From 'dirt in the pocket' to 'Sandpaper Gate': A look at two of Cricket's biggest ball-tampering scandals
#3 The Inception
Cricket has had a tumultuous relationship with ball tampering that dates back to the early 90s. Back then, no issue was more emotive than ball tampering, threatening to shatter the sanctity of this beautiful game. Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram made heads turn during some of their unplayable spells in Pakistan's tour of England in the summer of 1992.
The series was being played in the aftermath of the World Cup final where Wasim Akram, in an inspired spell of reverse-swing bowling, bamboozled the English middle-order. Reverse swing was a hitherto concept back then. It was the Pakistani bowlers, engineered by Imran Khan, who shed light on the concept that was obscure to the cricketing fraternity.
While there was the intrigue, there was also an element of doubt among the purists of the possible miscreant. It all came to a head during the five-match series when Waqar and Wasim affected a scintillating collapse of English batting from a position of strength.
Doubts were cast by the English media and the players alike of the possible malice, and although nothing was ever proved, it brought two proud cricketing nations at loggerheads, both waiting for the series to get over.Modified 20 Dec 2019, 15:22 IST