During the match between India and Australia in the World Cup 2019, the ‘Men in Blue’ supporters began to mock Smith with the sandpaper scandal.
This gesture won him the ICC Spirit of Cricket award for the year 2019. Talking about the incident, “In the World Cup, it was really nice of Virat (Kohli) to do what he did. He did not have to do that and yeah it was a lovely gesture and really appreciated that,” Smith told IANS.
READ | AN OPEN LETTER TO SMITH
After winning the award, Kohli told ICC: “I’m surprised that I have got it, after many years of being under the scanner for the wrong things.”
On the Smith incident, he said: “That moment was purely understanding an individual’s situation. I don’t think a guy who is coming out of a situation like that needs to be taken advantage of.”
“That should not be a representation of our fans and what we stand as a cricketing nation, a sporting nation. We need to all take responsibility towards that. Intimidate the opposition, definitely try and have an upper hand but in a matter that is not targeting someone emotionally.
“That is not acceptable at any level and people should be wary of that,” he added.