Australia always prides itself in playing cricket the hard way. They were the ones who decided what constituted crossing the line and what didn’t. Australian cricket team were a bunch of bullies back in the times when they dominated world cricket. During the 2000s, teams lead by Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting went all out in their cause for winning. The Australians received a severe reality check with the sandpaper gate scandal post which they tried coming out of their regular methods of playing cricket. The epic 3rd Test match in Sydney has reinforced that Aussies can resort to all means to win a game.
Stumpsandbails brings to you 5 instances where Australia cheated to win a game.
#5 The underarm ball to win a thriller
Greg Chappell was arguably one of the best batsmen to have played for Australia. But the same cannot be said about his sportsmanship. He had infamously called upon his bowler (and younger brother) Trevor Chappell to bowl an underarm ball along the ground to New Zealand batsmen, Brian McKechnie. He did this to ensure that New Zealand doesn’t end up winning the game. As the Kiwis needed 6 to tie off the last ball, this underarm ball made sure they couldn’t hit those runs. This tactic was fiercely opposed by the cricketing world and it is seen as one of the most disturbing days of Australian cricket.
#4 The brain fade moment
India were making a glorious comeback in the 2nd Test against Australia in Bengaluru, 2017 trailing 1-0 in the 4 match Test series. Australia were chasing 189 to win and had lost early wickets and Steve Smith was the key wicket in the game. Umesh Yadav trapped Smith’s plumb in front and Smith instinctively looked back at the dressing room to ask whether he should opt for a review. This incident didn’t go do well with Indian skipper, Virat Kohli. He fumed at Smith and the umpires quickly asked Smith to leave the wicket. Smith admitted that it was sort of a brain fade moment. But it didn’t sit pretty well with world cricket.
#3 Sandpaper gate scandal
It all came down for Australia during their tour of South Africa in 2018. The cricketing world was rudely woken up to a scandal called Sandpaper gate. What was already turning out to be an acrimonious series between hosts South Africa and Australia got further embroiled in controversy when the sandpaper incident happened. The broadcasting cameras caught Australia’s Cameron Bancroft scuffling the ball with sandpaper. All hell broke loose when he admitted his offence and later both Steve Smith and David Warner acknowledged their part in the shameful act. There was outrage, there were tears, there were shockwaves, people openly condemned the Aussie sports culture and everyone ripped apart the moral standards of Australian cricket. 2018 was a dreadful year for Australia and this episode taught many lessons to everyone.
#2 Against the spirit of cricket
The monkey gate saga wasn’t the only event that unfolded in the Sydney test of 2008. The other facet of Aussies that came to the fore during this match was their trait of playing ugly to win. None of their players walked when they knew they were out. Classic examples among them were Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, and Andrew Symonds. It didn’t just end there, Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke both claimed a bump catch which was clearly against the spirit of cricket. To add insult to injury, umpire Benson accepted Ponting’s claim that Clarke had cleanly caught Sourav Ganguly at slip. Sunil Gavaskar, who was on air blasted the Australian team and the umpires for their arrogance.
#1 Changing the opponent batsmen’s guard
Rishabh Pant took the attack to Australia on the 5th day of the 3rd Test at Sydney. He was going bonkers with his aggressive batting. This caught the Australians off-guard and in a moment of sheer despair, Steve Smith was caught live on TV changing the batting guard of Rishabh Pant. This incident has irked fans and experts alike who believe that this was a poor piece of gameplay. While some even remarked that once a cheat, always a cheat.