The year 2020 was a really amusing and perilous year in all regards, and drama unfolded everywhere as the coronavirus tightened its grip on everything, including cricket, which also saw some really unusual events happening in the limited amount of time that it was played this year.
The fans and the experts saw it all. From on-field tussle to a full-blown tweet battle, things raged on as everyone stood and watched the events unfold. While there were a lot of debates regarding these happenings, the game carried on and powered through these hiccups. Now, as the year comes to an end, here we have a look at the top 10 cricket controversies that 2020 brought along.
Here are the top 10 cricket controversies of 2020:
10. Racial discrimination allegations by Thami Tsolekile
Cricket South Africa has had its share of troubles with racial discrimination discussions popping up in its cricketing circuit and just when everyone thought it was done and dusted, the former South African wicketkeeper, Thami Tsolekile came up with another allegation regarding racial discrimination being prevalent in the country’s cricket set up. It was not done there, the allegations involved the current Director of Operations of CSA, and the country’s ex-captain, Graeme Smith.
The allegations from Thami on Smith were that the latter did not give him enough chances in the team while Thami was playing. While on a radio interview in August, Tami Tsolekile had accused Smith of not including him in the team while being the captain, especially on a 2012 Tour to England.
Smith was quick to respond, as soon after statements surfaced, Smith went on record to share his version of the story, where he completely denied having taken any racially motivated decisions during his tenure and the call to not pick Thami or any other player in the team was nothing but a move for the betterment of the team. He also added that he was never in charge of the selections and only his opinion was taken into account and he did not have a definite say in any matter regarding team selection.
9. The scoring error debate during the KXIP vs DC game
Umpiring errors in the cricket field have been an area of questioning and have led to several debates popping up in cricketing circles, and the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League too saw one such incident where an apparent umpiring error cost the Kings XI Punjab a match and two points against the Delhi Capitals.
The short-run call that was made by the umpire had severe effects on the run chase of the Kings XI Punjab as they were able to level the scores with the Delhi Capitals as the match went into a super over, where Delhi walked back home, all smiles with a win under their belt.
But, the fans and the owner of the Punjab-based franchise did not let the issue go un-noticed as Tweets came in regarding the incident with some even calling for changes to be made to the rules of the game to account for such errors. One such Tweet was from Preity Zinta, the owner of KXIP, who wrote, “I travelled enthusiastically during a pandemic, did 6 days of Quarantine & 5 covid tests with a smile but that one Short Run hit me hard. What’s the point of technology if it cannot be used? It’s time @BCCI introduces new rules. This cannot happen every year. #DCvKXIP @lionsdenkxip”.
8. Mohammad Amir’s sudden retirement from international cricket
This year saw Mohammad Amir calling it a day on his international cricket career with the Pakistan cricket team. While it may seem to be normal news of a cricket player finally deciding to take a step back after having his share of cricketing action, it were the circumstances and the statements made during the announcement of the decision that made headlines and got the cricketing circles buzzing.
The first news that came out regarding this whole chain of events was in the form of Amir taking an indefinite break from international cricket, citing his reservations with the functioning of the Pakistan cricket team’s management at the moment and how he was being ‘mentally tortured’ by them. This news created a lot of ripples in cricketing circles across the globe as the allegations made by Amir were very serious.
Post this, Wasim Akram, who is currently the Chief Executive of the Pakistan Cricket Board, spoke to Amir, who made it clear that he had no intention whatsoever to continue playing international cricket for Pakistan going forward. The PCB released a statement regarding the same and cleared the air on the matter. Amir, who recently played in the Lanka Premier League and did well there has told that he will be releasing an official statement once he is back in Pakistan, which will also contain the actual reason for his retirement.
7. Suresh Raina leaving Chennai Super Kings before the start of the IPL
The fans of Indian cricket and the sport in general across the globe were delighted to learn that after much effort and hard work both the players and the officials, the India Premier League was happening in such strange circumstances. But, little did they know that a storm was about to hit them in the form of a controversy sparked by the untimely return to India from UAE of the ace Chennai Super Kings player Suresh Raina just before the start of the tournament.
