Cricket World Cup: Blackcaps sportsmanship during semi-final defeat to India criticised by ex-Australia all-rounder

The Blackcaps' sportsmanship at the Cricket World Cup has been criticised, with ex-Australia all-rounder Simon O'Donnell taking aim at New Zealand's conduct in Thursday's 70-run semi-final loss to India.  

In the sweltering heat of Mumbai, as India batted first in the tournament's first semi, Virat Kohli put the Blackcaps to the sword with 117 runs, scoring a record 50th one-day international century.  

As the conditions took their toll late in the innings, Kohli began to cramp, with members of the Blackcaps side coming to his aid.  

Blackcaps skipper Kane Williamson greets rival Virat Kohli.
Blackcaps skipper Kane Williamson greets rival Virat Kohli. Photo credit: Getty Images

For most of the last decade, New Zealand have had the reputation of being cricket's 'nice guys', considered many fans' second-favourite team, after their own nation, but seeing their treatment of Kohli was a step too far for O'Donnell.  

"Why would you go and help Virat Kohli when he had a cramp, when they're heading for 400 in a World Cup semi-final?" he queried on SEN radio.  

"Spirit of the game is playing within the laws. Virat Kohli is tearing your country apart, and you want to go over and give him a hand."  

"Under no circumstances should you have gone within 20 metres of Virat Kohli, when he had a cramp.

"He threw his bat away, and one of the Kiwis went and picked it up. 'Go and pick your own bat up while you've got a sore hamstring and a cramp, stop hitting us for sixes and fours'.  

"I don't get it, I just don't get it. Stuff helping him out, he's made 50 one-day hundreds, why help him make the 50th against you in a World Cup semi-final?

"Give me a spell."  

Kohli made 117 of India's 397/4, before the Blackcaps were bowled out for 327 in reply, with Daryl Mitchell making a career-best 134, as Mohammed Shami took 7/57 with the ball.

India will meet Australia in the World Cup final on Sunday night (NZ time), where they'll look to lift the game's biggest prize for the first time since 2011.

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