432Views

Every sport has controversies but in how many sports can we have a Controversial XI? Well, for Cricket it is achievable. Let's have a look!

Salman Butt

It was the Home of Cricket where it all took place. Pakistan were playing England and it was observed that a total of 3 Pakistan players were involved in match-fixing. Consequently, ICC banned them for about 5-10 years, one of them being Salman Butt.

David Warner and Steve Smith

Not involved directly, but the South Africa tour of 2018 is very famously known as the "Sandpapergate" scandal where Cameron Bancroft was seen fiddling the ball with sandpaper in an attempt to enhance swing. 

Steve Smith was the skipper of Australia in all formats, while David Warner was the vice-captain. The actions of Bancroft were caught on camera that led to the CA (Cricket Australia) banning the players from all forms of cricket for a year, while Bancroft was handed a ban of nine months.

Ricky Ponting

Ricky Ponting Australia controversial players
Ricky Ponting (Image Credits: CricketAustralia)

While Ponting may have not been involved in a match-fixing scandal, he is Australia's most successful captain but the fact that his actions as a player were often found to be controversial, Ponting has made it to this list.

Be it manipulating the umpires against India in a Test match to excessive sledging, Ponting was the Australian team's face for controversies.

Umar Akmal

Umar Akmal Pakistan controversial players
Umar Akmal (Image Credits: CricketPakistan)

The Pakistani player was often involved in controversies, but this time PCA (Pakistan Cricket Association) did not listen to him and banned him for three years from all forms of cricket. The reason for this was that Akmal purposely did not report a match-fixing offer to the Anti-corruption unit not once, but twice on two separate occasions.

However, the ban was then reduced.

Shahid Afridi

Shahid Afridi Pakistan
Shahid Afridi (Image Credits: SkySports)

Another player who was a phenomenal performer but brought a lot of controversies. Be it 2007's argument with Gautam Gambhir or his public views on his daughters not being permitted to take sports as a career prospect. He said, “Cricket? No, not for my girls. They have permission to play all the indoor games they want, but my daughters are not going to be competing in public sporting activities."

Afridi has often mixed religion into the sport as well, something that makes you an ideal contender to feature in the controversial 11.

Andre Nel

Andre Nel South Africa controversial players
Andre Nel (Image Credits: CricketSouthAfrica)

The Proteas was a great bowler but his temperament let him down quite often. He was always in the headlines for some of the on-field issues and was even punished by ICC on multiple occasions.

Not just for South Africa, Nel had issues in domestic games as well. One of the reasons why he's on this list.

Mohammad Asif

Mohammad Asif Pakistan controversial players
Mohammad Asif (Image Credits: SkySports)

He was one of three members that was convicted in the 2011 spot-fixing scandal. Asif was involved directly as he was witnessed bowling deliberate no balls.

Mohammad Amir

Mohammad Amir Pakistan
Mohammad Amir (Image Credits: ESPNofficial)

A player who had enormous potential and even proved himself on the grand stage, match-fixing was something he couldn't get himself away from. He was sentenced to the same punishment as the other two involved. 

Andrew Flintoff

Andrew Flintoff England controversial players
Andrew Flintoff (Image Credits: SkySports)

A great bowler who had exceptional performances while batting too, Andrew Flintoff had some other moments that would be worth remembering as well.

From taking his T-shirt off at the Wankhede or his battle of words with Yuvraj Singh at the inaugural T20 World Cup, such controversies have made him a vital member of this list.

Marlon Samuels 

Marlon Samuels West Indies controversial players
Marlon Samuels (Image Credits: Marlon Samuels)

Samuel's presence in the list is very obvious considering his protests/controversial content that he consistently uploads on social media. 

Have any other suggestions? Let us know! Stay tuned!