The news of Raina returning to India surprised both the experts and the fans equally as no clarity was there about what was the thing that had caused Raina to return to the country just before the IPL was about to start. The fact that Raina was very well in the plans of Chennai for IPL 2020 and had gone to the UAE to play the tournament added more fuel to the burning fire of curiosity amongst the followers of IPL.
Several speculations were made and news of there being disputes between him and the captain of the team was also floated as the fans waited curiously to know as to why Raina had come back to India so spontaneously. While the only reason that came through official channels from the side of the player was that he had come back due to personal reasons, a lot of uncertainty remains about what sparked this entire series of events.
6. Rohit Sharma’s injury mismanagement fiasco before the Australian tour
BCCI and its merry go round with injury management issues have been a topic of debate and discussions for quite some time now and it reached new heights when prior to the start of the all-important tour of the Indian team to Australia, a series of developments took place with regards to the health of Rohit Sharma, and his subsequent drop from the team caused a lot of controversies to stir up for the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
It all started when Rohit sustained an injury while playing for the Mumbai Indians in IPL 2020. And, this caused the selection panel to not include him in the initial list of players for the tour to Australia with the reason given being that his health was being monitored. But things went down when after this announcement, Mumbai Indians put out a video of Rohit batting in the nets and ready to play in the next match for his franchise.
This is where the questions started to be raised about BCCI’s policy regarding injury management started to be raised and things got even worse when the Indian captain, Virat Kohli went on record to say that there was a lot of uncertainty about his availability. All of this culminated into an avalanche of questions and opinions beaming in from all over the board for BCCI, which was under the heavy scanner of some of the heavyweights of Indian cricket too.
5. Marlon Samuels and Ben Stokes feud
It is not a hidden fact that things have not been well between Marlon Samuels and Ben Stokes for quite some time now, but things took a really ugly turn when Samuels took it to Instagram to vent out his anger in a rather distasteful way, regarding certain remarks that Ben Stokes had made that happened to include the name of the West Indian cricketer.
Ben Stokes while on a podcast, talking about the toughness of quarantine rules had said that he would not even wish on his worst enemy to go through the toil of staying in those circumstances. Stokes added, “I text my brother saying the same thing, and my brother asked,’ You wouldn’t do that to Marlon Samuels?’ I said, ‘no, it’s that bad.’ That’s how tough it was.’
In response to this Marlon put out some really abusive and distasteful series of stories on Instagram, dragging in even Stoke’s wife and Shane Warne too. Though Stokes did not respond and decided to stay silent, his fellow countryman, and ex-cricketer, Michael Vaughan did come forward with his views on the matter and criticized Marlon heavily for his behaviour.
4. Shahid Afridi and Naveen-ul-Haq’s war of words
The Pakistani cricket star, Shahid Afridi has been involved in a lot of perilous events on and off the field throughout his whole career, the more recent of which came in the form of his tussle with Naveen-ul-Haq. In this whole incident, who is to blame, it should be left for everyone else to decide but one thing is sure that what transpired during the handshakes and afterwards was not something that would be expected from the players of the gentleman’s game.
The tempers flared between the two after a match of the Lanka Premier League, when the teams were out, shaking hands and putting an official end to the game. But, that end marked the start of a battle that would send waves across the cricketing world, as it saw both the players engage in a verbal duel on the field itself.
Things did not end there as Afridi, after everything seemed to have died out on the field, took it to Twitter to give Naveen a piece of advice. Afridi wrote, ‘My advise to the young player was simple, play the game and don’t indulge in abusive talk. I have friends in Afghanistan team and we have very cordial relations. Respect for teammates and opponents is the basic spirit of the game.’ Naveen also put out a Tweet in response to this one by Afridi, which read, ’Always ready to take advice and give respect, Cricket is a gentleman’s game but if someone says you all are under our feet and will stay their then he is not only talking about me but also talking abt my ppl.
