While cricket may be the ‘gentlemen’s’ game, it sure has had a plenty of controversies involved in it – courtesy of some very controversial cricketers which if aptly defined can be termed as the ones ‘we loved to hate’ since it’s to their due credit that sure they were controversial and often faced criticism for the same; their art of playing cricket never compromised and perhaps that’s what always made them standout – not always in the good sense though.
This is a list of 5 such controversial cricketers that have left a mark on the game – both with their play on the field and with their antics on and off it – they sure are liked and disliked among cricket watching masses but these are players that you CANNOT IGNORE.
We start off with:
1) Chris Gayle:
The Jamaican dynamite has had his fair share of controversies. It all began after the 2011 world cup when Gayle refused to take up a central contract with the West Indies and decided to shift his priorities from playing for his nation to playing t20 leagues all around the world. He faced severe criticism from West Indian greats like Michael Holding and Viv Richards but to say that he hasn’t entertained cricket fans all around the world will be an unfair statement. He may have opted out of playing some matches for West Indies and prioritize t20 cricket but can one be judged for giving priority to money over playing for nation! You decide.
Further, the more recent controversy involving Gayle was in the recently concluded Big Bash, where he asked out Channel 10 reporter, Mel McClaughlin and this all happened on a live telecast which was even more embarrassing for McClaughlin who stood her ground and reported the same to Cricket Australia, which fined Chris Gayle and let him off, McClaughlin also requested to move on from the matter.
But, in came some more allegations from the 2015 world cup, with a woman accusing Gayle of inappropriate behavior with her during her visit to West Indies dressing room and this all concluded with Gayle’s rant on Instagram, reverting to those who criticized his “sexist” remarks, he wrote
The past cricketer who say I make myself look like a chop, the other who claim I was no good to the youngsters while playing for the thunder, the next one who said he expect that sort of behavior from Chris – Y’all can kiss my ‘Black Rass’ I love Australia and I will be back again even for the ?????? oioi ??????.
2) Harbhajan Singh:
while “Bhajji” as he’s referred to by his teammates has been an asset to the Indian bowling line up for the last 12 years, making less frequent apperances for India in the last few years; he still is the 2nd highest all time highest wicket taker – in terms of an off-spinner, behind the highest ever wicket taker MuttiahMuralitharan.
Harbhajan’s tryst with controversy started during the 2007 tour of Australia, wherein he referred to Symonds as “monkey” or so was the claim from the Australian cricket team. The whole saga was referred to as “MonkeyGate” and gained the game of cricket a great deal of negative controversy with Indian legend in Sachin Tendulkar stepping in to defend Harbhajan Singh and Australian cricketers defending Andrew Symonds. The Indian cricket team even threatened to leave the tour mid-way and all these years later the then Indian captain, Anil Kumble regretted having not opted for a much composed discussion between the 2 cricket boards, which could’ve avoided this whole saga.
Only a few months later; Harbhajan Singh was again in a controversy after slapping his fellow team-mate Sreesanth, during an IPL match. Harbhajan sudden controversies were more shocking, having never seen the turbanator striking any wrongful cords with any fellow playersuptil the point of 2007 Australian tour, by which he was already 7-8 years old in international cricket.
3) Mohammad Amir:
This Pakistan cricketer has faced perhaps the most severe controversy by someone as young as just 23 years old. In 2010, the world of cricket was shook by the emerging allegations of corruption and spot-fixing during the Lord’s cricket match played between England and Pakistan. Amir was found guilty as charged of bowling deliberate no balls and earning money for the same. The co-accused in the case was his fellow Pakistan team mates in Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif.
All 3 were sent to jail and banned from cricket for the next 5 years. To everyone’s surprise; Amir has made a return to the Pakistan cricket team and was recently seen playing against New Zealand – becoming a key bowler in their XI, perhaps some cases are best forgotten and everyone deserves a second chance. The tainted cricketer from Pakistan is rigorously working hard and trying to win back his lost fans.
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4) Chris Cairns:
The New Zealand cricketer acclaimed by many as the finest all rounder that the nation has produced has found himself in court trials for the last 4-5 years and in a legal battle with the brain behind the emerging of the revolutionary Indian Premier League, Mr. Lalit Modi. Modi in a series of tweets accused Cairns of fixing matches and approaching his team mates for the same during his international cricket days and ICL, these allegations were then reverted by Cairns who filed a lawsuit against Modi and won.
In less than 2 years, Modi filed a counter lawsuit and accused Cairns of lying under oath, his former teammates in McCullum and Vincent were called upto court, with both speaking against Cairns and agreeing that he had approached them to fix matches. McCullum even went on to call Cairns an “idol” and explained that he was shocked to note that he fixed matches. However, it all ended well for Cairns who was not found guilty of the charges and was let free. This whole case though has raised some serious allegations over the way the game of cricket is played, wherein cricketing legends are accused of match fixing.
The Rawalpindi express from Pakistan has been perhaps one of the most celebrated cricketer of Pakistan and equally the most controversial that the nation has produced. Akhtar is a man who doesn’t mince his words and speaks his mind very bluntly. He openly claims that his seniors in the team (no prizes for guessing) were jealous of him and openly told him that they were apologetic of their behavior towards him during his international days.
Akhtar has been accused of ball tampering, drug scandals, his party attitude and the inadequate fitness regime due to which he was not selected for Pakistan XI, inspite of being in the XI. Akhtar explains that during 2011 cricket WC semi-final against India, Akhtar was left out of the team as he was deemed unfit by the captain Afridi at the toss, even though Akhtar claims that he cleared all the fitness tests on the morning of the one-dayer and was fit to play. It’s controversies such as this that have marked his career but no one can complain about the kind of impact that he had over the cricket of his nation and he shall always be known as the “fastest” from Pakistan.