While non-gentlemanly things have always breathed oxygen in the game of Cricket, but the sanctity of the game has successfully suppressed its ghosts since eternity. Some of the biggest controversies in the game have had Test Cricket as their witness but the old sage has declared those as against the morals and the spirit of the game, whether or not they’re illegal. Here’s a look at some of the biggest controversies in Cricket, besides of course the latest “Sandpaper gate” across decades and formats and how it has affected Test Cricket.
Let’s take Mankading and the most controversial instance related to it. Vinoo Mankad was criticized and accused of having acted against the spirit of the game having ‘Mankaded’ the non-striker Bill Brown. Mankad ran out Brown, who left his ground before the bowler could deliver. Makading’s root goes way back into 1947 and is still absolutely legal as per the laws of Cricket.
Underarm bowling only became illegal after the 1981 incident involving Trevor Chappell who bowled an underarm delivery to eliminate the chances of the batsman hitting a six on the final ball of the Benson & Hedges World Series Cup at the MCG. Under the orders of skipper Greg Chappell, his younger brother Trevor rolled the last ball along the ground to the on-strike kiwi batsman Brian McKechnie at a point when New Zealand required seven runs to win. However, underarm was pretty common way back before the First World War. The 1920s saw the demise of ‘lob bowling’ and was eventually marked as illegal.
To talk about the darkest days in Test Cricket and not mention the first forfeited Test match would be unfair. On the fourth day of the fourth and final Test match between England and Pakistan, the latter was forced to forfeit the match to England after being accused of ball tampering by field umpire Darell Hair. The entire incident that took place in the year 2006 at The Oval, gave way to a great amount of anger in the Pakistan team and caused a huge controversy.
While Mankading is totally legal, underarm has been banned and the forfeited test match is the only instance of the same. But the instances of them happening again in Test Cricket is equally rare. Guess why?