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Most Controversial Dismissals in Cricket History

Most Controversial Dismissals in Cricket History

Cricket, generally referred to as a gentleman’s game, has a rich history packed with exciting clashes and unforgettable moments. However, among the class and sportsmanship, there have been moments that have ignited heated arguments and aroused controversy in the cricketing world. These controversies have left an indelible stamp on the sport, putting into question the principles of fair play and putting the interpretation of the rules to the Test.

On that note, we look back at the top five most controversial dismissals in cricket history, looking at the incidents that sparked intense arguments and left a permanent mark on the game.

Most Controversial Dismissals in Cricket History

1. Ravichandran Ashwin Mankading Jos Buttler

Most Controversial Dismissals in Cricket History
Courtesy: News.com.au
  • Year: 2019
  • Match: Kings XI Punjab vs Rajasthan Royals, IPL

At the top of the list of most controversial dismissals in cricket history comes the Mankading incident involving Jos Buttler and Ravichandran Ashwin continues to remain one of the most controversial and divisive incidents in modern cricket history. During a match between Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals, Ashwin, the KXIP captain, came to a halt in the middle of the innings and removed the bails, trapping Buttler outside his crease. Despite the on-field umpires upheld the appeal, replays showed Ashwin intentionally delayed his delivery, rekindling the debate over this kind of dismissal.

Buttler’s dismissal goes down as one of the most controversial dismissals in cricket history, especially in the most dynamic format of the game i.e., in T20 cricket.

2. Sourav Ganguly’s Disputed Catch

Most Controversial Dismissals in Cricket History
Courtesy: ESPNCricinfo
  • Year: 2008
  • Match: India vs Australia, Sydney

Another incident that finds its place on this list of most controversial dismissals in cricket history is the disputed catch involving former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly. This controversial dismissal occurred in Sydney during the second Test match of the 2008 India-Australia series. While developing an important partnership with Rahul Dravid, Ganguly edged a Brett Lee delivery to Michael Clarke at second slip. Although the on-field umpires assessed Ganguly out, later television replays proved that the ball had hit the ground before Clarke grabbed the catch. The decision outraged Indian fans and players, prompting a heated debate about the credibility of the umpiring system and went down as one of the most controversial dismissals in cricket history.

3. Jonny Bairstow’s Casual Mistake

Most Controversial Dismissals in Cricket History
Courtesy: GettyImages
  • Year: 2023
  • Match: England vs Australia, Ashes Series

The Ashes series between England and Australia has had its share of dramatic moments. The dismissal of Jonny Bairstow in the second Test match of the 2023 series sparked outrage, especially considering England’s following loss. As Bairstow lazily walked out of the crease, Australian wicketkeeper Alex Carey removed the bails, leading to his dismissal. The umpires decided that the ball was not dead, resulting in a heated argument about the interpretation of the rules.

4. Usman Khawaja and the DRS Blunder

Most Controversial Dismissals in Cricket History
Courtesy: Guardian
  • Year: 2013
  • Match: The Ashes, England

The 2013 Ashes series in England adds another famous incident to the annals of controversial dismissals in cricket history. Australian batsman Usman Khawaja attempted a drive off Graeme Swann’s bowling. The ball took a strong turn, and Khawaja lost out on a scoring opportunity. England demanded a caught behind, and the umpire raised his finger. Khawaja quickly requested the use of the Decision Review System (DRS), and Hotspot technology revealed that there was no connection between the bat and the ball. To many people’s shock, the ruling was not overturned, raising issues about the reliability of the DRS system and dismissing Khawaja in the most shocking fashion of his career.

5. Sachin Tendulkar’s Obstructed Run

Most Controversial Dismissals in Cricket History
Courtesy: ESPNCricinfo
  • Year: 1999
  • Match: India vs Pakistan, First Test Match

No list of controversial dismissals in cricket history will be complete without discussing Sachin Tendulkar’s dismissal during India’s maiden est match against Pakistan in 1999. As Tendulkar smashed the ball to deep mid-wicket and was about to finish two runs when Shoaib Akhtar clashed with him on purpose, preventing his way. As a result, Tendulkar was given a run out after failing to complete the run, much to the dismay of the stadium’s enthusiastic spectators.

Later, the Master Blaster along with then-ICC boss Jagmohan Dalmiya attempted to quieten the crowd that was already enraged with the dismissal of their star batter.

Cricket’s rich history is filled with incidents that stirred strong emotions and sparked heated arguments. The top five most controversial dismissals in cricket history, which we reviewed, highlight the game’s potential to stir controversy.

From the controversial Mankading incident involving Jos Buttler to Sourav Ganguly’s disputed catch, these events have left a permanent mark on cricket, sparking debates about fair play, sportsmanship, and rule interpretation. As the game of cricket grows, more controversial dismissals are bound to emerge, adding to the weave of this great sport.

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