Often regarded as a gentleman's game, Cricket also has rough moments. So today, let's have a look at the top 5 controversial moments in cricket.
1) Australia vs England series (1932-33)
Known by several names like the "Bodyline" series or the "fast leg theory bowling", this Australia vs England clash was something else.
England approached the series as a way to ensure that Sir Don Bradman did not have the best time on the field. The tactics were simple, to bowl a line where the batsman cannot hit the ball with the utmost freedom.
Some called it intimidating, while some labeled it as "physically threatening", and there were also some people who felt that it was against the spirit of the sport.
Don't know whether it was the right thing to do but England did manage to conquest 4-1 over the Aussies.
2) Boxing Day drama
Steve Waugh calls Muttiah Muralitharan being no-balled during 1995-96 Boxing Day Test… https://t.co/NSsJdCJtxs pic.twitter.com/L7nq7zBosD— Celebsrumor (@celebsrumor5) December 24, 2017
Boxing Day is often seen as an exciting day for Cricket as we witness some of the best matches. However, in 1995 particularly, we didn't see the best in a Test match between Sri Lanka and Australia.
Muttiah Muralitharan, one of the greatest bowlers to have ever graced the sport, is often known not just for his records and wickets but also for his peculiar bowling action.
While a peculiar bowling action is not just one Sri Lankan's career, Muralitharan was accused of throwing the ball or in other words "chucking".
As many as seven no-balls were called by the umpire Darrell Hair in between just three overs and that led to a commotion on the field.
The then Sri Lankan skipper Arjuna Ranatunga did not agree with this decision and the umpire's behavior and that led to the Sri Lankan players walking off the pitch temporarily. However, it wasn't the first time Muralitharan was under the scanner.
Then after another round of ICC testing, Muralitharan's action was legalized as it was shown to be flexed within the regulated limit of 15 degrees.
3) Spot Fixing saga (2010)
The saga of controversies stepped a notch in 2010 when three Pakistani players were found actively indulging in spot Fixing. Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Amir, and Salman Butt were rightfully convicted for their actions and were handed subsequent bans from the sport.
The three were found to have conspired to bowl consecutive no-balls against England at the Oval. It was one of the biggest scandals that hit Cricket.
4) Abuse or racism?
Once again, a heated conflict turned ugly in Sydney. It was India vs Australia and players from each end were involved. From the host side, it was Andrew Symonds, while Harbhajan Singh was the guilty party from the Indian side.
Andrew Symonds accused the Indian off-spinner of casting a racist slur while Harbhajan Singh defended himself by saying that he abused but did not use any racist slurs.
Harbhajan was banned for three games but in an ICC hearing later, the incident was buried and never mentioned again.
5) Controversy or no controversy?
A legend of the game, Dennis Lillee could also not stay away from controversy. Was it a controversy? In 1979 against England, Dennis Lillee came out to bat with an aluminum bat.
Not that the legend was adamant about his choice, it took only 10 minutes to make him understand that he had to come back to a wooden bat. However, he did launch his bat into the pavilion. Would you call it a controversy?
6) Ball-Tampering 2006
#OnThisDay in 2006, forfeiture at The Oval— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) August 20, 2021
After umpire Darrell Hair docked them five runs for ball-tampering, Pakistan refused to continue playing and England were awarded the first-ever forfeited Testhttps://t.co/CaFAN8pJJQ pic.twitter.com/bkduRHAEW8
With the Oval and Darrell Hair came another controversy, and not just that, this time it led to abandonment as well. At the Oval in 2006, Hair, for the right reasons was convinced that Pakistani fielders were tampering with the ball.
Hair didn't confront the players but he directly awarded five runs to England. Taking offense to this, Pakistan refused to take the field post Tea and due to this, umpires decided to forfeit the game.
7) IPL spot Fixing
In the IPL spot-fixing controversy, the focus has been on S Sreesanth throughout. But there were two more cricketers arrested by Delhi Police.— Express Sports (@IExpressSports) March 15, 2019
What happened to them? https://t.co/xyvpKZpd9z
The Indian Premier League was under strong criticism on occasions when cases of match-fixing and betting arose. The year 2012 saw five players facing a ban after they were caught in a sting operation.
The following year, in 2013, three players of Rajasthan Royals, S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila, and Ankeet Chavan were arrested by the Delhi police.
Stay tuned with Cricwizz for part 2!