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Hit for six! Cricket’s biggest scandals

Australian newspapers describe the fall-out from the South Africa Test ball-tampering scandal on the front pages on Monday. AFP
Australian newspapers describe the fall-out from the South Africa Test ball-tampering scandal on the front pages on Monday. AFP

Hit for six! Cricket’s biggest scandals

Bodyline, underarm bowling, match fixing and more. Australia’s ball-tampering woes are the latest in a long line of scandals to have hit the world of cricket.

Here, we look at six of the biggest scandals in cricket:

England’s ‘bodyline’ series

England’s 1932/3 tour of Australia was notable for skipper Douglas Jardine’s tactic of ‘fast leg theory bowling’. Bowlers pitched short balls on leg stump that reared into the body of where an orthodox batsman would be standing after taking his guard. With fast bowler Harold Larwood to the fore, the “bodyline” plan was employed in a bid to dent the dominance of the brilliant Don Bradman through physical intimidation.

But it led to a diplomatic incident between the two countries over allegations of unsporting tactic.

Either way it worked, with England winning the Ashes 4-1, but such was the uproar, Nottinghamshire miner Larwood never played another Test in a bitter and premature end to his international career.

Hansie Cronje’s match fixing

Late South African captain Hansie Cronje was banned for life after he admitted fixing his own team’s one-day internationals against India in 2000.

Cronje, who died aged 32 in a plane crash in 2002, had initially denied all allegations of wrong-doing, but eventually came clean after mounting evidence that included former teammates testifying that they had received cash offers from the Proteas skipper to throw matches.

Salim Malik’s match fixing

Pakistan skipper Salim Malik also picked up a life ban in 2000 on the recommendation of the Qayyum enquiry into match fixing in the 1990s that rocked Pakistan.

Ex-captain Rashid Latif was the first cricketer to accuse Malik of match-fixing during Pakistan’s tour to South Africa and Zimbabwe in 1995.

Trevor Chappell’s underarm ball

Trevor Chappell was vilified after one of the most notorious unsporting acts of all time – bowling underarm on the final ball of an ODI to help Australia beat New Zealand in Melbourne in 1981.

It won them the match, but lost him all respect, despite Chappell acting on the orders of his older brother and then captain, Greg.

Chappell said he had been seen as the most despised man in Australian cricket until the latest scandal involving current skipper Steve Smith.

Pakistani spot-fixing

Salman Butt was captain of Pakistan when fast bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir delivered deliberate no-balls during a Test match against England at Lord’s in August 2010.

The trio admitted to working with a bookmaker and served time in prison in England before being suspended for a minimum five years by the International Cricket Council. The ban ended on September 1, 2015.

Pakistan forfeit England Test

Maybe the most infamous ball-tampering controversy in recent memory ended with Pakistan forfeiting their Test against England at The Oval in 2006.

Umpires Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove gave England five penalty runs after ruling that Pakistan had tampered with the ball, leaving the tourists incensed.

Inzamam ul-Haq’s side refused to take the field after the tea break in protest, and the umpires awarded the match to England, the first forfeiture in Test history.

Pakistan were later cleared of ball-tampering by the ICC, with the governing body also controversially changing the result of the match to a draw.

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