Sri Lanka grabs the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award

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Dubai, Sep 11 (UNI) The Sri Lankan team, for its best on-field conduct, bagged the Spirit of Cricket Award for the second year in a row at the ICC Awards celebration here last night.

The award was presented to Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardena by the former Australian off-spinner and currently the chief executive of the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA) Tim May.

After receiving the award, on behalf of his team, Jayawardena said, ''The captain has to set the example but at the same time every player in the team has to take responsibility and play the game in the right spirit.

''You have to be aggressive and passionate when you play for your country- you have to want to win. But you don't have to cross the line and be personal. There are ways of being aggressive while still controlling your anger and passion.'' ''It feels great to win this award because it is a team award. On the field the lads give everything they've got, so to do it in the right spirit as well means a lot to me and my team-mates,'' he added.

This is the second time Sri Lanka has won this award. Previously, England won it in 2005 and 2006 while New Zealand took the honour at the inaugural ICC Awards in 2004.

Sri Lanka was one of the several teams that demonstrated the Spirit of Cricket to great effect over the past 12 months and it narrowly defeated Bangladesh, New Zealand and the West Indies to win this award.

The Spirit of Cricket Award was one of 11 individual and team honours handed out during the LG ICC Awards in association with FICA. The event, held at The Westin Hotel, here, recognises cricket's star performers over a 12-month period. The voting period for this year's awards was the 12 months between August 9, 2007 and August 12, 2008.

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