Cricket has seen few strangest incidents which have stopped the play. From the swarm of bees invading the ground to a fire alarm as a result of a roast, strange incidents have stopped play for a few minutes. But this COVID-19 situation has put the game on hold, and the future of full-fledged matches is a concern.
The time has given fans to look back at the history of the game. Sports networks have been retelecasting some historic matches the game has ever seen. Writers and statisticians have been writing about them. On that note, the game has seen a few incidents where the man of the match awards was given for unusual reasons.
Let’s look at three such strangest Man of the Match award:
1. Man of the match for a groundsman
Groundsmen have a massive role in the smooth conduct of a cricket match. From preparing pitches to saving them during rain interruptions, their role has been great without much appreciation. But there is one occasion when the head groundsman, Chris Scott, was rewarded for his extraordinary effort.
In a Test match between South Africa and New Zealand at Wanderers, Day one was washed out due to rain. The Groundstaff lead by Scott worked overnight to make the ground fit for play on the second day. Consistent rains in the next two days took the game towards a draw.
Still, Scott’s team worked continuously to make play possible for the fifth day. To recognize their work, the match officials awarded the man of the match to Chris Scott.
2. Award despite taking no wickets
West Indies took on Zimbabwe in the first match of a Tri-series involving India in 2001. Half-centuries from Chris Gayle, Darren Ganga, and Shivnarine Chanderpaul took the total to 266. But Zimbabwe fell short of the target by 27 runs, as Mervyn Dillon and Marlon Samuels took three wickets each.
The duo picked up wickets in the middle overs and restricted the batting order. But the man of the match award was given to Cameron Cuffy. The pacer took the new ball and bowled 10 overs on the trot. The tall fast bowler couldn’t pick a wicket, but his pace and bounce troubled the batsmen.
Officials realized the importance of the spell and gave one of the strangest man of the match to Cameron Cuffy.
3. Didn’t bat, didn’t bowl still got a man of the match
If Cuffy got the award without taking a wicket, another West Indian got it without even bowling. Gus Logie got the award against Pakistan in Sharjah Champions Trophy in 1986. He took three catches and effected two run-outs.
Courtney Walsh took four wickets while openers Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes scored half-centuries. Yet the man of the match was given to Gus Logie for his fielding efforts. There have been many occasions when fielders were awarded the man of the match. But this was the only instance when the player got it without any contribution with bat and ball.