Summer Of Cricket
Top Tens Ashes Special
In association with Buxton, Official Mineral Water of the England Cricket Team

Top ten sporting acts

Roddick: Sportsmanship above personal gain

Top ten sporting acts

Gilchrist: walked in semi-final

Top ten sporting acts

Nicklaus (right) and Jacklin: One of the great Ryder Cup moments

Top ten sporting acts

Umaga: An ambassador for fair play

Top ten sporting acts

Di Canio: Not always synonymous with good on-pitch behaviour

Top ten sporting acts

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Josh Steele takes a look at some of the greatest moments for fair play in sporting history following India's actions at Trent Bridge

India were praised by the International Cricket Council after allowing Ian Bell to continue his innings at Trent Bridge, despite running him out after he prematurely left his crease.

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's decision to withdraw his run-out appeal turned the jeers of the Nottingham crowd into cheers, with ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat saying India had "upheld the great spirit of the cricket".

Here, Josh Steele looks at some other fine acts of sportsmanship.

PAOLO DI CANIO

West Ham star Di Canio was commended by Fifa after passing up the opportunity to score a winner at Everton in December 2000 by catching the ball because goalkeeper Paul Gerrard was lying injured. It was a remarkable act of sportsmanship from a player who once pushed referee Paul Alcock over.

ARSENAL

Arsenal beat Sheffield United 2-1 in an FA Cup tie at Highbury in February 1999 but manager Arsene Wenger was unhappy with the nature of Marc Overmars' winner and immediately offered to replay the game. United had put the ball out of play to allow a player to receive treatment but when the game restarted Kanu raced upfield and crossed for Overmars to score. Blades boss Steve Bruce was outraged and Wenger conceded it would have been more sporting to return the ball. The game was replayed but Arsenal won again.

TANA UMAGA

Former New Zealand rugby union captain Umaga had a reputation as a true ambassador for sportsmanship, with possibly his best display of fair play coming against Wales in 2003. Following a tackle by All Blacks forward Jerry Collins, Welsh captain Colin Charvis had been knocked unconscious. Despite being in an attacking position Umaga stopped to ensure that Charvis had not swallowed his mouth guard and placed the Welshman into the recovery position. Umaga was later awarded the Pierre de Coubertin medal for sportsmanship.

LUZ LONG

The German Long jumper showed both sportsmanship and courage at the 1936 Olympic games in Berlin, when he gave advice to his American counterpart and Olympic legend Jesse Owens. Owens was the world record holder, but had fouled his first two jumps and looked unsettled in front of a hostile German crowd. Long, who had already made the final heat after setting an Olympic record in the preliminaries, suggested to Owens that if he took off several centimetres before the board he would be able to make the distance required for the final heat without fouling. The advice clearly worked as Owens went on to make the finals and smash his own world record. Long's act of sportsmanship was made even more impressive by the fact that it was performed in front of an onlooking Adolf Hitler.

JACK NICKLAUS

The 1969 Ryder Cup is best remembered for what became known as 'The Concession". With the match at Royal Birkdale hanging in the balance, Nicklaus conceded a two-foot putt to Tony Jacklin on the final green resulting in the first tie in the competition's history. The Americans, however, as the reigning champions, retained the trophy.

EUGENIO MONTI

At the 1964 Winter Olympics the legendary Italian bobsled driver sacrificed the chances of his own team in order to help an opponent. The British two man team had found a broken bolt in their sled, which would have inevitably forced them to retire from the competition. However British hopes were revived when Monti took a bolt from the Italian sled and gave it to British driver Tony Nash. This allowed Nash's team to complete a run that would see them leapfrog the Italians and go into first place, claiming gold and leaving Monti with bronze. When asked about the impact of his actions Monti provided a typically sporting response: "Tony Nash did not win because I gave him a bolt. Tony Nash won because he was the better driver."

ADAM GILCHRIST

There was a time when it was common to see batsmen walk after edging behind but in the modern game such acts of sportsmanship are rare. It came as a surprise therefore when Gilchrist, walked after being given not out by umpire Rudi Koertzen in the 2003 World Cup semi-final against Sri Lanka in Port Elizabeth. Gilchrist had made 22 from 20 balls and looked to be getting into his stride - but his dismissal did not prevent the Aussies from winning comfortably.

LEICESTER CITY

At half-time during a Carling Cup second round match against Nottingham Forest, Leicester defender Clive Clarke collapsed in the dressing room. Due to fears for Clarke's life the game was abandoned, meaning that Forest lost the 1-0 lead they had taken into the interval. In an attempt to restore the balance in the replay, the Leicester team stood aside from kick off and allowed Forest keeper Paul Smith to dribble up the pitch and put his side ahead. The Foxes ran out eventual 3-2 winners.

ANDY RODDICK

The American Tennis star showed great honesty when disputing an umpire's call at the 2005 Rome Masters, which would have seen him win the match. Roddick's opponent Fernando Verdasco was judged by the umpire to have double faulted with Roddick on match point, therefore handing the American a ticket to the quarter finals. However, the magnanimous American insisted that the ball was in and therefore an ace. This kept Verdasco in a match that he then went on to win.

ROBBIE FOWLER

After being awarded a penalty at Highbury in 1997, Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler protested agaqinst the referee's decision, arguing that Arsenal keeper David Seaman had not fouled him. However, the referee insisted the spot-kick had to be taken so Fowler hit a weak shot straight at Seaman. Fowler's team mate Jason McAteer however had no such reservations and slammed home the rebound. Fowler later received the Fifa fair play award for his actions

Comments (4)

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Lucy Murphy says...

Ace, agree with all of the above, good choices lad x

Posted 23:02 1st August 2011

Bob Hall says...

A very interesting article. A pity that bad spotsmanship so often grabs the headlines. Thanks Josh Steele for reminding us of these better sporting moments.

Posted 22:08 1st August 2011

John Murphy says...

Great article - well researched. I was at the Di Canio match; Fowler didnt hit it soft enough in my estimation to get the fair play award!

Posted 17:10 1st August 2011

Spencer Williamson says...

In the cynical sporting landscape of modern competition, when 'for the love of the money' easily trumps 'for the love of the game', it's nice to be reminded every once in a while that the spirit of sportsmanship can still be found in the hearts of gold-rush tainted individuals at the top of their sport. Ten of the best, definiitely, the top four, a great shout!

Posted 17:08 1st August 2011

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