The Britishers invented Cricket in the late eighteenth century. Since then Cricket is called a gentleman’s game but often ungentlemanly things take place on the field.
Fights and quarrels on the field, match fixing, spot fixing, ball tampering, we have seen some of the biggest cricket scandals who took the cricket world by storm.
Let us remember some of those cricket scandals today.
10The Sydney Test (2008)
The 2008 Sydney Test match between India and Australia is remembered for all the wrong reasons. The test match saw spats between Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds and Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh.
Symonds accused Harbhajan of using racist term towards him. Harbhajan was banned for three games but later acquitted at an ICC hearing.
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9Bob Woolmer’s Death (2007)
Bob Woolmer was Pakistan’s Coach in the 2007 World Cup which was held in West Indies. Pakistan was knocked out of the 2007 Cricket World Cup in the group stage and Woolmer was found dead in his hotel room. Police launched a murder investigation, and one report suggested he had died of asphyxiation through strangulation.
However, that report would be disproved and he was said to have died of a heart attack, although doubts are still raised to this day about the verdict.
8The Underarm Ball (1981)
It was the World Series Cup in 1981, Australia was playing against New Zealand. The Black Caps needed 6 runs off the last ball but it was not to be. The Australian captain Greg Chappell instructed his brother Trevor to bowl his last ball underarm, something that was not prohibited by the ICC. It was said to be against the spirit of the game and later the rule was changed.
7England Boycotts World Cup Games (2003)
The 2003 World Cup was held in South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe but there were concerns about the players’ safety in the latter two countries. The Human Rights violations in Zimbabwe were well documented, England boycotted their game in the country, a decision that cost them as they were knocked out.
In addition, fears over security in Kenya led New Zealand to forfeit their game, which cost the Black Caps points and helped Kenya reach the semifinals for the first time.
6Ball Tampering Allegations on Pakistan (2006)
In the fourth Test between England and Pakistan at the Oval, umpire Darrell Hair was convinced that the fielding Pakistan team was tampering with the ball, and rather than issuing a warning, the umpire awarded England five penalty runs.
Inzamam Ul Haq and his Pakistan team was furious and refused to take the field after tea, at which point the umpires declared they had forfeited the game and removed the stumps.
5Hansie Cronje Match-Fixing (2000)
There is little doubt that Hansie Cronje was one of the better captains to have graced the game but the South African captain conspired with a bookmaker to engineer a result in a Test. It was in 2000 against England at Centurion. Three days had been lost due to rain and the Proteas captain was involved in the fixing of the game.
Cronje’s involvement in match-fixing came to light a few months later, and he resigned in disgrace before being banned from the sport for life.
4Pakistan Spot-Fixing (2010)
Three Pakistan players – Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Amir and Salman Butt – were involved in spot-fixing in a Test match against England at the Oval. After a sting operation by the News of the World, the three were found to have conspired to deliberately bowl no-balls during the Test match.
They were all banned for varying amounts of time. Mohammad Amir made his comeback into the National side but the other two haven’t found a place in the team yet.
3Indian Premier League Spot-Fixing (2013)
The 2013 Indian Premier League spot-fixing and betting case arose when the Delhi Police arrested three cricketers, Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, on the charges of alleged spot-fixing. The three represented the Rajasthan Royals in the 2013 Indian Premier League.
In July 2015, Sreesanth, Chandila and Chavan were cleared of all the charges after they were found not guilty by the Patiala House Courts. However, in January 2016, Chandila was given a life ban from all forms of cricket by the BCCI. In March 2019, the Supreme Court lifted the life ban imposed by BCCI on Sreesanth.
2Terror Attack in Pakistan (2009)
In March 2009, the Sri Lankan team was travelling from their hotel to the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore in their team bus when terrorists fired bullets on the bus killing six security men and two civilians. Sri Lankan players Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Ajantha Mendis, Thilan Samaraweera and Tharanga Paravitarana received minor injuries.
The Lahore Test was immediately abandoned and the tour called off. The Sri Lankan team was evacuated from the Gaddafi stadium and taken to a nearby airbase.
1Sandpaper Gate (2018)
In March 2018, the Australian cricket team was involved in a ball-tampering scandal during and after the third Test match against South Africa in Cape Town when Cameron Bancroft was caught by television cameras trying to rough up one side of the ball with sandpaper to make it swing in flight.
Captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner were found to be involved and all three received unprecedented sanctions from Cricket Australia. Australia’s coach, Darren Lehmann, announced he would step down from his role following the scandal. Smith and Warner were handed a year ban while Bancroft was banned for 9 months.
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