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When 'gentlemen' didn't play by the rule book

cricket Updated: Jul 19, 2011 22:53 IST

Hindustan Times
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Bodyline series
There hasn't been a bigger controversy than this in Test cricket. The tactic, employed by England to stop rampaging Don Bradman, was to bowl quick short-pitched deliveries aimed at the batsman's body, with fielders crowding on the leg side. Quite a few batsmen were hurt and it strained relations between Australia and England.

Rebel tours
Players from England, Australia, West Indies and Sri Lanka made seven unsanctioned tours to South Africa during its international sporting isolation from 1970 to 1991 because of the apartheid regime. These players were lured by big bucks, but there was huge resentment and social upheaval, especially in the West Indies.

The India-Australia equation hit rock bottom during the infamous Sydney Test in 2008. The match saw accusations of poor umpiring, unfair play and racial abuse flying thick and fast. Harbhajan was initially accused of racially abusing Andrew Symonds and handed a three-match ban, which was reduced to a fine for a lesser charge.

Test forfeited
All hell broke loose after umpires Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove docked Pakistan five runs for ball tampering in the 2006 Oval Test against England. Skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq did not lead the team back after tea and Pakistan were deemed to have forfeited the match. They thus became the first team to forfeit a Test. Hair was later axed.

The ghost of match-fixing, haunting mostly the shorter format of the game, crossed over to the longer format in the form of spot-fixing. The sting operation, carried out by the now defunct 'News of the World' tabloid, showed Pak bowlers agreeing to bowl no-balls. Pacers Mohd Aamer and Mohd Asif and vice-captain Salman Butt were banned.

Ball tampering
Pakistan have been the usual suspects. They were accused of ball tampering in 1992, but nothing came out of it. Waqar Younis became the first player to be suspended for it in 2000. Interestingly, the likes of Mike Atherton, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid too have had the charge levelled against them at one time or the other.