The Timeless test matches are long gone. The 60 over games are trimmed to 20 over encounters. The gentlemen’s game is a newer version of self. The Sledges, War of Words in Pre-Series press conferences, on field ontroversies are still haunting the game. ICC are still taking measures to amend this and it continues to rout the game. ” Reward the good and Punish the Bad” is an old saying. ICC have punished, banned, reprimanded players for their wrong behaviour. But it had never came forward for rewarding for being fair. Ofcourse, the Spirit of Cricket Award at the annual ICC awards is handed over to individuals. Last year, Indian captain MS Dhoni received it for Bell- Run out incident in the third test match against England. We speak and quote that “Cricket is a team game and it should be looked beyond an individual’s perspective.” So if a team plays fair, it has to be rewarded. IPL is doing a great job by bringing in “Kingfisher Fair Play Award”- One of the greatest initiative by IPL. Had such things brought up in international cricket, many controversies that happened in the past, wouldn’t have happened. On that note, let me light upon 3 infamous incidents that happened in past.
Fannie de Villiers, the South African medium pacer is one such type of character whom every dressing room would love to have. In 1994, in a test match against England, de Villiers struck a batsman at his pad. David Shepherd, who was the umpire at his end turned it down in the favour of batsman. Much to his surprise, de Villiers came and bit his ear. Shepherd begun to screm in agony. Post his retirement, de Villiers recalls this incident.”One of our rugby players [Johan Le Roux, in 1994] bit the ear of the New Zealand captain [Sean Fitzpatrick],” de Villiers remembers. “It was in the paper that day, and the same day I bit David Shepherd’s ear because he didn’t give me an lbw decision. And he was screaming and I was holding on and he was pulling. And the ear stretched out that far from his head. And the next day, the Sun paper said, this is an old South African problem. The picture was in the paper and David signed it for me.” quotes de Villiers.
The most infamous incident of international cricket is the underarm-delivery incident. In the 3rd ODI of best-of-five-finals against Australia in 1981, New zealand require 6 runs of the last ball of their innings to tie the match. Trevor Chappel was bowling the final over of the match. Australia’s then captain Greg Chappel insisted his brother Trevor to bowl an under arm delivery, which a legimate delivery then, to prevent the batsmen preventing it from hitting it beyond the ropes.Brian McKechnie threw his bat in frustration without attemting to hit.”The boundary was the fence in those days. There weren’t any ropes, so it was almost 100 metres to the boundary,” he recalled.” I decided I wasn’t going to have a swing and get bowled. Throwing the bat down was just in frustration. It was a hell of a good game of cricket.”Trevor Chappell thought the underarm delivery was a pretty good idea at the time even though he knew it wasn’t in the spirit of the game. Greg Chappell said he was not aware of quite how badly his decision would go down until he was walking off. “One little girl ran beside me and tugged on my sleeve and said, ‘You cheated’,” he recalled. “That was when I knew it would be bigger than I expected.”
In the same season 1981/82, Australia again involved in an another on field controversies. In a test match against Australia at Perth, Pakistan bowled Australia for miserly 180 runs. But Dennis Lillee‘s fiery attack seized Pakistan innings for 62 runs. Australia then piled up 424 runs setting Pakisthan a winning target of 543 runs in 2 days. Pakisthan’s chase begun worse and they were reduce to 27 for 2. Javeed Mianded came in and steadied the ship. But Lille’s bouncers made Mianded to hear some chin music. Miandad turned Lillee behind square for a single, and in completing an easy run he collided with the bowler. Eyewitnesses agreed that Lillee was to blame and most observed that he had deliberately moved into the batsman’s path. The two players’ versions of events differ – both their autobiographies feature a lot of selfjustification. Miandad claimed that Lillee blocked him and “pushed him out of the way”; Lillee’s version of events has Miandad subjecting him to abuse as he approached and Lillee replying in kind – no mention of any contact. As Lillee turned he maintained that Miandad struck him from behind with his bat; Miandad countered with the claim that Lillee had kicked him as he passed. What isn’t in doubt is that Lillee then turned to confront Miandad, and Miandad lifted his bat above his head as if to strike him. The next day Lillee went into the Pakisthan’s dressing room and apologized for his behaviour.
Such and many more incidents have happened in the past.Those have become disgraceful part of cricket history. ICC always had a motive of punishing the bad. May be it should look upon in a newer perspective like rewarding the good. It might considerably reduce the controversies. In modern day, Virat Kohli is all known for the bad reasons in celebrating a century. Many Youngsters are agitative and short tempered. Cricket is moving into a state where every match is considered merely as a battle. If the on-field behavior of cricketers isn’t properly checked by proper amendments, the days for calling CRICKET AS A GENTLEMEN’S GAME is just numbered; it will turn into BADBOY’s GAME.