This much crazed sport has had some dark phases which shook the globe. We bring to you the scandals that created as much history as the game has.
A much publicized scandal, where Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Akeeta Chavan, who played for Rajasthan Royals were arrested by Delhi Police on charges of Spot Fixing. Where Sreesanth and Chavan suffered life-time ban from the sport, Chandila is yet to receive a sanction.
During the Lahore Test match, the Sri Lankan team, while on their way to the Gaddafi Stadium, came under a terrorist attack. Several players were injured and all were immediately taken to safety back to Sri Lanka. An act, condemned by all cricketing nations, resulted in Pakistan using UAE as home for their international matches.
Though the cameras missed the action, what got captured was Sreesanth’s inconsolable cries. During the IPL match in 2008, Harbhajan is said to have back-slapped Sreesanth across his face. Though the reason, whether a provocation or impulse action, was not known, Harbhajan was banned from the tournament’s remaining matches.
After the slapping came the much publicized ‘Monkeygate’ scandal which started after Andrew Symonds made a comment on the way Indians celebrated their World Twenty20 Championship. In a 2006-07 ODI, the Indian crowd started chanting ‘Monkey’ at Symonds, and apparently Harbhajan joined these chants. During the Sydney Test match in 2008, Harbhajan was alleged to have again called Andrew Symonds a ‘monkey’ which resulted in the former being suspended from the remaining series.
Bob Woolmer’s sudden death in Jamaica caused a lot of furor. He was a renowned cricket, commentator and professional coach and before his tragic end, he was the official coach of Pakistan team. After Pakistan’s sudden elimination caused at the hands of Ireland in the World Cup 2007, Bob was found dead in his hotel room. The suspense around his death still prevails.
During the test match between England and Pakistan, umpires Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove blamed the Pakistani team for tampering with the ball. As a result, the opponent team was awarded 5 runs, with an order for change of ball. On refusal by the Pakistani team to return to the field to play, the umpires removed the bails and declared England the winner.
During a test match between Australia and West Indies, a war of words erupted between Ramnaresh Sarwan and Glenn McGrath. Trying to intimidate the opponent team’s player, McGrath made a sexual remark at Ramnaresh Sarwan and Brian Lara. What he did not expect was a stern reply from Sarwan, when he commented about the indecent remark, using his wife’s name. McGrath became furious, which was an outcome of his partner’s struggle with cancer. The duo later apologized for their misdemeanor.
The world’s best leg spinner caught the limelight for all wrong reasons when he tested positive for a banned diuretic. He was, as a result, banned from playing cricket for a year.
Before heading off for the ODI to be held in Singapore, Shahid Afridi, Hasan Raza and Atiq-uz-Zaman invited some women to their hotel room in Lahore. Then coach Javed Miandad further confirmed that the players skipped their practice session. This incident attracted a serious probe and all three were held guilty of misconduct.
Considered to be the darkest phase of Zimbabwe Cricket, many players during 2003-11 refused to represent their country for sports. This reaction was a protest (Black arm-band protest) against Robert Mugabe’s government which created racist policies against players with white skin. Such policies led to many cricketers such as Andy Flower leave the country and set base in England.
During the semi-final of World Cup 1996, the match between Sri Lanka and India saw an ugly turn when the Indian team while chasing the target of 252, succumbed to 120 runs for 8 wickets. This angered the crowd to such an extent that they started throwing water bottles on the ground and also lighted the stand. The match was halted and eventually Sri Lanka was declared the winner when all efforts to calm the audience failed.
The most infamous match fixing scandal included renowned players, Hansie Cronje, Mohammad Azharuddin and Saleem Mallik. All were accused of fixing matches and held guilty on successful investigations. It’s known to all what happened to the future of these three players. Though Mallik’s life ban was later dropped, Hansi Cronje and Azharuddin were banned for life. Cronje later died in a crash, which also sparked various theories.
These were a series of seven tours planned in South Africa. It was considered to be a rebel tour as South Africa was banned from International Cricket as a result of their ‘Apartheid’ regime. Many national cricket boards, government and UN disapproved of the teams participating in the series. Despite this, the players gave their consent for participating in the World Series Cricket. The touring teams were condemned for their actions and many of the players never represented their country after returning from the tour.
During the Australia vs. New Zealand match, the Kiwis needed six runs off the last ball to tie the match. To curb Brian McKechnie, who was batting, to go for a six, Aussie skipper Greg Chapell instructed his bowler brother to bowl underarm (rolling the ball on ground). It prevented New Zealand from what they aspired and only after this was underarm bowling ruled out.
During the ashes series, between England and Australia, in order to prevent Australian batsmen Don Bradman from scoring easily, England decided bowling short outside the leg stump aiming at the batsman’s body. Though no serious injuries were caused, it soured the relationship between the two teams.