Cricket is a competitive sport and at the international level, players fight for every run and wicket. Even though it’s called a gentleman’s game, sometimes tempers do fly which results in some heated and unsavory exchanges. Spectators do enjoy a fierce battle between the ball and bat with banter and sledging forming part of the thrill.
An express fast bowler bowling short ball bouncers to a batsman and then following it up with a deadly stare generally spices things up. We can all agree that without the usual intensity, cricket would lose its charm.
However, sometimes the line between intense competition and unruly behavior gets blurred. We look at five incidents when the actions of players went against the spirit of the game.
Shakib Al Hasan in Dhaka Premier League
Only last week, in the Dhaka Premier League, Hasan lost his cool and kicked the stumps in front of the umpire when his lbw shout was turned down. The bails flew across the umpire’s face and luckily no one was injured. Later in the match, Hasan again blew off his steam and uprooted the stumps and threw them on the ground. This was because the umpires called for play to stop because of rains. Shakib has been fined and suspended for three matches but this behavior of Shakib isn’t new. He has previously on many occasions displayed unprofessional and disrespectful behavior on the field.
Pollard and Starc in IPL
In the 2014 IPL, Pollard and Starc were involved in an ugly spat. Starc was taking his run-up and Pollard was at the crease. Midway, Pollard moved away from the stumps in anticipation of a dead ball. However, Starc bowled the ball at him and this infuriated Pollard and in the heat of the moment, he threw his bat at Starc. In the nick of time, Pollard realized what he was doing and tossed the bat towards the sky. The umpires had to intervene and calm the nerves. Post-match, both were severely fined for their behavior.
Dhoni in IPL
This is one name that many would not expect on the list but Captain Cool has also had that one-off moment when he was unable to control his irritation and walked down to the ground from the dug-out. It was in the 2019 IPL when Chennai was against Rajasthan. Chennai needed 18 runs in the final over for victory. Dhoni was out on the third ball of the over. On the next ball, Stokes bowled a high full toss to Satner. It was initially given as a no-ball but umpire Oxenford changed the decision. Seeing this from the dugout, Mahi was furious and started walking towards the umpires. Everyone was visibly taken aback by Dhoni’s behavior. CSK eventually managed a last-ball victory but Dhoni was fined after the match for his unprecedented behavior.
Marlon Samuels in BBL
This happened in 2013 in the Melbourne derby of BBL. Marlon Samuels, who was playing for the Renegades, held the shirt of Stars batsman David Hussey when Hussey was on his way for the second run. Stars skipper Warne was not pleased by thus, and decided to give it back to him when he came to bat. Warne provoked Samuels by throwing the ball back at the latter while fielding at short cover, and hitting his torso in the process. Things got real ugly when an enraged Samuels threw his bat in Warne’s direction, although it landed quite far away from the opposition captain.
Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir in IPL
When KKR took on RCB in 2013, the two Delhi players got involved in a bad argument. Teammates and umpires had to immediately interject to avoid the situation getting out of hand. It seems as if this was a one-off incident and took place in the heat of the moment. Later on, Gambhir and Kohli have shared an amicable relationship with Gambhir regularly praising Kohli’s captaincy. Rajat Bhatia, Gambhir’s KKR teammate, later clarified that it was a freak incident because both of them are very passionate about the game. He confirmed that it did not involve any serious issue and was just a burst of emotions at that point.