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Cricket rewind 2018: Sandpaper gate, Kohil's 'leave India' jibe, and more

The beginning of 2018 was not good in South Africa, however, India ended the year on a resounding note winning the Boxing Day Teat in Melbourne by 137 runs

BS Web Team 

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli

The year 2018 will be remembered for some tough cricket. In 2018, Chennai Super Kings made come back to Indian Premier League fold and went on to win the title for third time. Also, AB de Villers who popularly known as Mr 360 announced his retirement which came as a surprise for cricket fans. Amid this, there were some controversies that marred cricket and demerit points were awarded to players which were very high.

The beginning of 2018 was not good in South Africa, however, India ended the year on a resounding note, thus stamping their authority as the top ranked Test side when they took an unprecedented 2-1 lead in the four-Test series over Australia, after beating the Kangaroos by 137 runs in the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.


Here are top 5 cricket controversies that made headlines in 2018

Sandpaper gate

The Test series between South Africa and Australia has been marred by controversies – both on and off the field. First it was the spat between David Warner and Quinton De Kock in the opening test. Then Kasigo Rabada rubbing shoulders – pun unintended – with Steve Smith in the second. And on Day 3, Australia’s Cameron Bancroft was seen rubbing the ball with a small yellow object (Sandpaper) shortly before tea break. After the end of the day’s play Australian captain Steve Smith admitted that his side deliberately tried to tamper the condition of the ball to gain an advantage over South Africa.

Smith told the reporters that it was a deliberate plan from the "leadership group" during the lunch break. “The leadership group knew about it, we spoke about it at lunch,” Smith said. “I am not proud of what has happened. It is not in the spirit of the game, my integrity and the integrity of the team has been damaged, and rightfully so. It’s not on and it won’t happen again, I can promise you.”

Later Cricket Australia banned David Warner, Steve Smith for 12 months and Cameron Bancroft banned for 9 months.

Virat Kohli leave India comment

Virat Kohli breaks Sachin Tendulkar's record as he took lesser number of innings to score 10,000 ODI runs. Tendulkar took 259 innings to get there, while Kohli has so far batted in 205 innings. But his on-field tactics and off-field remarks.

Kohli has found himself embroiled in a controversy over his "I don't think you should live in India" response to an enthusiast who called the skipper overrated while expressing his admiration for English and Australian batsmen. A fan said in the post "Over-rated batsman and personally I see nothing special in his batting. I enjoy watching English and Australian batsmen more than these Indians,".

Far from being pleased with the fan's observation, Kohli responded, "Okay, I don't think you should live in India then you should go and live somewhere else, no? Why are you living in our country and loving other countries? I don't mind you not liking me but I don't think you should live in our country and like other things. Get your priorities right."

Mithali Raj dropped from playing 11 in ICC Women’s T20I world Cup semifinal

Ahead of the ICC Women’s T20I World Cup BCCI appointed Ramesh Powar coach of Women’s team which is highly praised by Harmanpreet and Smriti Mandana. India’s performance in the World Cup improved and India stormed to semifinal, when the controversy struck as Mithali Raj was dropped from the team after hitting back to back fifties. The Indian batting line-up collapsed and England had an easy win. Later Mithali Raj was hurt and saddened by the treatment that she received from the coach. On the other hand, Powar accused Raj of blackmailing and putting her interest before that of the team.

Ravi Shastri saying best Indian side in last 15-20 years

India have lost the Test series in England but coach Ravi Shastri insists that the current lot is travelling better than the teams of the last 15-20 years. India lost by 62 runs in the fourth Test at Southampton to go 1-3 down in the five-match series.

"As hard as our guys tried, England were one-up on us there. Nothing to take away (from them), the endeavour of this team is to travel well, compete and win. If you look at the last three years, we have won nine matches overseas and three series (against West Indies and twice in Sri Lanka)," said Shastri. "I can't see any other Indian team in the last 15-20 years that has had the same run in such a short time, and you have had some great players playing in those series. So the promise is there, and it's just about getting tougher mentally. This remark has received a lot of flak from the fans.

Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan tried to fortify the match against Sri Lanka in Nidhas trophy

In the Nidahas trophy, the Bangladesh cricket team was involved in a lot of controversies with the hosts, Sri Lanka. The Tempers were flying so high in the last 2 overs of a virtual semi-final that at one stage Shakib Al Hasan contemplated forfeiting the match because of an umpiring decision. After winning the match, the Bangladeshi players went berserk and celebrated the victory with the Naagin dance which irked the Sri Lankan fans.

Later, in the final, Dinesh Karthik did a Javed Miandad to help India clinch a last-ball thriller against Bangladesh in the final of the Nidahas trophy. Needing a six off the last ball, Karthik smashed the ball out of the park to script a memorable win.

First Published: Mon, December 31 2018. 15:33 IST