution should be remembered warmly. “The Pakistan Cricket Board, Cricket Ireland and Cricket Australia should also be commended for their actions, with each body making an important contribution to ensure England could host a full international summer, which was enjoyed by supporters around the globe.”
Chief Executive of Cricket West Indies Johnny Grave said: “We are delighted that our Men’s and Women’s teams have won the prestigious Christopher Martin-Jenkins Spirit of Cricket Award. On behalf of everyone at CWI, I’d like to thank MCC and the BBC for recognising the efforts that our teams made, in close collaboration with ECB, to ensure that international cricket returned safely to the global stage. "It was a bold but necessary decision made by the CWI Board, supported by those who travelled to the UK, in keeping with our Cricket First philosophy. “I must also thank the ECB, along with Hampshire, Lancashire and Derbyshire who hosted our teams this summer and ensured that they were kept safe during both tours.” BBC Test Match Special Producer Adam Mountford added: “In this most difficult of years, the Spirit of Cricket has never been more important. The West Indies Men’s and Women’s teams made huge sacrifices and took personal risks to keep international cricket going and provide a crucial distraction for fans across the world.”