Cricket is known to be a gentleman’s game; however there are a few incidents that took cricketing fraternity of India and the world by storm. With the ongoing Asia Cup 2016 already creating a stir and the ICC T20 World Cup right around the corner here’s looking back at 5 of the most significant incidents that marred the sport with controversy in our country:
India-South Africa Match fixing controversy of ‘99: The year 1999 saw one of the most prominent names in cricket being shrouded in a cloud of controversy. Mohammad Azharuddin one of India’s most accomplished batsman and also one of the most successful captains of India found himself in the centre of an ugly match fixing fiasco. South African captain Hansie Cronje went on record naming Azharuddin as the one who had introduced him to the bookies. This shifted the entire focus on Azharuddin whose house was raided by income tax officials for proof. Former recipient of the Arjuna Award, Azharuddin faced a life ban from all forms of cricket by the BCCI and ICC as the whole of India watched in shock.
Mike Denness and Indian cricket team incident: Mike Denness, a cricket match referee, found six Indian players guilty of various offenses like ball tampering and excessive appealing during a test match between India and South Africa in 2001. The likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Sourav Ganguly and Harbhajan Singh were handed suspension for one Test match as a result of this. Protestors took to the streets and burnt effigies of Denness, while the matter was raised in the Indian parliament, with the press terming Denness as a racist.
Monkey gate scandal racism allegations: During one of Australia’s ODI tours in India in October 2007, Andrew Symonds was subjected to monkey-chants from some members of the Indian crowd. Media also reported that Harbhajan Singh had called Symonds a “monkey” but the matter was privately resolved as Harbhajan explained he meant something else that sounded like “monkey”. However the cricket world was abuzz with allegations of racism being thrown on Bhajji.
The Chappell–Ganguly controversy: In 2005 Greg Chappell took over from John Wright as the Indian coach. A series of dressing room arguments and highly publicized disagreements between the coach and the Indian Captain-Sourav Ganguly led to a huge fall out within the team. The dispute resulted in the removal of Ganguly from captaincy, being dropped from the ODI team and protests in Kolkata against Dada’s removal.
IPL Spot fixing controversies: When it comes to Indian Cricket controversies, the much celebrated Indian Premier League does not fall far behind. In 2013 two of the most popular franchises of IPL – Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals were suspended from the tournament for spot fixing. In September 2013, Rajasthan Royals players Sreesanth and Ankeet Chavan were banned for life by BCCI’s disciplinary committee, after being found guilty of being involved in spot fixing