5 ugly cricket fights

Prahlad Srihari

Cricket is not a contact sport. The rules of the game do not allow for any deliberate contact amongst its players. Though contact can still occur, they are mostly unintentional and incidental. It's not ice-hockey where cheap shots and ugly brawls is the norm. Nor is it football, where you may have the occasional head-butt. In case the physical contact aggravates to something more, cautionary measures are taken to avoid further provocation.But in the heat of battle when you’re playing for your team or country, even in a sport of negligible contact, a few unpleasant incidents are bound to occur. They may not be the best examples of what MCC’s Spirit of Cricket is all about. But they surely are great examples of what the Spirit of Good television is about.So, here are 5 incidents which showed the uglier side of the “gentleman’s game.”

#1 Shane Warne vs. Marlon Samuels

Shane Warne vs. Marlon Samuels – Melbourne Stars v Melbourne Renegades at Melbourne, Jan 6, 2013

Tempers flared in BBL's (Big Bash League) 2nd season when Australian king of spin, Shane Warne and West Indian batsman, Marlon Samuels were involved in a fierce altercation. Samuels was initially involved in another incident in the game when he shockingly grabbed David Hussey, who was trying to take a second run.

This sour incident was not going to be easily forgotten by Warne, who made sure Samuels understood his unsportsmanlike conduct. This involved a further illustration of shirt-grabbing, finger-pointing, ball hurling and concluded with Samuels throwing his bat at Warne. It was like something out of a Sophocles tragedy.


#2 Dennis Lilee vs. Javed Miandad

Dennis Lilee vs. Javed Miandad - 1st Test: Australia v Pakistan at Perth, Nov 13-17, 1981

In the first Test of Pakistan's tour of Australia in 1981, Dennis Lillee and Javed Miandad were involved in one of cricket's most inglorious incidents. Two disagreeable cricketers came together in one of the more indelible incidents in the sport’s history.

Though Lillee was clearly the instigator, having deliberately moved into Miandad's path, the scene of a raging Miandad wielding his bat like a weapon is infamous. The altercation happened after Lillee kicked him on his way back to his run-up. Thanks to umpire Tony Crafter's intervention, a surlier and potentially more terrifying consequence was averted.


#3 Virat Kohli vs. Gautam Gambhir

Virat Kohli vs. Gautam Gambhir - Royal Challengers Bangalore v Kolkata Knight Riders at Bangalore, Apr 11, 2013

In IPL 2013, during a fixture between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders, Indian ODI superstar Virat Kohli and his Delhi teammate Gautam Gambhir were involved in a verbal row which could have gotten a lot worse if Gambhir's teammates hadn't stepped in.

There was a bit of animosity between the two through both innings and words were definitely exchanged. But after Kohli's dismissal in RCB's chase, Gambhir was joyfully unrestrained and may have said a few words.

An irate Kohli charged at Gambhir and words were spoken but thankfully Rajat Bhatia intervened before things went haywire.

#4 Kieron Pollard vs. Mitchell Starc

Kieron Pollard vs. Mitchell Starc - Mumbai Indians v Royal Challengers Bangalore at Mumbai, May 6, 2014

In the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League, ICC World No.1 ODI bowler Mitchell Starc and West Indian hard-hitting batsman, Kieron Pollard were involved in quite an ugly confrontation. Pollard pulled out of a delivery from Starc at the last second and a furious Starc proceeded to bowl the next ball at Pollard's legs.

Pollard responded in kind by threatening to throw his bat at the fast bowler. But the bat slipped out of Pollard's hand and made the incident look a lot worse than it was. The almost irremissible exchange of words certainly did not help the situation.


#5 Glenn McGrath vs. Ramnaresh Sarwan

Glenn McGrath vs. Ramnaresh Sarwan - 4th Test: West Indies v Australia at St John's, May 9-13, 2003

The highest ever successful run chase in Test Cricket in Antgiua during Australia's tour of the Caribbean in 2003 was tainted by one of cricket's most distasteful incidents. West Indies were on the verge of a famous victory and had made the Australian bowlers toil through the day.

A frustrated McGrath had a few not-so-kind words to say and with Sarwan's retort concerning McGrath's wife, followed a widely publicised but dreadful incident. McGrath's wife was terribly sick at the time and Sarwan was completely unaware about her condition. An emotionally charged up McGrath obviously took offense at Sarwan's casual riposte.

Edited by Staff Editor


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