It does take buy in from the entire team though and the rest of the BLACKCAPS squad needs to be recognized for this as well © Getty Images
Brendon McCullum added rest of the Blackcaps squad needs to be recognized for this [Spirit of Cricket Award] as well © Getty Images

New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum, who announced his retirement from all formats of the sport on Tuesday has bagged ICC Spirit of Cricket Award 2015. Brendon McCullum is one of the gentlemen in cricket and he exhibited it through his own example in the semi final match against South Africa of ICC Cricket World Cup earlier this year. It was a very close match in which New Zealand emerged as the winner in the penultimate ball of the game. South Africans were very dejected after the loss but a kind-hearted and broad minded McCullum invited the opposition captain AB de Villiers and their whole team to New Zealand’s dressing room after the match. READ: Brendon McCullum passes on the T20I captaincy to Kane Williamson

McCullum was quoted by saying after receiving the award, “The team has loved how the New Zealand public and cricket fans from around the world have responded to the way we’ve played our cricket in the last 12 months. I think the Spirit of Cricket is hugely important and I feel extremely honoured to have received the award. It does take buy in from the entire team though and the rest of the Blackcaps [New Zealand] squad needs to be recognized for this as well.”

Others who received the annual ICC Cricket Awards were Steven Smith (ICC Cricketer of the Year and ICC Test Cricketer of the Year), AB de Villiers (ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year), Josh Hazelwood (ICC Emerging Cricketer of the Year) and Richard Kettleborough (ICC Umpire of the Year). Further, Faf du Plessis’s 119 off 56 balls in the second T20I against West Indies on January 11 was declared as ICC T20I Performance of the Year. Among women cricketers— Meg Lanning was adjudged ICC Women’s ODI Cricketer while Stefanie Taylor was bestowed with the award for ICC Women’s T20I Cricketer. ALSO READ: Steven Smith named ICC Cricketer of the Year 2015 & ICC Test Cricketer of the Year 2015

Talking of McCullum, he is widely considered one of the finest wicketkeeper-batsmen the game has seen. Many cricket pundits regard him as the most explosive wicketkeeper-batsman of all time after Adam Gilchrist. Both McCullum and Gilchrist, besides being great batsmen were excellent glovesmen too.