Cricket is a highly reputed game. Players face a lot of hardships and go through intense training which requires immense dedication and passion. The game asks for loyalty and honesty; the more you remain honest to the game, the more it rewards you and playing with the trust and reputation of the game can lead to inconceivable amount of penalization. Match-fixing, Spot-Fixing, Doping, Ball Tampering and passing confidential information are some of the activities that can crush the game’s reputation. Although many respect the game and play with complete honesty, some of the players intentionally or unintentionally get involved in such horrendous activities and get punished accordingly. Here is the list of ten such players who faced a ban from the game because of their involvement in such activities.
1. Mohammad Amir
The Pakistani Left-Arm Pacer has been caught in a spot-fixing scandal. He was found guilty for bowling planned no-balls against England in 2010, for which he was sentenced to 6 months of prison time and faced a 5-year ban which was lifted in 2015. This scandalous behavior from his side wreaked and effected his career. When he came back to cricket, it was a do-or-die situation for him; he had to perform exceptionally to make his name again in the game. Recently he retired from the game after some heated altercations with the PCB and said that he could not play under such management.
2. Shakib Al Hasan
The Bangladeshi all-rounder was at the peak of his career when ICC banned him from all forms of cricket for a year. He allegedly failed to report bookie approaches to ICC, for which he was then punished in October 2019 and got banned from the game for a year. Shakib said in his defense that he did not fix any matches. He just failed to report the incident of bookies approaching him and that he should not get banned from all forms of cricket. He has been recently banned from three games for getting into a heated argument with the umpire and kicking the stumps in anger in a match of Dhaka Premier League.
3. Steve Smith
The Australian skipper got banned for a year from domestic cricket and international cricket following a ball-tampering scandal. In 2018, Cameron Bancroft was caught on camera while rubbing a yellow sandpaper tape on one side of the ball. After the match, Bancroft admitted in a press conference, that he was trying to alter the conditions of the ball. Steve Smith and David Warner knew about this plan as they were an integral part of the leadership group of the Australian Cricket team. Steve Smith and David Warner faced a year’s ban for this incident, while Cameron Bancroft served a 9-month ban.
The Indian Right-Arm Pace Maestro found himself in a life-ban situation when he was found guilty of spot-fixing in an IPL fixture of Rajasthan Royals versus Kings XI Punjab in 2013. He got arrested for taking money from bookies to underperform in that match. He conceded 14 runs in an over, which was planned before the match by the bookies. He was released later on bail and after his recent appeal, his ban was cut short to 7 years, and now he can play in the domestic circuit.
5. Andre Russell
The Jamaican Giant, known for his hard-hitting abilities, faced a one-year ban in 2017 for a doping code violation. His negligence led to his doping code violation, which was revealed three times within a year in 2015. He pleaded guilty to doping and served a year’s ban. In an interview Russell commented, that he deeply regrets this incident and, he feels guilty about taking drugs to keep himself in shape.
6. Mohammad Azharuddin
One of the most famous cricketers of his time and the former captain of the Indian team got banned for life for associating with bookmakers and providing confidential information to the bookies. The ban was overturned in 2012, as the case was deemed unsustainable. A biopic has been made on Azharuddin, which shows the match-fixing scandal in an over-dramatic way.
7. Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib Akhtar, also popularly known as ‘Rawalpindi Express’, faced a two-year ban in 2006 for allegedly consuming a banned drug named Nandrolone. Akhtar pleaded guilty to doping and was banned for two years by the PCB. The ban got lifted in 2008 and, he was allowed to play again for his country.
8. Herschelle Gibbs
Herschelle Gibbs, unlike others, did something very unusual and extraordinary. He had been approached by bookies who wanted him to underperform in an ODI match in Nagpur. He initially agreed to underperform but then turned his back on the deal and scored 74 off just 53 balls in that match. Some people may have an unpopular opinion that he did the right thing, but Gibbs failed to report the bookie’s approach and served a ban for six months from the game.
9. Marlon Samuels
The Caribbean Batsman had helped his team win two T20 world cups. He was found, indulging in providing confidential information to the bookies. This incident took place in India in February 2007 when Marlon Samuels was heard on tape by the Indian police talking with the bookies and giving them match-related information. He was found guilty and got banned for two years from the game on basis of corruption charges.
10. Shane Warne
Former Australian leg spinner whom everyone considered, a key asset for Australia’s title defense in the 2003 Cricket world cup had to return home after their first match as he failed a drug test. It was a routine test in which Shane Warne was found positive of taking a drug diuretic, which is a substance used for reducing weight. Although the men in yellow defended their title, Warne faced repercussions for his actions and got booked for doping.