In light of the current saga surrounding the future of Kevin Pietersen, and the ongoing fallout from Tony Greig’s Spirit of Cricket lecture (interpreted by some as an exercise in India-bashing), it seems a good time to look back on some of cricket’s most controversial moments. In this age of 24-hour rolling news and sensationalistic journalism, it can seem like an earth-shattering imbroglio every time a cricketer picks his nose. But which moments still touch a nerve with players and fans alike?
One caveat before we start. By ‘controversy’ we mean an event which caused a considerable divide in opinion, rather than something which simply got headlines. For that reason we’re not including incidents like Allan Donald’s epic duel with Michael Atherton in 1998; though that prompted many column inches, events like this are generally held as having a positive impact on the game, and are remembered as fondly as a Don Bradman century. These are the moments which truly ruffled feathers on both sides and continue in some way to represent a black mark on the sport’s history.
So strap on your pads and get ready to face some nasty deliveries. But, because cricketers are gentlemen (at least in theory), we’ll start off with a gentle loosener…
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