The most controversial cricketers: While cricket is widely regarded as a gentleman’s game, a number of cricketers over the years have been involved in controversies on and off the field. Some of those controversies were major ones which resulted in criminal cases.
Here is the best possible XI of the controversial cricketers:
Openers (David Warner and Salman Butt)
David Warner is an aggressive character and has been involved in verbal battles right since the time he burst onto the international scene, but the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in 2018 was the darkest spot of his career which saw him getting banned for a year.
Salman Butt was the captain of the Pakistan Test team in 2010 when two of their bowlers were found guilty of bowling no-balls deliberately against England. It was later revealed that they were directed to do so by Butt himself. Butt was banned from international cricket for 5 years and even had to serve a jail sentence.
Middle-order (Herschelle Gibbs, Steve Smith, Andrew Symonds)
Herschelle Gibbs was accused of having played a role in match-fixing on South Africa’s tour of India in 2000 and was even suspended by the South African cricket board for a brief period of 6 months.
Steve Smith was leading the Australian team when the ball-tampering scandal broke out in South Africa in 2018 and although he was not believed to be the brain behind it, he was suspended for his failure of not being able to stop the offense despite being a leader.
Andrew Symonds was involved in an ugly spat with the Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh on Australia’s tour of India in 2008.
All-rounder and wicket-keeper (Ben Stokes and Umar Akmal)
Ben Stokes had to go through a legal trial to get himself cleared after he punched and injured an individual in a street brawl in Bristol after a late-night party. The court, however, didn’t find Stokes’ offense a punishable one.
Umar Akmal has recently been banned by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for his alleged involvement in corruption. PCB hasn’t come out with the full details yet.
Bowlers (Shane Warne, S Sreesanth, Danish Kaneria, Mohammed Asif)
Shane Warne is arguably the greatest leg-spinner in the history of the game, but his cricketing career was full of controversies, the biggest one of which was him being sent back home ahead of the start of 2003 ODI World Cup for failing to clear the dope test.
Danish Kaneria has been in the news recently for disclosing that the Pakistani cricketers used to discriminate against him because of his religion and used to refuse to even eat with him.
Both S Sreesanth and Mohammed Asif have suffered bans because of their involvement in Spot-fixing, however, both are eligible to play international cricket now.