The Australian cricket team has never been shy of controversies. Just yesterday they indulged in some ugly banter with Indian batters despite year of carefully curated PR campaigns to establish themselves as a team that plays with the spirit of the game.
It may come as a shock to some but if you look at their history, this is the first time anything of this sort has happened.
1. During the infamous Sydney Test, Sourav Ganguly edged one to the third slip in the 2nd innings. Michael Clarke claimed the catch despite the ball had hit the ground first. Ganguly was declared out after Australian captain Ricky Ponting insisted and India lost the Test match.
2. During the 2nd test in Bengaluru, Steve Smith was adjudged LBW. But the Australian batsman stayed on the group trying to look at the dressing room to tell him whether to ask for DRS. This invoked quite a reaction from Virat Kohli who accused the Aussies of balling back on these tactics time and again.
3. Right before the Australian team was to board the flight for the World Cup 2003 in South Africa, ace spinner Shane Warne was found guilty of using a banned substance. ICC had him banned over taking this diuretic tablet for over 1 year.
4. Just hours after losing to England in the 2013 Champions Trophy, Australian opener David Warner got into a violent altercation with English batsman Joe Root at a pub. This not only led to him being suspended for the rest of the tournament but also pay a fine of AU $11,500.
5. With 6 needed off the last ball, Australian skipper Greg Chappell asked younger brother Trevor to bowl an underarm delivery at the MCG in 1981. Kiwi batsman Brian McKenchie defended the ball before throwing his bat away at the blatant disregard of the spirit of the game.
6. During 2013 Ashes, Australian captain Michael Clarke stepped in to stop an altercation between James Anderson and George Baily but ended up asking the English pacer to 'get ready for a broken fucking arm'.
7. During a league game in IPL 2014, Mitchell Starc bowled a bouncer of Keiron Pollard and sledged him. The next ball when Pollard pulled back from the stance, Mitchell Starc did not stop his run up. He instead proceeded to follow Pollard and threw a beamer at him.
8. During a 2018 Test between Australia and South Africa, Australian batter Cameron Bancroft was caught on camera trying to tamper an old ball with sandpaper that he hid inside his pants. Upon further investigation, it was found that captain and vice-captain, Steve Smith and David Warner were both behind the incident.
9. During the Sydney Test of 2008, the umpires had given so many calls in Australia's favour that when Michael Clarke edged one to first slip, he stood there and waited a few seconds as if he were hoping to be given not out.
10. During the 1980s, the ICC had placed a ban on its members undertaking tours of South Africa due to the country's apartheid policy. But from November 1985 to February 1986, an Australian rebel team was sent to SA despite the international community frowning upon the racist government.
Some things never change, I guess.