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Top 5 controversial dismissals in matches between Australia and England

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Controversies are never far away when England meet Australia play each otherControversies are the entertaining part of life. They might do more harm than good, but one can’t deny its fun aspect. Controversy is also the first pillar to fame; just ask Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton.If you are aspiring anything and want to be known for your antics, all you need is to do something highly controversial that will make you an internet sensation overnight. To be honest, it is not even so hard these days as there are plenty of websites which are followed by plenty of people who love watching completely irrelevant and pointless stuff. The internet made Justin Bieber popular – there can’t be a better testament to the power of the internet.Without digressing any further, the rivalry between England and Australia is the cricket equivalent of the one between Marvel and DC Comics. The heat of the moment in every moment of such encounters is always going through the roof and hence we are always a whisker away from something controversial to happen.And there’s been some eye-widening storms over the years and here we list the Top 5 controversial dismissals in matches between the two teams.  

#1 James Anderson run out (2015 World Cup)

James Anderson
ICC later admitted that run out of Anderson shouldn’t have stood

This was one of the most hilarious mix-ups (Not from an England point of view) in the history of the World Cup. One would have thought that the umpires must be fully aware of the rules and regulations of the game before being allowed to officiate games. This game, however, shows that even umpires live in their fair share of ignorance.

James Taylor was batting at 98* and there was just another ball left in the innings. England needed 112 runs to win off the last ball, so the only salvation from such an embarrassment would have been Taylor reaching the three-figure mark at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

So, as the ball hit the legs of Taylor, the Australian players appealed and umpire Aleem Dhar raised his finger. Meanwhile, after the Pakistani had raised his finger, Glenn Maxwell—fielding at point—threw the ball towards the stumps and hit them.

The original LBW decision was overturned after it was referred by Taylor, but the Australians weren’t content—they now appealed for the run-out. Replays showed that Anderson was outside his crease and was hence adjudged run out, denying Taylor the chance to reach the century.

In the aftermath of the controversies regarding the decision, ICC acknowledged the fact that the umpires were wrong since the rules say that the ball should have been declared dead as soon as the umpire raised his finger, which occurred before Maxwell’s release.

“I make rules so hard to understand that I call myself ICC.”

#2 Usman Khawaja (2013 Ashes)

This is the best example of a scenario where the spectators are left with the opinion that trained monkeys would do a better job at third umpiring than Humans.

As Graeme Swann’s ball took a massive turn after pitching, Usman Khawaja swung his bat at it with the hope that he will smash it to the cover boundary. However, the turn was so huge that it put Frank Pentangeli to shame and Khawaja missed it completely – literally by a country mile.


The England team, though, didn’t share the same view as they appealed the decision. The umpire raised his finger, to the disbelief of Khawaja, and the latter instantly asked for it to be referred.

Kumar Dharmasena is a well-respected umpire and he was the third umpire for the game. After viewing the incident from several angles and technologies, it was as clear as Melanie Laurent’s skin that the ball didn’t touch any part of the bat at all.

However, Kumar Dharmasena did the most baffling thing when he decided to not overturn the on-field umpire’s decision. Khawaja was adjudged out and he was visibly unhappy with it.


#3 Ricky Ponting (2005 Ashes)

Back in the day, movies with graphical contents and watching Ricky Ponting had one common denominator: they weren’t for kids. Anyone who wanted a lesson or two for learning swear words just had to read the lips of the former Australia captain and she/he would become an expert at using swear words.

And one such instance was when Punter went on a brutal tirade against the English team after this controversial dismissal. As he was looking to complete a single from the non-striker end, an uncapped English substitute fielder—filling in for injured Simon Jones—threw the ball directly at the stumps and got Ponting out.

When Ponting looked around to see who the sharpshooter was, he was stunned as he couldn’t recognize the player. And then began the fury; he started spitting venom from his poisonous tongue at the England dressing room while walking to the pavilion, calling them a bunch of cheaters and whatnot.

The Australians—with Ponting heading them—labelled the England team as cheats and immoral because they fielded multiple substitute players to give their bowlers a break every now and then. These were the very rare glorious times when Australia suddenly remembered the spirit of the game.

#4 Ben Stokes (ODI series, 2015)

And these are one of the many times when Australians don’t seem to know that a thing called the spirit of the game exists.

Australia’s new Test captain, Steven Smith, took a leaf out of Ricky Ponting’s book and did an unsportsmanlike behaviour in the 2nd ODI of the recently concluded ODI series. As Ben Stokes smashed the ball back into the hands of Mitchell Starc, the Australian speedster, in an act pulsated by fast bowler's aggression, threw the ball back the stumps.

Ben Stokes, like every other human, gave into involuntary reflex action and extended his arm in order to try and stop the ball. The ball hit his hand and since his arm was extended, the Australians appealed and he was given out for obstructing the field.

A lot of people expressed their views about this issue with almost all of them disagreeing with the conduct of Steven Smith for asking the case to be taken to the third umpire. And even if Smith didn’t feel sorry then, he just might now after knowing what the cricket fraternity think of his acts.

#5 Almost every dismissal in the bodyline series

The Bodyline series – The pinnacle of controversy. This was the most controversial series in the history of cricket and about 82 years later, it doesn’t seem like anything can top what happened here.

The description of the term ‘bodyline’ would make fans of this age go, “so, what if they bowled targeting the body?” However, considering that the protective guards back in those days were thinner than the LED TVs of now, it was plain dangerous.

Right now, a batsman could get a vicious hit on his head and still stand up unharmed due to the helmet. 82 years ago, however, Australian batsman Bert Oldfield was lying on the ground with a fractured skull and 50000 people viewed the event with utter disbelief and disgust.

The reason for such a tactic was simple: Sir Donald Bradman. The current world just loves exaggerating and glorifying the olden days. “Oh, those were some days,” goes the notion before they went on to claim how the stars fell from the sky on the earth and how they drank its rays.

With Bradman, however, nothing was an exaggeration. He was as good as people claimed, if not better. So good that Douglas Jardine—then England captain—decided that for his team to have a chance at winning the Ashes, he must employ a certain tactic to stop Bradman.

Hence, the bodyline tactic ensued. And it worked. Bradman’s average was just a nudge above 56—his career worst for a specific series, just goes to show his brilliance—and England won it 4-1.

But the series was so contentious that almost every event that unfolded exuded controversy—and, sometimes, the debate still rages.

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