One of the most crucial and unfortunate moments in the World Cup final was the four over throws that England got when a throw from the deep hit the bat of a diving Ben Stokes and got deflected to the boundary. This was a most unwanted occurance in a game that was otherwise dominated by the brilliance of the players in both the teams.
As per the etiquette of cricket, batsmen don't run for overthrows when the ball gets deflected off their bat. On this occasion also, Stokes, lying flat out on the ground, had no intention of running, even though it was the last over and every run was to die for. As soon as the ball reached the boundary, Stokes had both his arms up in the air to apologise to the New Zealand team for this inadvertent mistake.
For a long time after that incident, the umpires had a chat to, possibly, figure out whether they could do anything to correct the situation and take away the misfortune of New Zealand. But they couldn't do anything, the rules of the game are clear and couldn't be altered.
England eventually won the match and when Stokes was asked about that incident, he said something that shows how, in this sport, sportsmanship can easily co-exist with highest intensity of competition. "I said to Kane I'll be apologising for that for the rest of my life," the English all-rounder revealed.
In fact, the spirit of sportsmanship that was evident in this game should make every cricket fan feel proud of his sporting inclination. There was no ugly incident, no out of control instances of sledging and full show of respect for the opponent. England captain Eoin Morgan started his post-match interview by commiserating with Kane Williamson and Stokes also mentioned how well his opponents played.
Two of the best gentlemen in the game – Williamson and Morgan – led their teams on to the biggest stage of the game and made the sport, its players and followers proud. More power to them.