Cricket has always been a gentleman’s game, but there have been times when the credibility of the players and their character have come into the spotlight. On these occasions that players have not played the game in the right spirit and thus have been punished for the same. Here are 3 scandals that rocked the cricketing world.
- The Sandpapergate
Australia have always played an aggressive brand of cricket and with a never-say-die attitude. Losing was something that they absolutely hated and thus over the years, they had the most successful cricket team. But there was one such incident where they went too far in trying to win or create a proper impact in the game.
It was the third Test between Australia and South Africa played at the Newlands in Cape Town. With the series locked at 1-1, South Africa were in a great position to win the third Test and rule out the chance of Australia winning the series. Amidst all of the action, the cameramen at the ground caught something suspicious in the hand of Cameron Bancroft. He tried to rub the ball with that suspicious object and later hid the object in his trousers. After the end of day’s play, skipper Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft admitted to having tried to tamper the ball using the object which was later found out to be sandpaper.
Although according to the ICC rules, Bancroft was fined 75% of his match-fee and Smith was fined his whole match fees along with a one-match ban, Cricket Australia took it upon themselves to punish the duo along with vice-captain David Warner, who was the mastermind behind this planning. Smith and Warner were handed 12-month bans while Bancroft was banned for nine months. Although now they seem to have moved on from the incident, the incident still continues to haunt some of the Australian fans as one of the darkest days in their cricketing history.
2. Pakistan spot-fixing scandal
Pakistan were touring England in the summer of 2010 and a Test match was being played between the two teams at Lords’. Two promising young Pakistan bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif bowled no-balls at certain specific points in the innings. The margin by which they overstepped was so huge that it led to an investigation by Scotland Yard.
It turned out that Amir and Asif had been bribed by a bookie named Mazhar Majeed to underperform in the Test match. The bookie had later been caught through a sting operation where he accepted money from some Pakistan reporters in exchange for this news and also informed that then Pakistan Salman Butt also knew about this spot-fixing.
The London court found all three players along with Majeed guilty and were subsequently given prison sentences which ranged from 5 months to 32 months. While Mohammad Amir made a comeback to the Pakistan team after more than five years, Asif and Butt have not featured for Pakistan ever since the scandal.
3. IPL spot-fixing scandal
The Indian Premier League is arguably the best T20 franchise league with the quality of players that play the tournament. However, it has also had its share of dark days back in 2013, when spot-fixing had rocked the Rajasthan Royals franchise.
In a game between Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals at Mohali, Sreesanth tucked a towel in his trousers and bowled an over which cost 14 runs. Delhi Police later alleged that this was an indirect indication by Sreesanth to the bookies that he was going to take part in spot-fixing. After months of finding evidence, Delhi Police arrested Sreesanth and he was immediately given a lifetime ban from playing any form of cricket.
Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan were also involved in the spot-fixing scandal. Chandila was supposed to bowl a poor over in the game between Rajasthan Royals and Pune Warriors at Jaipur and was paid 20 lakhs to do so. The Delhi police had allegedly had transcripts of the phone conversation between the bookies and Chandila. Ankeet Chavan was also assured to be paid 60 lakhs for giving 13 runs in an over. This spot-fixing scandal made rules so strict that there has not been any scandal of that magnitude again in the IPL.
Stay Rackonnected and learn more about sports