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5 Biggest cricket controversies of cricket which marred the spirit of the game

Cricket controversies, However, du Plessis, who was found guilty of ball tampering in 2013 against Pakistan, was fined half of his match fee. But unlike the last time on this occasion umpires and match referee were not been aware of this. A video footage of the incident after five days of the Hobart Tests exposed that Faf du Plessis tried to change the shape of the ball. du Plessis was seen applying saliva while chewing a sweet, was published on an Australian website which drew ICC’s attention.

The allegation was that du Plessis tried to shine the red cherry to help his bowlers to reverse the ball. Coincidently South African fast bowler rattled the dented Australian batting line-up in Hobart Test which led to the chairman of selector Rod Marsh resignation and a large-scale overhaul in the Australian Test team.  However, the verdict made Faf du Plessis unhappy he appealed for decision change but ICC stayed intact at their decision.

However, this is not the biggest of all cricket controversies ;

Here are five biggest cricket controversies of all time.

  • The Body-Line series: 

The infamous but one of the fascinating cricket folklore is cricket controversies “Body-Line” series between England and Australia. The strategy was deployed by former England captain Douglas Jardin who used Nottinghamshire bowler Harold Larwood’s pace, accuracy and bounce not only to restrict but also to intimidate the Australian side in 1931-1932 England series.

THE BODY-LINE SERIES:

 

The tricks of “Body-Line” theory was bowling at the leg stump towards the body of batsmen. The tactics were dangerous considering the safety measures were limited in that era; so Jardine’s tactics put the Australian cricketers’ safety at risk. The haughty captain had seen that Bradman winced when he got hit on the body, so he used it often to get his wicket. In the first Test England won the match without resorting on the “Boyd-Line” tactics but in the second Test Larwood did and Bradman got out for a duck in the first innings, but in the second Test he scored a hundred and equalized the series. The series had caused a diplomatic tension between England and Australia.

  • Apartheid era: cricket controversies

The cricket world has boycotted playing South African team since 1970 due to the controversial apartheid era. The white government denied the native black and coloured of the country from the government service and other amenities from the government which provoked the international community to snap all kind of ties with the South African government. The international cricket governing body also forced to boycott the Proteas from playing cricket coming under pressure of international community. However, a rebel group of West Indies players toured South Africa which included legendary Vivian Richards and Malcolm Marshall. The tour forced WICB to impose a temporary ban on those players who toured South Africa.

Owing to the apartheid era the cricket fans were deprived of enjoying the play of many talented Proteas like Clive Rice and Graham Pollock. The era got over in the early nineties as legendary leader Nelson Mandela finally established democracy in the country where all people get equal opportunities. The apartheid era didn’t affect the domestic cricket of the South Africa so when they made their appearance in the 1992 World Cup the world was amazed as the Proteas qualified for the semifinal; however, they lost the match due to bizarre DLS (Duckworth and Lewis Method).

  • The under-arm delivery:

The controversial under-arm bowling happened on February 1, 1981, during the third ODI of the five-match series between Australia and New Zealand at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in the Benson & Hedges World Series Cup.  All-rounder Richard Hadlee and Bruce Edgar, who scored 102, were at striking and non-striking end respectively. In order to prevent New Zealand from hitting a six to tie the match, Australian captain Greg Chappell instructed Trevor Chappell, Greg and Ian’s younger brother, to deliver an underarm delivery down the pitch. The action was legal but was against the spirit of the game.

In the last over of the match, Trevor was hit for a boundary by Hadlee but the Kiwi all-rounder in the next delivery was trapped lbw. After the southpaw’s dismissal, Ian Smith came to the crease with New Zealand needed to score 11 runs off four balls. Smith took two of the third ball and single in the next delivery. With eight runs needed off last two balls, Edgar managed to take a single so Smith was at the striking end. The tail-ender needed to hit a six to tie the match, but Greg asked Trevor to ball an underarm delivery. New Zealand lost the match. It was a historic low in cricket’s history. After this match, ICC abolished the law.

  • Riot at the Eden Gardens:

Kolkata’s Eden Gardens is one of the iconic cricket grounds of the world. It hosted the 1987 World Cup final and a witness of many historic moments in cricket. But the colossal ground on the bank of Hoogly River is also a witness of many bloody rights, not only in cricket but also in football. In 1996 World Cup semifinal between India and Sri Lanka the host succumbed to Sanath Jayasuriya’s deceptive whirl.

The Indian fans celebrate vociferously when the ‘Men in Blues’ win, but when lose a match Indian fans lose their fans as a result cricketers’ families face the wrath of jingoistic fans. So, during that match Sri Lanka batting first scored 251, India in reply got off to a good start as opener Sachin Tendulkar seems to be in good touch but he was, unfortunately, run-out. His dismissal triggered a big collapse. India suddenly collapsed. From 98 for 2 lost India lost more six wickets for 22 runs. The angry fans couldn’t digest the defeat. BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya had to ask Indian starlet Sachin Tendulkar, and match referee Clive Loyd took the ground to placate the angry fans.  The fans were throwing water pouches and bottles at the ground. After that controversial match, Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) banned carrying bottle and water with to the ground.

  • The Lord’s spot-fixing:

In 2010 Lord’s Test between England and Pakistan marred with controversy. The historic ground is regarded as the ‘Mecca of cricket’ so the controversy hurt the core of cricket. Pakistani bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif intentionally overstepped while bowling as per the direction of Captain Salman Butt. The footage of overstepping took the world by surprise and the smoke of suspicion started erupting from the Lord’s.

The trio-Amir, Asif, and Butt- were sentenced in London jail by the Southwark Crown Court. Now all of the cricketers were freed after serving their respective jail sentences. Only Amir, who was then 17, was allowed to play the international cricket considering his juvenile age while Butt and Asif were struggling in their private life as they have passed their prime.

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He is a sports journalist by passion. Started his career with Times of India as a freelancer after completing his journalism degree from Asian College of Journalism, Chennai. Being a fan of sports he covered many matches from the ground. He believes that writing is the best way to disseminate information and insights to the readers. You will love his insightful feature and opinion piece.

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