Cricket is not only the game of skill, Talent, it’s the game of attitude, deference, elegance, class. But some players lose their calm and composure in the ground. There are many instances in the history of such in field cricket. Let’s have a view into the top five rivalries between players.
5. Kieron Pollard and Mitchell Starc
Mitchell Starc and Kieron Pollard clashed during the 17th over of the first innings of the Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Mumbai Indians in a IPL 7 match. Pollard must have been disturbed by someone around the sight-screen and had moved away before the ball was bowled but Starc continued his run-up and delivered it right towards the West Indian’s body. The big hitter was irked by this and almost hurled his bat back at the Australian. For a second it looked as if the bat would fly right at Starc but maybe Pollard just didn’t release it on time. The bat hit the pitch and bounced away to the leg-side. As players and umpires got round to calm both players down, Starc was still making signs at Pollard suggesting he was out of his mind.
4. Aamir Sohali and Venkatesh Prasad
One of the most famous altercations in international cricket happened between Aamir Sohali and Venkatesh Prasad during 1996 World Cup Quarterfinal match at Bangalore and this is one incident which a die-hard cricket fan will never forget. Chasing an imposing target of 288 the opening pair of Aamer Sohail and Saeed Anwar added a brisk 84 runs in 10 overs with Sohail putting a good score on the board. He smashed a delivery from Indian seamer Venkatesh Prasad through the covers for four and both players exchanged words and glares with Sohail unnecessarily pointing his finger aggressively at Prasad. In the very next ball Sohail attempted a similar shot but Venkatesh Prasad tricked him with a slower delivery and the ball hit the stumps. This resulted in a huge roar from the audience and also pumped up venkatesh prasad to use aggressive words and gestures as well. After the fall of Sohail the other batsman did not come good with their bat and followed Sohail back to the pavilion in quick succession. Eventually India won the match thus registering a thumping victory and the incident till date remains one of the most remarkable comebacks by a bowler against any batsman in international cricket. Venkatesh Prasad, Ajay Jadeja and Navjot Singh Sidhu (Sixer Sidhu) are generally considered to be more aggressive while playing against Pakistan.
3. Gautam Gambhir and Shahid Afridi
Days after winning millions of hearts with his remark on ending the hatred towards India, Pakistan cricket captain Shahid Afridi disappointed his Indian fans saying that the Indians were not as large-hearted as Pakistanis. Afridi had lashed out at the Indians saying that the Indians are not as large-hearted as the Pakistanis after Gambhir dedicated India’s World Cup triumph to the victims of 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai.
“It looks like Afridi is still behaving in the manner as if he is still the 16-year-old making his international debut. He is still immature. It was my personal wish to pay tributes to the 26/11 victims,” Gambhir said.
On his verbal skirmish with Afridi in an ODI during Pakistan’s 2007 tour of India after which Gambhir was banned for a match, the Indian opener said, “I now realise that I should not lose my temper on small issues. It was a personal thing. He had hurled abuses at me, which I do not want to talk about here.”
2. Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds
A verbal spat between Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds took dangerous overtones when the Australian charged the off-spinner of making racist remarks against him during the 2008 Sydney Test. Symonds alleged that Singh had called him a monkey. A disciplinary panel set about the task of looking into the charges as two nations jousted for one-upmanship. The Australians newspapers waged a pseudo-war as they trained their guns towards Harbhajan Singh. India on the other hand used its financial clout to flex its muscles. The disagreements became so grave that talks of India pulling out of the tour were bandied around. Thankfully better sense prevailed and the tour continued. Later, Harbhajan was let-off after a hearing as the Australians seethed with anger.
1. Shane Warne vs Marlon Samuels
Cricket Australia have thrown the book at Shane Warne after an ugly clash with Marlon Samuels during the Big Bash League match in Melbourne. Warne has been banned for one match and fined for his nasty clash with Samuels who did not face the charges as he suffered a serious eye injury after top-edging a delivery from Lasith Malinga into his face. In unprecedented scenes at the MCG, the Melbourne Stars skipper engaged in a verbal war of words with Samuels, before the former Australian spinner threw the ball into the West Indian’s midriff. That prompted Samuels to hurl his bat in Warne’s direction, sparking more angry exchanges as the umpires attempted to calm matters in a match that was eventually won by the Renegades by nine wickets. Warne, whose side face the Sydney Thunder on Tuesday looking for a place in the semi-finals, said he went ‘too far’ and that he accepted the punishment.
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