Top 10 Cricket Controversies
rticle on Top 10 cricket controversies. Includes a list of cricketing controversies over the years. Mentions harbhajan vs. symonds, mohammad asif spot fixing, shahid afridi ball biting, terror attack on Sri Lankan team, match fixing by Hansie cronje, bodyline series Pakistan vs. England match, Harbhajan-sreesanth slap incident, and the cricket crisis in Zimbabwe.
Despite being known as the ‘gentlemen’s game’, cricket is not without its fair share of controversies. The controversies go down a long way and most of them have certainly marred the beauty of the subtle game. We take a look at the Top 10 controversies that shook the game of cricket, in random order.
1. Harbhajan Singh Vs Andrew Symonds: Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2007-08
The second Test match at the Sydney Cricket Ground between India and Australia is infamous for the altercation between Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds. Harbhajan Singh was charged with racial abuse for calling Symonds a monkey owing to his non-white background. Bhajji was banned for three matches and it also soured the relationship between the two teams as well.
2. PakistanVs. England: 4th Test Match: Oval 2006
Pakistan’s decision of not turning up for the match not only cost them the match but also revealed the uglier aspect of the game. Match umpires Darrel Hair and Billy Doctrove found Pakistan guilty of ball-tampering and awarded England 5 penalty runs. As a result, the then captain of the Pakistani team, refused to continue the match as an act of rebellion against the unfair (as they thought it) decision. The match was awarded to England and Inzy was found guilty of bringing the game to disrepute.
3. Terror Attack on Sri Lankan Team: 2009
The entire cricketing fraternity was gripped with horror when the bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team was fired upon by 12 gunmen near the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, Pakistan. In the incident, six Pakistani policemen along with two civilians were killed and six members of the team were injured.
4. Hansie Cronje Match Fixing Scandal: 2000
The highly successful journey of South African captain Hansie Cronje was cut short by allegations of match-fixing. Cronje accepted his the charges and released a statement revealing all contact with bookmakers. Cronje was banned from playing cricket for life in October 2000, which was followed by his dramatic death in a plane crash in 2002.
5. Pakistan Spot-Fixing Controversy: 2010
An English newspaper published allegations that Mohammad Asif along with Mohammad Amir and Salman Butt had accepted bribes from a bookmaker to under-perform at the 4th Test in England. Asif’s ex-girlfriend Veena Malik also made public claims that he worked with an Indian bookie and had proof of his involvement with bookmakers. As an outcome, the ICC banned all three players: Butt, Asif and Amir were suspended for 10, 7 and 5 years respectively.
6. Harbhajan-Sreesanth Slap Incident: 2008
After a defeat at the hands of Punjab Kings XI, Harbhajan Singh, who was captaining Mumbai Indians, slapped Indian teammate Sreesanth across the face for saying “hard luck” to Bhajji. Sreesanth was seen crying on the ground and his tears were there for everyone to see. Cricketers described the incident as “really ugly.” As a consequence, Harbhajan was handed an 11-match ban by the BCCI.
7. Zimbabwe Cricket crisis
During 2000-01, Zimbabwean players alleged political interference in the running of the game in the country. Robert Mugabe’s government was accused of corrupting the game with its racist policies. after going through a tumultuous phase in 2004, the board of Zimbabwe Cricket was replaced by Mugabe’s government which announced a 12 month withdrawal from Test cricket.
8. Sydney Riot: 1897
It was a civil disorder that took place at the famous Sydney Cricket Ground. During a match between England and New South Wales, a controversial umpiring decision led to an uproar amongst the spectators. Many of them lunged into the pitch and assaulted the umpire and some English players. The riot was attributed to the Victorian bias of the umpire against the Australian team.
9. The Bodyline Series: 1932-33
This series has been described as the most controversial period in Australian cricketing history. During the Ashes series, the English team used controversial bowling tactics, where the bowlers bowled deliveries which were often short-pitched, bouncing as high as the torso. The main target of the ‘Bodyline’ was the legendary Sir Don Bradman. These tactics generated much ill-feeling between the teams and also gave birth to the term ‘Bodyline’.
10. Afridi’s Ball-Chewing Incident: 2010
In this embarrassing incident which gained notoriety as the ‘Bite-Gate’ incident, Shahid Afridi was caught biting the ball on cameras. Afridi tendered a lame apology, stating that he was merely trying to smell the ball. He eventually pleaded guilty to ball tampering and was banned for two T20 matches. The incident only had people wondering one thing: What the hell was he thinking?