You would often hear people saying ‘cricket is a captain’s game’ and truly it is. If the team wins, the captain gets the praise. If the team fails to perform, the skipper has to be the one to be blamed. In every team, a captain holds the responsibility of carrying the side on and off the field.
However, there are flawed individuals everywhere. A captain is looked like the most respected individual in the team but sometimes they make mistakes as well. There have been many instances in cricket where a captain has used his power to ask a player to do something which wasn’t in the spirit of the game. Without further to say, let us take a look at 5 weirdest things captains asked their teammates to do.
Here are five such incidents:
1. Greg Chappell asking his brother to bowl underarm
Greg Chappell’s career had a few controversies but none bigger than this one. This incident took place way back in 1981. Australia was playing New Zealand in the 3rd final of the Benson and Hedges World series at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The series of five finals were tied at 1-1. Australia had put a total of 242 on the board. New Zealand fought hard and reached a point where they needed another 15 runs to seal the match.
Trevor Chappell, the brother of Greg, was bowling the last over. He conceded eight runs from his first five balls and the Kiwis needed another seven runs to win from the last ball. A six would have tied the game. However, as Brian McKechnie was getting ready to take the strike, Greg walked up to his brother and gave him the most bizarre suggestion.
Greg Chappell asked Trevor to bowl the final delivery underarm as it would restrict the batsman from hitting a six off the final ball. Greg then went and informed the umpire of this decision so that the batsman knows. Trevor bowled the ball underarm and this incident became the probably one of the most infamous one in Australian cricket history. Greg Chappell was heavily criticised for this as everyone felt this move was against the spirit of the game.
2. Salman Butt asking Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif to bowl no-balls
This incident which took place in 2010 shook the cricketing world entirely. Pakistan was touring England for a Test series when allegations of spot-fixing against Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif came to light. Upon investigation, it was revealed that Pakistan captain Salman Butt had asked Amir, who was at the time just 18 years old, to carry on the act.
During the Test match at Lord’s, Amir bowled a few no-balls which were quite huge. It was later revealed that those no-balls were co-ordinated and bowled deliberately. In fact, upon further investigation, it was revealed that Amir had taken a bribe from bookies to carry on this activity.
Salman Butt, being the captain, was blamed to push young Amir into the act of spot-fixing. As Amir was the youngest of the lot, it was assumed and later confirmed that Butt was the one who approached Amir with such a deal.
3. Suraj Randiv prevents Virender Sehwag’s century
Another incident of a bowler bowling a no-ball deliberately but the reason is different in this situation. Suraj Randiv was bowling an over to Virender Sehwag during a tri-series match in Sri Lanka in 2010. India needed just one run to win the match and Sehwag was batting on 99.
At this moment, Randiv bowled a huge no-ball which Sehwag hit for a six. However, that six was counted under Sehwag’s total as India had already won the match when Randiv bowled the no-ball. Going by the looks of no-ball it seemed like one hell of a deliberate move by the spinner.
Upon receiving criticism from the media and experts, captain Kumar Sangakkara took full responsibility for the incident. It was also revealed that senior player Tillakaratne Dilshan was also involved in this incident. Randiv was banned for one match by the Sri Lankan Cricket. Sangakkara was let off by the board as he apologised on behalf of his team publicly.
4. Hansie Cronje asking Gibbs to get out early
The year 2000 was a year full of controversies for South African cricket. Long-standing captain Hansie Cronje was facing the match-fixing allegation against his name. At first, Cronje denied any association with the bookies but later on, he decided to reveal the truth. He admitted of many matches in which he took decisions on the demands of the bookies.
Herschelle Gibbs was one of the Proteas players whose name had also come in light during the incident. After Cronje’s confession came out, Gibbs openly admitted that the captain had offered him $15,000 to get out without scoring more than 20 runs in an ODI match in Nagpur against India. He also revealed that the captain had also offered the same amount to Henry Williams to give away more than 50 runs from his 10 overs in that very match.
None of the players received their payments though. Gibbs went on to score 74 runs in that match while Williams couldn’t bowl more than two overs, as he injured his shoulder while bowling.
5. Ball-tampering incident of 2018
Well, this incident was undoubtedly the most infamous and embarrassing one in the history of Australia cricket. During a Test match against South Africa in 2018 in Cape Town, the Aussies were under some pressure going into the break. During the break, vice-captain David Warner hatched a plan to tamper with the ball. Cameron Bancroft was chosen to get the job done. The opening batsman used sandpaper on the ball to tamper with it.
Unfortunately, while Bancroft was brushing the sandpaper on the ball, the camera crew caught him carrying on the act. Once, the broadcasters started taking note of this thing, TV umpire asked the on-field umpire to talk to Bancroft. He didn’t admit any wrongdoing.
After the day’s play, captain Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft appeared for a press conference and admitted of tampering with the ball. Though Smith later revealed that it was Warner who came up with the plan, he also admitted as a captain he didn’t stop the thing from happening. Smith and Warner were banned by Cricket Australia for one year while Bancroft served a nine-month ban as well.
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