Cricket though named the 'Gentleman Game' is often tarnished by scandals. In this article I look at the top 5 scandals that rocked cricket.
5.) Underarm Bowling
Australia versus New Zealand and the match was down to the wire with the Kiwis needing six runs to tie the match from the final ball, with only 2 wickets at hand (not that it matters). Greg Chappel, the then Australian captain, ordered the bowler (his brother Trevor) to bowl underarm, rolling the ball along the ground to prevent Brian McKechnie (the New Zealand batsman) hitting a six from the last ball to tie the match. This match was the deciding match of the series. Underarm bowling at that time was within the laws of cricket, but this incident was a spec on the Aussies.
This was a recent incident that took place in the first edition of the IPL. Indian fast bowler Sreesanth playing for the Punjab franchise found himself as the victim as he was slapped by his own Indian team mate, Harbhajan Singh. Singh was banned from playing anymore games in the first edition. This one of the few times when the players resorted to violence in the gentlemanly game.
3.) Teri Maa Ki
This is another incident involving Harbhajan Singh. During India's tour of Australia in 2006-2007, tensions were running high as India were on the receiving side of bad umpiring and also a lot of sledging and unsportsman like behavior from a few Australian players. During this time Harbhajan Singh lost his cool in the Sydney match and due to the sledging by the players, he called Andrew Symonds, "Teri Maa Ki". (Teri Maa Ki ... is a short form of an invective in Hindi. It is to say some horrible things about one's mother.) The Australian players mistaking the pronunciation thought that Harbhajan called Symonds a Monkey and a official complaint was lodged by them. Eventually, Cricket Australia dropped the case, but this case showed everyone the heights of which competition can reach.
2.) Match Fixing
Hansie Cronje will be remembered not for the good things he brought to South African cricket or his amazing record as a batsman and a captain, but for the match-fixing which cast a shadow over the sport. Hansie Cronje was one of South Africa's finest batsman. Perhaps one of their greatest player ever. Cronje as a batsman and a captain were unbeatable. Under him, South Africa won 21 tests and 99 ODIs from 138 (Win percentage of 71.74%). But on April 7th 2000, his flawless reputation took a nose dive as the Indian police accused him of match fixing. The accusations were true and he was later banned from playing or coaching cricket for life. This incident brought the entire sport under the cloud of match fixing. Later in 2002 Cronje died in a plane crash. Even after all this, he was voted as the eleventh (11th) greatest South African in 2004.
1.) Bodyline Bodyline or fast leg theory was the brainchild of the English captain Douglas Jardine which was a cricketing tactic used in the 1932–33 Ashes tour of Australia, specifically to combat the extraordinary batting skill of Australia's Don Bradman. The tactic was simple. Wikipedia defines Bodyline as 'A Bodyline delivery was one where the cricket ball was pitched short so as to rise towards the the body of the opposing batsman on the line of the leg stump, in the hope of creating legside deflections that could be caught by one of several fielders in the quadrant of the field behind square leg. This tactic was considered by many to be intimidatory and physically threatening.' The English players were heavily criticized as they steam rolled their opponents by both the Australian and English press. This series eventually needed intervention from the Diplomatic departments of both countries. Bill Woodfull, the Australian skipper showed the world just what the definition of a Gentleman meant. Woodfull led the Australians through this incredibly tough period and even under huge pressure from the public and the media, Woodfull flatly refused to employ retaliatory tactics. He never publicly complained even though he and his men were repeatedly hit and had to see the medics often. Woodfull's famous saying, "There are two teams out there, one is playing cricket. The other is making no attempt to do so." was later repeated by the Kumble, the Indian skipper during the Sydney test.
This is a new series called 5 Straight Points, where I will discuss 5 points on a given topic.
NOTE - The Cricket Quiz will be published soon next week. Sorry for the delay.