Cricket for many people is like a religion, with over 2.5 billion people tuning in to watch their favourite team. This makes it the second most popular sport on the planet behind soccer. Cricket was originally a game believed to be invented in England and exported around the world during colonial times by traders and mariners. Which explains why the game is so popular in countries that the British Empire ruled. Seen as a gentleman’s game and played by the gentry of the day, it is now a sport that all people of any social class can play.
But as with any sport, there is always a bit of controversy, cricket is no exception. There have been many instances over the years of cheating and unfair tactics in cricket, ball-tampering is the usual one, but with so many cameras broadcasting the game, it has become harder for this to go unnoticed. Umpires and officials can only see so much but the cameras do not lie. Whilst cheating does happen it is only by a few players, the rest are honest and exciting to watch. Here is a list of some of the most entertaining and notorious cricket players of the last few years.
A True Legend And a National Hero
Sachin Tendulkar: Certainly one of the most well-known cricketers of all time, not just in his native India but around the world. With a career spanning nearly 24 years, he won it all. He was voted the second greatest test batsman of all time by Wisden Cricketers Almanack. Awarded the highest honour a civilian can be bestowed by the Indian government during his last appearance, he is a true sporting great.
Undoubtedly One of The True Gentlemen of The Sport
Sir Donald George Bradman: A true legend and considered by many to be the greatest cricketer of all time. The Australian learnt to play cricket in the “bush” but soon rose to fame and international recognition as a true genius of the game. Sir Donald Bradman still holds records to this day for his batting average, even after nearly eighty years. Even with the outbreak of the 2nd World War, from which he returned and became a pivotal player in the next tour of England. Australia didn’t lose a match and the team became known as the “Invincibles”.
A Legend of Cricket in England and Abroad
Sir Ian Botham: England’s most famous cricketer of the eighties and still a well-respected member of the cricket community. He scored over 14 centuries with his highest score in a test match being 208 runs. That record was overtaken but he held the world record for quite some time. He is now a member of the House of Lords in England and a well-respected commentator of cricket to this day.
A Legend Not Just For His Cricket Abilities
Imran Khan: Now better known for his political career, in his day there were not many better cricketers around. Starting his international career at the early age of 18 he made his debut international match against England in 1971. Playing until 1992 and captaining the national side for much of his career, he is currently the Prime Minister of Pakistan which shows the love the nation has for him.
A True Character of The Game of Cricket
Shane Warne: Australian born Shane Warne has proven himself to be a bit of a legend on the field as off. Considered one of the best bowlers of all time by many he has had a few problems off the field also. But that should not detract from his amazing talent. Being voted one of the five best cricketers of all time by Wisden Cricketers of the Century. He is currently a match commentator after retiring in 2013.
As With Any Sport Comes Controversy
Many great cricketers have not been included, there is just not enough room to mention them all. But as with any sport, there comes controversy, here are some of the most notorious issues of them all.
In the “SandPaper Gate Scandal”, Mr David Warner an Australian cricketer is no stranger to controversy, from getting into brawls in London bars to being found to ball-tampering in South Africa. This process changes the way the ball bounces after being bowled and it seriously damaged his career and reputation. He was tipped to be the next captain of the Australian national cricket team.
Hershelle Gibbs was another great talent that unfortunately fell foul to greed, he allegedly took money to effectively affect the game by scoring less than 20 runs in a match, he did go on to score 74 runs but the story was leaked and his reputation was ruined, he refused to go back to India for 6 years for fear of being arrested. Also accused of smoking marijuana and using racial slurs against Pakistani players, this left his career in tatters.
Marlon Samuels: Another Player Involved in Match Fixing
Touted as one of the best West Indies cricket players, Marlon Samuels was an up and coming star in an area that adores cricket. But he found himself getting caught with giving inside information to bookmakers about how the match would develop. His now infamous run-in with the also fiery Shane Warne, which resulted in him throwing a ball at Samuels who responded by throwing a bat in Warnes direction, had him dismissed from the competition and banned. He is renowned for his temper with good reason.
Jesse Ryder Could Have Been World Class
Jesse Ryder is probably not the most controversial cricket player of all time but is considered a missed talent by many. With personal problems with alcohol it cut short his international cricket career with New Zealand, many people believed he would have been captain of the country and gone on to great things but his off-field activities gave him a certain notoriety. After being assaulted by 4 men outside a New Zealand nightclub after a night out, he was placed in a medically induced coma for his own safety. After his recuperation, he continued his career but again alcohol got the better of him, he has never played for New Zealand since.
Cricket is for the most part an honest game played by honest players, but there will always be some who are tempted to cheat for financial gains or other motivation. Cricket has a long history of being a game played with honour and most do so, but there are always some bad apples. If you feel like making a bet on one of the games despite the nature of this article you can do so at an online casinó that won’t cheat you, or at least not purposely as they obviously don’t control the game.