Cricket is known as the Gentleman’s game. However, due to higher intensity while playing, there have been instances that are not such gentlemen-ish. Things have gone out of the hands as the laws of the rules book has been violated. Here are the top 10 ugliest cricket fights that took the international cricket fraternity by shock:
Jacques Kallis & Kemar Roach, West Indies vs South Africa (2010)
Number 10 on this list is the fight between South African legend Jacques Kallis and West Indian pace bowler Kemar Roach. South Africa was on the verge of winning the series comfortably. Out of nowhere, Kemar Roach bowled an outstanding bouncer to Kallis. And he started showcasing his frustration with a verbal battle which was unnecesary at that moment at all.
Sulieman Benn & Brad Haddin, Australia vs West Indies (2009/10)
Next is West Indian spinner Suleiman Benn and former Australian wicket-keeper Brad Haddin’s heated fight at Perth in 2009. Benn and Mitchell Johnson got in a physical tussle when Johnson was trying to fetch a run. At the striker’s end, Brad Haddin pointed his bat towards Benn in anger for stopping them in taking a single.
Offended and insulted, Benn got in a verbal battle with both the Australian batsmen, followed by a physical push. The match referee suspended Benn for a match whereas Brad Haddin was fined 25% for breaching Level 1 Code of Conduct.
Gautam Gambhir & Shane Watson, Simon Katich, India vs Australia (2008)
Gambhir has always been an aggressive cricketer. In a test match of Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2008, Gambhir involved himself in a heated fight with Australian all-rounder Shane Watson. Gambhir banged his elbow into Watson’s chest intentionally while picking up a double.
This was followed by him getting involved in an abusive fight with Simon Katich as he came in Gautam’s way while picking up a single. Although Gambhir scored a double century, the match referee Chris Broad handed him a one-test ban for his behavior.
Quinton De Kock & David Warner, South Africa vs Australia (2018)
Australian opener David Warner involved himself in an ugly brawl with South African keeper Quinton De Kock in the test series in 2018. AB De Villiers had lost his wicket in a run out because of Aiden Markram’s misjudgment in calling. This pumped up the Australians and as a result Warner sledged De Kock and commented on his mother and sister, to unsettle the new batsman.
At tea, while returning to the dressing room, De Kock replied back to Warner in his own language. However, Warner didn’t take it sportingly as seen in the following video.
Yuvraj Singh & Andrew Flintoff, India vs England (2007)
Although this fight wasn’t as ugly as other fights that will be followed, but its consequences resulted in creating a historic feat in international cricket. In the face-off between India and England in the T20 World Cup 2007, Yuvraj Singh came to bat in the 18th over.
After the end of the over, Flintoff tried to sledge Yuvraj and made some offensive comments. However rather than distracting, Flintoff’s words pumped up Yuvi. The ‘Prince of Punjab’ took all his frustration on the ball as he smashed Stuart Broad for 6 sixes in an over!
Gautam Gambhir & Kamran Akmal, India vs Pakistan (2010)
In any Indo-Pak game, the energy in the both the teams is always at its peak. Gambhir again got in an ugly argument with Pakistan’s wicket keeper Kamran Akmal in the all-important Asia Cup encounter in 2010. Gambhir failed to cut a ball towards point. Although, Kamran thought Gambhir had edged the ball and hence he appealed.
In the drinks break, Gambhir approached Kamran and told him not to appeal unnecessary. Captain Cool MS Dhoni and the umpires intervened the heated argument.
Ramnaresh Sarwan & Glenn McGrath, West Indies vs Australia (2003)
Next is one of the biggest cricket fights which came in a test match of Australia’s tour of West Indies in 2003. The Australian legend Glenn McGrath was having a rough time with the ball. Frustrated, he used the traditional Australian strategy of sledging and distracting the batsman’s concentration.
McGrath out of frustration asked Sarwan, “How does Brian Lara’s c*ck taste like mate?”. To this Sarwan replied, “I don’t know ask your wife.” This spat got even more ugly as Glenn McGrath was very close to his wife, who was going through cancer at that time. To this Glenn replied, “If you f**king mention my wife again, I’ll f**king rip your f**king throat out.”
Dennis Lillee & Javed Miandad, Australia vs Pakistan (1981)
In 1981, world saw one of the ugliest cricket fights in the history of the game. Javed Miandad, the former Pakistani skipper, flicked Australian pacer Dennis Lillee for a run. While taking the single, Lillee tried to block the Pakistani skipper, and as a reflex action, Miandad pushed him.
Both shared a few pleasantries but while returning to pick his cap from the umpire, Lillee kicked Miandad from behind. To this Javed Miandad, lifted his bat and almost hit the Australian fast bowler! And this sort of behavior coming from an international cricket captain made it an even more disgusting incident.
“Monkeygate” Incident between & Harbhajan Singh Andrew Symonds, Australia vs India (2007/08)
On number 2 is the infamous ‘Monkeygate’ that is the most controversial cricket fights to have taken place in the history of the game. In the 2nd test of Border Gavaskar Trophy (2007-.08) in Sydney, Bhajji pulled Brett Lee’s bouncer towards square leg. After completing the single, Harbhajan appreciated Lee for bowling a good delivery.
Meanwhile, Symonds out of nowhere interfered and got in a verbal battle with Bhajji. It is said that out of anger, Bhajji uttered “Teri maa ki..” (son of a …) which was interpreted as “Monkey’ by the Australian team, as an extremely racist comment.
After the match, Australian Cricket pressed charges against Harbhajan for insensitive racist comments and the case went to the court of International Cricket Council. BCCI warned to pull out of the series due to Australia’s misbehaviour. Bhajji recieved a 3-match ban after this incident.
Inzamam ul-Haq vs an Indian fan, India vs Pakistan (1997)
On 14th September 1997, world cricket witnessed the most disgusting and insulting incident fans could have ever imagined. In an ODI of India vs Pakistan’s Sahara cup at Toronto, Canada when Indian fans in the crowd heckled the former Pakistani captain, Inzamam ul-Haq for his unfit physique.
One of the fans in the crowd chanted “Aaloo” (potato) to which Inzi lost his cool and literally rushed towards the stands and smashed him with his bat! ICC banned Inzamam for 2 games after this incident, although he deserved a more severe punishment.