3 All-Time Cricketing Sinners

Cricket is a sport that is defined by principles of ‘fair play’.

However, there are always a few players who get consumed by the prospect of winning and will resort to ‘bending’ certain rules, as long as it means clinching victory from the opponent…

The 1932 English Tourists Hit the Bodyline

Cast your mind back to the year 1932. You’re still a sports fan because, let’s face it, nothing ever changes, but you can’t watch it on television because that doesn’t exist yet. You also can’t listen to it on the internet because, guess what? That doesn’t exist yet either. No – the only way you can find out about your lads fighting the good fight in Australia, is through the newspapers and the radio – and they’re never going to tell you the bad stuff, because it’s the 30s and mainstream media sources are a little biased.

It took us a few decades to own up to the rather poor behaviour of our touring side, during the ’32-’33 Ashes Test Series and it’s still something that we return to time and time again, when we consider what is and isn’t ‘Cricket’. So, why did the touring side from England feel the need to repeatedly fire balls in at pace down the leg side? Put simply: they thought they needed to. At the time a certain Don Bradman was just coming in to his prime, a prodigious talent that proved to unsettle England’s Test dominance for the next two decades. Although the ‘Leg-Theory‘ tactics of then England Captain, Douglas Jardine, might have worked, this was soon written over in the Laws of Cricket.

Dennis Lillee ‘kicks’ Miandad

There are certain moments in sporting history that are likely to never be forgotten. Whilst it may be preferable to forget some of the less magnanimous acts that have coloured cricketing history, it’s perhaps a good idea to keep them in mind – just to put any current controversies into perspective. Whereas today’s Test Captains often come under fire for the most minor of offences, it’s important to remember that there was a time when two high profile international players were close to a full-on fight.

The video footage above might well be enough to convince you of what happened on that faithful day and it’s unlikely that you’ll get a straight answer out of either Pakistan Captain, Javed Miandad or bowler Dennis Lillee. The on-pitch scuffle commanded the TV and Radio waves for a night as tabloid newspapers attempted to search for the cleverest puns. Whilst there was no official comeuppance for either players’ aggressive actions at an International┬álevel, Lillee was fined A$200 for his actions by the Australian Cricket Board, a number that caused controversy in and of itself. The act is still seen as ‘one of the most undignified incidents in Test history.’

The Chappell Brothers Show Their Colours

You can either toss it up to simply being a ‘bad year’ for Australian Cricket or perhaps question the whole generation of players of that era, but the Lillee and Miandad incident was not the first major sportsmanship issue to arise that year. In February of that year, the Captain of the one-day side made a rather questionable decision at the end of a match, one which was, fortunately for him, overshadowed by Lillee and Miandad’s row in November.

The under-arm bowl is now considered to be an illegal ball from the bowler, however back in 1981, it was merely frowned upon as being against the spirit of fair play. At the end of a gruelling one-day match, Australian Captain, Greg Chappell, directed his younger brother to bowl the last ball under-arm in order to prevent the Kiwi striker from hitting a 6 to draw the game level. His actions have been questioned to this day, with the Captain claiming heat exhaustion and stress as reasons for his behaviour.