An international cricketer’s career is dependent on many factors. To name a few, talent, dedication, and luck are some of the key factors which decide the fate of most of the players. Unfortunately, sometimes even after having all of them, a cricketer might not succeed if there is no proper support from the country’s cricket board. After all, it is the selection panel that decides which player gets to be part of the final squad.
There have been such instances when a player’s biggest cricketing rival has turned out to be his cricket board. It is mostly due to a small misunderstanding or lack of trust between the player and the board. Sadly it is the cricketer who is always at the receiving end as he gets fewer opportunities to prove his worth. In some cases, it also reached a point where a cricketer ends his career by announcing early retirement.
Here is the list of 5 cricketers whose biggest enemies turned out to be their own cricket boards:
1. Dwayne Bravo
Be it their vibrant culture or fanciful cricket the Caribbean land has always managed to stand out on its own. Such has been their contribution to world cricket that at one point of time their cricketers were the poster boys of the gentlemen’s game. Even now the island nation has global ambassadors of the sport in the form of Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo. In particular, the latter has been an under-rated star of the country’s cricketing chronicles.
Right from his early days, it was quite clear that Bravo was destined for greatness. His all-round game and ability to shine through in difficult situations was the perfect mix for the resurgent West Indies side. Although his red-ball game didn’t take off as expected his white-ball genius helped the team win championships. On top of that, his flamboyance and electrifying personality made him one of the most adored cricketers around the globe except for the WICB.
Ironically, “The Champion” of West Indies has never been in good terms with his own cricket board. He has denounced them on numerous occasions. He also openly criticized the board for their selection policies. But to be fair to him, the board should also be held responsible for his actions.
Bravo has been wrong done by WICB on multiple levels. For far too many times he has been dropped from the squad even after putting up match-winning performances. And then finally when he choose to speak-up it resulted in the complete derailment of his career. Hence it can be said that it is the WICB that denied Bravo from unlocking his full potential at the international stage.
2. Kevin Pietersen
It’s a well-known fact that English cricket has never differentiated talents based on caste, creed, and colour. In return, the country has often received the services of world-class players. One such individual is South African born, Kevin Pietersen who became one of the iconic players the Brits have seen in their 143 years cricketing history. The charismatic right-hander was everything the England cricket wasn’t known for.
From his fearless batting style to his ability to pull the crowd, Pietersen owned the country’s cricket in many ways. Its prime examples are his 2005 Ashes heroics and England’s first ICC title win under him in the 2010 T20 World Cup, episodes which will always be special for the English cricket lovers. In short, he gave a new meaning to the Three Lions jersey. Still, England never understood him completely, and it is clear from the number of showdowns between him and the ECB.
At first, his social media posts made him a villain in the eyes of ECB. Immediately the board started questioning his integrity towards the English cricket. Very soon, it turned into an unending blame game in which Pietersen was always at the receiving end.
Thereafter, his text exchange with the South African players proved to be the final nail in the coffin as his team-mates turned their backs against him. As a result, his international career ended abruptly, and it is due to ECB’s arrogant decision to make him the traditional Englishman rather than letting him play with his swagger which robbed the cricketing fraternity of some extraordinary years of KP.
3. Shoaib Akhtar
Throughout their cricketing history, the Pakistan cricket team has been endowed with premium quality fast-bowling exponents. From Wasim Akram to Naseem Shah, the country has a never-ending relationship with pace. And talking about pace who can forget Shoaib Akhtar who often used to send the speed gun on a tizzy. The speedster is one of the most enigmatic characters the game has seen.
In his prime, Akhtar’s mere presence on the field petrified the opposition batsmen. Especially his long run-up and ability to bowl meaty bouncers made him a superstar in the early years of the 2000s. Even his breezy long hairstyle and aeroplane celebrations earned him a lot of admirers. In other words, Shoaib looked set to rule the cricketing world, but his constant battles with PCB proved it otherwise.
For most of Akhtar’s career, PCB doubted his commitment to the team. For the simple reason that his bowling prowess often took a backseat due to his frequent on-field outbursts and substance abuse. Moreover, some of his team-mates also didn’t like his hell-bent attitude.
With that being said, the country’s cricket system should also be blamed for botching up his career. PCB never tried to understand Shoaib’s problems and meted out suspensions and fines at will. Rather than moulding his talent, the board battled an ego war with him. So, in the end, the Rawalpindi Express couldn’t gather enough steam to become one of the best in the game.
4. Ambati Rayudu
With all due respect to England, it is fair to say that India is the home of modern-day cricket. Not only are they taking the game to global heights, but they are also shaping up some of the finest talents of the game. Especially in the last two decades, the Blue team has been home to several batting prodigies. One of them has to be the Hyderabad cricketer, Ambati Rayudu. The right-hander caught the eyes of the entire cricketing fraternity even before he turned 19.
Very early in his career, Rayudu created a buzz with his strokeplay and consistency. His versatility in his craft looked a cut above his counterparts. That’s why when he eventually made his way to the senior team in 2013, a lot of cricket enthusiasts wanted him to flourish as he did in his teenage days.
Though it hasn’t turned out to be a complete fairytale, he has made his presence felt in his 60 odd international outings. Mainly in ODIs, where he became a trusted sepoy of India’s middle-order and got reasonable success.
However, deep inside, Rayudu and every Indian cricket fan know that he hasn’t done justice to his talent. His erratic temperament might have played its part in it, but the main culprit has to be the BCCI as they never treated him fairly throughout his career. At first, the board banned him for his ICL stint, and it seemed the end of his cricketing dreams.
Luckily he did make a return, but by then, the selectors started overlooking him. And when he finally looked set for a long run in the national set-up, the team management messed it up. Then the killer blow came in the form of exclusion from the 2019 World Cup squad which forced him to announce his retirement at the age of 34. At last, one can easily say that the BCCI proved to be the biggest obstacle in Rayudu’s career.
5. Usman Khawaja
Some of you may despise the Australian team for their brash attitude and controversial tactics but, that doesn’t hide the fact that the country has a rich cricketing legacy. The Men in Yellow has always charmed the audience with their brand of cricket. Besides, they are one of the few teams who have embraced every cricketer irrespective of their origin. Its best example is Usman Khawaja, who is the first Pakistani to don the Baggy green cap.
The southpaw burst into the scene when he scored a truckload of runs in the 2010-11 Sheffield shield. Immediately he got a national call-up for the 2010-11 Ashes and made his debut in the last Test of the series. Since then, he has been an integral part of the Australian Test squad. Even in the shorter formats, he has helped the Kangaroos with his batting prowess. In all, Usman has been a find of the Australian cricket, but a closer look at his cricketing journey will tell you a different story.
In his decade long international career, he has only played 95 games. It suggests that he hasn’t been consistent enough in his trade. With that being said, the Cricket Australia (CA) should also be held responsible for his varying returns. For most of his career, the left-hander has been a scapegoat for the selectors. He is dropped from the squad whenever the team loses a high-profile series.
It seems that the board has never trusted him and, it is also evident from his recent exclusion from the ODI squad. Even after being one of the leading run-scorers in 2019, he finds himself out of the mix again. So now at 34, Khawaja’s career is at crossroads as CA let him down repeatedly.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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