Cricket's Darkest Days: The Biggest Scandals and Shocks in the World Game

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Cricket highlights relating such have been watched by millions and it has adversely affected the cricket fans and enthusiasts.

Despite the long and illustrious history of international cricket, the sport's honor and integrity have frequently been tested. Of course, fans like to recall the sport's best moments, but over its history, various repulsive and disturbing incidents have repeatedly threatened to undermine the game's foundation. World cricket has nearly seen everything, from match-fixing scandals like the infamous Pakistan match fixing to drug scandals to political rallies.Cricket highlights relating such have been watched by millions and it has adversely affected the cricket fans and enthusiasts. 

The Most Controversial Events In World Cricket

Here, we rank the most important of those controversial events that took place in cricket. 

  • Kevin Peterson's Sacking

Following a terrible 5-0 thrashing by Australia in the 2013–14 Ashes series, England decided to split ways with one of the most significant and divisive figures in the history of the cricketing country. Despite his enormous potential, team management determined that Kevin Pietersen's presence increased conflict and discord in the England locker room and that his dismissal would enable a side that was in the process of rebuilding to get the competitive edge it needed to regain the top spot. Unavoidable repercussions followed, including public altercations between Pietersen and several of his former colleagues and a furious response from the cricketing public, who demanded clarity from England's governing body.

  • Herschelle Gibbs Reveals: 

Herschell Gibbs rocked the cricketing world in 2010 when he released his provocative book, To The Point, after playing for South Africa for ten years while carrying a bad boy reputation. Gibbs discusses his battle with drinking, his time in rehab, his marijuana use, the six-month suspension he earned for his involvement in Hansie Cronje's match-fixing incident, and specifics of sexual encounters and group sex with several of his South African colleagues. Gibbs further states that the squad was controlled by a "clique" that included Graeme Smith and was too strong for Mickey Arthur, the team's then-coach.

  • Message: Andrew Strauss and Kevin Pietersen

When it was discovered that the star batsman had sent contentious messages to his South African rivals about his England squad, Kevin Pietersen's already tumultuous relationship with English cricket took a further turn for the worse in 2012. When it was revealed that the messages had insulting statements regarding England captain Andrew Strauss, the influential stroke-maker was first fired. Pietersen dismissed the issue, claiming it was nothing more than lighthearted conversation. A more damaging accusation eventually surfaced, claiming that the batter, born in South Africa, had told his rivals how to bowl to Strauss to get his wicket precisely. Following Strauss' retirement, Pietersen faced expulsion before being welcomed back into the team by Alastair Cook.

  • The Australian No-Ball Saga involving Muttiah Muralitharan

It turned out to be the turning point of a problematic cricket summer in Australia. In 1995 on Boxing Day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Muttiah Muralitharan was no-balled by umpire Darrell Hair for an improper bowling motion in front of 55,000 spectators. Before the Test, there had been rumors that Hair was prepared to no-ball the spinner; however, few people believed this true. But amazement erupted at the historic field when the umpire repeatedly no-balled the contentious spinner. The Sri Lankans initially thought that Hair had called the front-foot infringement, but tensions flared up as it became apparent that this was not the case. In the subsequent one-day series, Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga instructed his squad not to shake hands with Australian players. Tensions remained high when the team arrived in 1999 when Ross Emerson no-balled Muralitharan in Adelaide.

  • The underarm ball by Trevor Chappell

One of the most contentious moments in the sport's history was Trevor Chappell's underarm delivery on the last ball of a one-day match against New Zealand in Melbourne in 1981. Greg Chappell, the captain of the Australian team, was spotted telling his brother Trevor to bowl the ball down the ground as Brian McKechnie approached the wicket to prevent him from hitting the ball into the spectators. Despite the evident unhappiness of wicketkeeper Rod Marsh, Trevor complied, and Australia won the game and the series. The visitors required a six from the last delivery of the third match to force a draw and maintain the series tied following the first two matches, ending in a 1-1 tie.

  • Drug Scandal involving Shane Warne

When it was revealed that Shane Warne had tested positive for a prohibited diuretic while recovering from a shoulder injury in 2003, Australia's World Cup campaign was momentarily hampered. Given the drug's link to weight loss and fluid drainage, a naïve Warne asserted that he had taken the diuretic to improve his look. However, diuretics are frequently used to conceal the use of performance-enhancing substances, leading the World Anti-Doping Authority to suspect a more nefarious scheme. Warne was given a one-year ban and had to leave for Australia, missing his country's successful defense of its 1999 title.

  • 2008 Sydney Test

Australia defeated India in one of the most competitive Test matches in history under the waning light of the Sydney Cricket Ground in 2008. A remarkable Australian victory was marred by shocking umpiring calls that worsened the already tense relationship between the teams. Australia's insistence on a controversial low catch to remove Sourav Ganguly and the home team's extravagant celebrations after winning infuriated the visitors. As a result, foul celebrations and racial accusations marred the match's final moments. 

The ongoing dispute between Andrew Symonds and Harbhajan Singh led to Ricky Ponting flagging the off-spinner to the match official for what he deemed an exceedingly racist remark. Australia's insistence on a controversial low catch to remove Sourav Ganguly and the home team's extravagant celebrations after winning infuriated the visitors. Anil Kumble, the captain of India, was prompted by this to criticize Australia's lack of sportsmanship in a way reminiscent of Bill Woodfull's comments about "Bodyline" in 1932–1933. Later, the visitors threatened to cancel the tour, Harbhajan was given a three-match suspension, and a well-known Australian journalist demanded that Ricky Ponting be fired.

Wrapping Up

Cricket is referred to as the gentleman's game. Cricket matches, invented by English nobles, are played between two teams of 11 players, each of which is expected to conduct themselves honorably and honestly. Several things have been observed relating the same in IPL match videos too. 

Cricket is blessed to enjoy some of the rich and brilliant memories of the game because of its honesty and sportsmanship. The sport and its athletes have lowered the reputation of this gentleman's game to a new low due to numerous scandals like the infamous Pakistan match fixing that have made headlines.

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