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1932/1933: Bodyline, England v Australia: In an effort to nullify the world’s greatest batsman, Australian Don Bradman, England employed a tactic that came to be known as ‘‘bodyline’’. The bowlers would target the batsman rather than the wicket, and the outrage it caused in Australia following injuries to many of its batsmen threatened friendly relations between the two countries.

1947 – Pakistan v India

For many years following the partition of India, games between Pakistan and India had to be played at neutral venues due to crowd trouble. In recent years, the games have been labelled ‘‘the friendship series’’, and fans have joined together in displays described as ‘‘cricket diplomacy’’.

1977 – World Series Cricket: battling the television networks

Australian multi-millionaire Kerry Packer signed 51 of the world’s leading players and established his own competition in defiance of the International Cricket Council.

The move was ultimately successful in wrestling television rights from ABC, Australia’s publicly-owned broadcaster, and modernising the game.

1980s – The rebel tours

During the 1980s, players from England, Australia, Sri Lanka and the West Indies toured South Africa, in defiance of the international ban on sporting contact with the country due to apartheid.

All of the players involved in the tours received lengthy bans.

1990s – Match-fixing

The captains of South African (Hansie Cronje), Pakistan (Saleem Malik), and India (Mohammed Azharuddin), were banned for life after a match-fixing and illegal betting investigation. Two Australian players, Mark Waugh and Shane Warne, were fined for providing inside information to bookmakers.

2003 – Zimbabwe

Two Zimbabwean players, Andy Flower and Henry Olonga, wore black armbands during the 2003 World Cup in protest against ‘‘the death of democracy in Zimbabwe’’. The Zimbabwe Cricket Union, headed by Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe, subsequently faced allegations that it had introduced a racist policy banning white players.


February 17, 2009 Posted by | Cricket Controversy, Sports Controversy | Leave a comment

The Famous Gavaskar-Border-Ponting Controversy

The row between Cricket Batting legends Sunil Gavaskar and Allan Border was a show of pent up anger dating back from the Bedi vs Bob Simpson series in 1979 which India almost won despite unfavourable (read highly biased) umpiring by Australians:

1. Gavaskar – Quoting David Hookes incident:

This is perhaps the only incorrect reference/ remark in the whole episode.

David Hookes or anyone else, the quote was out of context and Gavaskar lost track of his argument from here, allowing the Aussies to defend themselves. Thumbs Down.

2. Ponting defending sledging by referring to it as a cultural difference:

Sure there are cultural differences and India and West Indies are at one end of the cultural spectrum and Australia and England the other end (England has lately moved to the centre of the spectrum). This end of the spectrum is red (blood), and they sure play the game hard, and would resort to any style to win – in fact winning is everything. Remember how Bob Simpson was never given out in 1977-78 series led by Bishan Singh Bedi where the Aussies could not stand up to the Indian Spinners so only their partisan umpiring saved the day for them. I don’t know how many remember the Trevor Chappell underhand delivery? New Zealanders surely do – and would never forget that. Or more recently Ponting sledging the minnow nations play – well he should go to the football world cup and take a stand there first. Similarly, England resorted to Bodyline, Vaseline (John Lever in India) and even through racial means which they abandoned later (discrimination at MCC, etc). At the West Indian and Indian end of the cultural spectrum (which is white as in peace) we’ve always known that the game has to be played fairly and even tampering the psychology of the opponent is not fair. Now this is another matter whether tampering with the psychology is fair or not, but it is a part of the game tactics. Thumbs Down.

3. Ponting – on Gavaskar Chauhan walkout:

Well that incident is a blot on Gavaskar’s otherwise spotless career (besides the Kapil Dev drop in Calcutta). Still, let us understand, they didn’t resort to sledging and their decision was hurting none other than their own team and Chauhan in particular (he lost what was in hindsight was probably his last opportunity to score a test 100). It is still much better than Aussies tricking to keep out Murali through various unfair means. It is a well know fact that only the actions of cricketers from the sub-continent have been found incorrect. Ricky Ponting, what do you say to that? Thumbs Down.

4. Ponting – on Adam Gilchrist walk out without being given out:Cosidering that Ricky Ponting did not take it lightly, and did not like Adam Gilchrist’s walk says a lot about how Aussies play their cricket – i.e. not in the best of sportsman spirit. Thumbs Down. The bottomline is that some teams want a fair results, and some teams want to just win. And recently since they have been winning, they have not been found to be a Champion, they’re just winners. West Indies were Champions. Champions are winners whatever the results. Thumbs up.

5. Border – on how Gavaskar played his cricket:

Well Gavaskar surely played it better than Border who just kept on and on till he could cross Gavaskar in the number of runs he scored – and at what average? If Border wants to refer to Gavaskar’s ODI career, well, that is about India taking time to adapt to the new style of playing cricket and Gavaskar’s 36 runs in the world cup, was the bottom. Thereafter Gavaskar adapted well and had a score of good performances. Finally it is a fact that India and West Indies took the cup much before Australia could stand up and be counted. Even Sri Lanka took it before them. Thumbs Down.

6. Border – Quoting David Hookes incident:

This is perhaps the only incorrect reference/ remark in the whole episode.

David Hookes or anyone else, the quote was out of context and Gavaskar lost track of his argument from here, allowing the Aussies to defend themselves. Thumbs Down.

7. Darren Lehmann – joining the controversy:

Darren who? Well, what is the need of Darren now to get into the controversy? Thumbs Down.

September 24, 2008 Posted by | Cricket Controversy, Historic Controversies, Sports Controversy | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment