Cricket, like any other sport, has seen its fair share of scandals. Here are 5 of them which proved to be a stain that cannot be washed, and continue to be quoted to date.
1. Hansie Cronje and Mohammad Azharuddin match-fixing scandal.
In the year 2000, the Indian police in Delhi leveled allegations against Hansie Cronje in connection with fixing the match of his side against India. Cronje denied the same but later confessed to it. Many South African players also vouched for the fact that Cronje had approached them regarding this.
It was Cronje who alleged Azharuddin’s involvement in the whole match-fixing saga and that he was the one who introduced him to the bookies. The Indian was found guilty and both of them were handed life-bans from cricket subsequently.
2. Sandpapergate Scandal
In 2018, Cameron Bancroft was found rubbing one side of the ball against sandpaper to make it swing in flight. He was doing so in plain sight, and the cameras captured the whole incident in no time. Soon, the news broke out across the world, and captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner also came under the radar. All 3 of them were removed from the team and Darren Lehmann, the coach, resigned.
The players made their way back into the squad in 2019.
3. The clash between Glenn McGrath and Ramnaresh Sarwan.
This is possibly the ugliest exchange of words that has happened on the cricket field. Without going too deep into the details, there was McGrath said something really disrespectful to Sarwan, who responded with an even more disrespectful and unnecessary comment on the Australian’s wife. Both of them apologised later, but this is one incident that can never be forgotten or brushed under the rug as “banter”. They took it way too far.
4. The Eden Garden incident, World Cup, 1996
In this incident, it was the fans who brought disrepute to the game. India was playing semi-final against Sri Lanka, the eventual winners, and wasn’t performing well. This is when the fans lit parts of the stadium on fire, and things got to a point where the match had to be called off. Sri Lanka won the semi-final by default and then the final with an amazing performance.
Safe to say, this was unfair towards both teams who were trying to play to the best of their abilities. The pictures of Vinod Kambli crying as he walked towards the stands are widely circulated to date.
5. Monkeygate scandal
It was the second Test match of the Border-Gavaskar trophy in 2007-2008 that came under-fire for allegations of racism against Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh. Ricky Ponting alleged that the Indian bowler had made racial jibe against Andrew Symonds. But things did not stop there. With these issues in the background, there were also some grave umpiring errors (which Steve Bucknor later admitted to), that cost India the match and also, the series (Australia won 1-2).