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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

India vs South Africa: From match-fixing to Sachin Tendulkar’s alleged ball-tampering - 5 biggest controversies of the series

Here are the top 5 controversies of the India vs South Africa series

cricket Updated: Sep 13, 2019 16:21 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Hansie Cronje (L), Greg Chappell, Sachin Tendulkar
Hansie Cronje (L), Greg Chappell, Sachin Tendulkar(Getty Images/HT Collage)

India will take on South Africa in a three-match T20I series followed by as many Test matches. South Africa’s tour of India begins with the first T20I at Dharamsala on Sunday, September 15. The Test series will begin from October 2 at Visakhapatnam. The Virat Kohli-led Indian side left for Dharamsala on Friday morning while the Proteas had already landed there a couple of days earlier. Ahead of the series opener let’s look back at some of the biggest controversies between the two nations.

Hansie Cronje match fixing

The match fixing controversy which came to light in April 2000 was perhaps the biggest controversy the gentleman’s game has seen. Then South Africa captain Hansie Cronje was charged with fixing by Delhi police during the ODI series. Cronje initially denied the allegations but confessed that he had indeed taken $10,000 to 15,000 for “providing information and forecast but not match-fixing” during the one-day series in India. He was later on banned from international cricket for a lifetime.


Ball-tampering and Sachin Tendulkar

Match Referee Mike Denness suddenly grabbed the headlines in Indian media after he found six Indian cricketers - captain Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, wicket-keeper Deep Dasgupta, Harbhajan Singh and opener Shiv Sundar Das – guilty of excessive appealing but what triggered the outrage was the fact that Tendulkar was also booked for ball-tampering in the second Test match at Port Elizabeth. All the cricketers were banned for one Test. The matter did not go down well with the BCCI as they launched a massive protest even threatening to pull out of the tour if Denness continued to be the match referee in the third and final Test. ICC was forced to remove Denness as the match referee but the third Test lost its international status and was deemed only a ‘five-day friendly’ match . The ban on Tendulkar and Ganguly was also overturned.


Greg Chappell middle finger

Then India head coach Greg Chappell showed his middle finger to the crowd, who were protesting outside the India’s team bus in Kolkata ahead of the India vs South Africa ODI at Eden Gardens. The whole incident was caught in camera which showed Chappell in low light. There were huge protests in different parts of the country after Sourav Ganguly was not only sacked as captain but also dropped from the Indian side. The former India captain blamed Chappell for his exclusion.

South Africa won the ODI at Eden Gardens by 10 wickets but it was remembered more for the boos the Rahul Dravid-led Indian side received from the home crowd.

Kanpur dust bowl

In 2008, BCCI was widely criticized for dishing out a pitch at Kanpur which many believed favoured the home side spinners a great deal. India were 0-1 down and desperately needed a victory to level the series. The match at Kanpur ended inside three days as Indian spinners ruled. Match referee Roshan Mahanama gave a sub-standard rating to the Kanpur pitch in his report.

Kapil Dev Mankad


Not known to vent out his anger on the cricket field, former India world cup winning captain Kapil Dev was in the news for the wrong reasons during the 2nd ODI at Port Elizabeth in 1992. An angry Kapil Mankaded South Africa batsman Peter Kirsten for backing up too far and also gave him a send off. Then South Africa captain Kepler Wessels, who was the striker protested but angry Kapil indicated that Kirsten left his crease for third time. Kirsten was fined 50% of his match fees for showing dissent.

First Published: Sep 13, 2019 16:19 IST