3. Sunil Gavaskar and Anushka Sharma engage in an uninvited duel
It all started with a comment from Sunil Gavaskar during a game of the Indian Premier League 2020, with regards to the batting form of Virat Kohli and what effect the COVID lockdown had on him, and a response from Anushka Sharma, Virat’s wife. And, it descended into a full-on battle that raged between the fans of the two parties involved in this whole scene.
For context, Sunil Gavaskar during an IPL game while Virat Kohli was batting in had said that he knows that he after watching a video that Virat had practiced batting against Anushka Sharma’s bowling and that was not going to be enough. But this statement of his was not received well by Anushka, who the very next day put out her view on the entire comment by Gavaskar.
“I’m sure over the years you have respected the private lives of every cricketer while commentating on the game. Don’t you think you should have an equal amount of respect for me and us? I’m sure you can have many other words and sentences in your mind to use to comment on my husband’s performance from last night or are your words only relevant if you use my name in the process? It’s 2020 and things still don’t change for me. When will I stop getting dragged into cricket and stop being used to pass sweeping statements?” Anushka said.
To this, Gavaskar responded by saying that he was not being sexist while making this statement and it was not his fault if someone misunderstood him. While it all may have ended between the two here, the fans continued to battle with arguments coming in heaps from both sides of fans on various forums.
2. Mushfiqur Rahim lashes out at Nasum Ahmed on the field
If and only if 2020 could have ended with much less chaos across the globe in every aspect of human life, it would have been a sigh of relief for every single person. But, as the year came to a close, it left us with a sight that bro the hearts of many cricket fans. The view of the Bangladesh wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim during a match being played as a part of the Bangabandhu T20 Cup, lashing out at his junior teammate, Nasum Ahmed on the field in the middle of a match put cricket in a very bad light.
It all happened when during a match, a ball was tossed up by the batsman high in the air behind the wickets, a place where both the slip fielder, Nasum Ahmed and the wicketkeeper, Rahim had a chance to collect it and complete a catch getting their team a wicket. And, as anyone would do, both the players converged to get the ball, and in the end, Rahim completed a clean catch.
But, what transpired on the field after the catch was the incident that took the world of cricket by a storm. The footage of a visibly angry Rahim beamed across screens all over the globe as he thrust his hand over his head, threatening to hit Ahmed with the ball, who had collided with him during the catch. Rahim did not stop there and continued to give animated reactions on the field, which drew a lot of flak from the entire cricketing community, in response to which he did put out a post on Facebook, apologising for his behaviour and making it clear that he had also said sorry to Nasum Ahmed after the incident and things were well between the two again.
1. Use of concussion substitute by India in the 1st T20I of the tour to Australia
The new concussion protocols and rules since the time that they have been put into force have confused a lot of teams and their management and the most recent time when they were made use of, a really controversial series of events happened. This all happened during the first T20 International match played between India and Australia as a part of the on-going tour, during which the Indian team management decided to replace Ravindra Jadeja midway through while staying under the rules with, Yuzvendra Chahal whose presence made a lot of difference for the team as they went on to win the match.
The replacement of Jadeja came in after the end of the first inning, where after being hit by the ball on the head he had gone through inspection, but continued to bat on before the news came in from the Indian dressing room at the end of the first inning that Yuzvendra Chahal was being named as a concussion substitute for him. This move by the Indian team management sparked a series of reactions from players of the Australian team and even their coach, Justin Langer, even had an animated exchange with the match referee as confusion and tension stayed in the air.
To add fuel to this fire, Jadeja with the bat had scored 44 runs before departing and Chahal when came in delivered a Man of the Match performance by taking 3 wickets. While the replacement was within the rules the ethical stand of the Indian team was the thing in question and it remains up to the individual to decide whether Yuzvendra Chahal was a like-for-like replacement for Ravindra Jadeja or not.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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