Cricket, which is typically presented as a gentlemen’s game, has not always been kind, if we go back over its century-long history. There have been countless cases where cricketers have overstepped their bounds, engaging in altercations and fights both on and off the field. They divided the men from the gentlemen by being short-tempered, aggressive, and not ones to take digs in the right spirit.
We will not mention cricketers who were aggressive but stayed within the spirit of the game in this article. Furthermore, we will not discuss players that were involved in a single infamous occurrence.
1. Gautam Gambhir
The Delhi-born opening batter is well-known for wearing his heart on his sleeve. During his great cricketing career, Gambhir got embroiled in numerous incidents.
During the Vijay Hazare Trophy in Bhubaneswar in 2017, the southpaw got into a furious argument with his Delhi coach, Bhaskar Pillai. For his harsh behaviour, he received a four-match suspension from first-class cricket.
Gautam Gambhir is a player who is always willing to go head-to-head with any opponent. He doesn’t hold back and has been involved in a number of situations both at home and abroad.
2. David Warner
Warner is another one who has a pretty bad temper and can bully anyone with his sledging. He has been involved in incidents that have become unpleasant, but he has recently mellowed.
During India’s 2014 tour of Australia, Warner made fun of Varun Aaron. Cricket Australia banned him for allegedly hitting Joe Root in a bar following a Champions Trophy match in 2013.
Before becoming embroiled in the infamous sand-paper affair, he was involved in on-field incidents with players such as Thami Tsolekile, Jonathan Trot, Varun Aaron, and Quinton de Kock.
3. Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli and controversy go hand in hand. His unpredictable actions on and off the field drew harsh criticism from all across the world. Though he has recently reduced his rage, he is still a pocket bomb that can detonate at any time.
During India’s 2012 visit to Australia, the Indian skipper raised his middle finger to the Sydney crowd as they continued to abuse him and the squad. Then, in 2015, during India’s practice session in Australia, the Indian captain inappropriately yelled at a journalist for writing about his romance with Anushka Sharma.
4. Andrew Symonds
Andrew Symonds was a pivotal and contentious figure in Australia throughout the 2000s. Symonds’ issues started in 2005 when Cricket Australia dropped him as a result of his pre-match alcohol consumption.
However, his involvement in the Monkeygate affair with Harbhajan Singh was the beginning of his demise as a cricketer. He subsequently skipped a squad meeting to go fishing, was involved in a bar brawl, attacked New Zealand’s Bredon McCullum during a radio interview, and attacked a fan on the field.
5. Javed Miandad
Miandad, regarded as one of Pakistan’s best batsmen, was involved in a number of contentious events during his career due to his fiery personality.
The renowned cricketer had numerous on-field altercations with umpires. After being given out in an ODI, he abused an umpire. He was also caught fighting with an umpire after Aqib Javed’s bouncer was deemed a no-ball.
The most notable incident occurred against Australia, when he threatened Dennis Lilee with his bat after the Australian fast bowler denied him a single. He also had a falling out with Indian wicketkeeper Kiran More.
6. Kieron Pollard
Pollard has established himself as one of the most divisive figures in Windies cricket. Every cricket fan remembers his bat-throwing incident with Australia’s Mitchell Starc during an IPL game in 2014. For crossing the line, Pollard was penalized 75% of his match money.
When umpires asked him not to distract Chris Gayle during an IPL match versus RCB in 2015, he taped his mouth shut. The Trinidadian also got into a Twitter squabble with Indian critic Sanjay Manjrekar after misinterpreting his message.
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7. Kamran Akmal
During an Asia Cup encounter in 2010, Kamran Akmal, the former Pakistan wicketkeeper, had an on-field brawl with India’s Gautam Gambir.
He got into a fight with India’s Ishant Sharma during a T20 match in 2012. Kamran misinterpreted Ishant’s use of bad words against him during Pakistan’s 18th over. Because of the political tensions between the two countries, the topic made headlines.
The wicketkeeper-batsman sparked another row by accusing captain Sarfraz Ahmed and Head Coach Mickey Arthur of bias in squad selection.
8. Ian Botham
Ian Botham, often regarded as the best English all-rounder, is noted for his fiery personality. However, he was embroiled in a number of issues, both on and off the field.
Botham’s altercation with Australian icon Ian Chappell in 1977 was one of the most talked-about incidents at the time. The pair apparently got into a major fight at a pub. Botham claims he attacked Chappell when he said, “I gave him three official warnings.” All of which he ignored, so I just flattened him the next time he started.” On a flight, the legend was also embroiled in various altercations with fans.
9. Harbhajan Singh
The Turbanator’s career is notable for two things: success and controversies. After dismissing Ponting in his debut ODI at the age of 17, he engaged in a verbal brawl with him. He was fined and barred from playing in an ODI.
He was also chastised for his fights with Greg Chappell. The entire world will never forget two occurrences featuring the Indian spinner. One example is his infamous role in the Monkeygate controversy and his slap saga with Sreesanth in the IPL.
10. S. Sreesanth
Shanthakumaran Sreesanth gained popularity for celebrating Sachin’s wicket in the most savage way possible during a domestic match. The aggressive fast bowler was involved in a number of on-field squabbles throughout his career.
Sreesanth’s true identity is revealed in that dance against South Africa. He fought international stars like Andre Nel, Andrew Symonds, Ricky Ponting, and Harbhajan Singh, establishing himself as the bad boy of world cricket.
His tumultuous career ended on a similar note following his alleged involvement in the IPL spot-fixing scandal.