Cricket has always had a broad impact on people, cricketers being a great inspiration to the young generation. Consequently, with the name & fame, there comes a huge responsibility, which the following cricketers flung away in the wake of their falling-off with the law. Charges of spot-fixing in modern-day cricket may continue to stun people, but many cricketers have long been associated with more evil crimes. Some were acquitted by the court, while others were found as guilty as charged. The following are a few of them: -
1. S Sreesanth
The former Indian cricketer, part of the ill-famed Slap Gate scandal with Harbhajan Singh, was held guilty under corruption charges and engaged with bookmakers during IPL 2013. The infamous spotting & betting case got Sreesanth imposed with a lifetime ban by the Board of Control of Cricket in India, and he was also arrested. After staying in Tihar Jail for a month, a court granted him bail in New Delhi.
2. Navjot Singh Sidhu
Former cricketer-turned-politician and president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Party was convicted of a censuring commission under section 299. The victim was reportedly beaten up and taken to the hospital, where he was declared dead. Sidhu was found guilty and given a sentence of 3 years in prison. Later, on appeal, bail was granted, and he went on to contest the Lok Sabha polls.
3. Peter Roebuck
Being the Somerset captain, Peter coached three young South African cricketers who lived at his home in England. He warned them that he would use physical punishment if they failed to obey his “house rules.” After that, he canned the three boys on their clothed buttocks at various instances for misbehavior. Roebuck escaped the assault case with a suspended jail sentence. Years later, the cricketer committed suicide when the police service demanded to inquire him about an alleged sexual assault on a Zimbabwean man.
4. Chris Lewis
The former England all-rounder had been sentenced to jail for 13 years for smuggling liquid cocaine, hidden in fruit juice cans in his cricket bag. Although Lewis denied the charges and stated he had no idea there was cocaine in there, the prosecution had numerous links between him and his accomplice, proving it was a joint undertaking.
5. Vinod Kambli
A childhood friend of Sachin Tendulkar, Kambli, and his wife were booked for allegedly assaulting their house cleaner and illegally confining her for almost three days. Police sources say the woman was beaten up and locked up in a room when she asked the former player to pay her salary. The police also had an FIR, including sections 342, 504, and 36, apart from the assault charges.
6. Terry Jenner
The leg-break bowler, famously known as the rehabilitated cricket criminal, hit the headlines in 1988 when he had been caught in a white-collar crime. Terry lost his liberty and was imprisoned after he stole from his employer to repay gambling debts. He was released after 18 months and started mentoring Shane Warne, and played a vital role in his success.
7. Suresh Raina
Following the raid on the Dragonfly Club by Mumbai Police, 34 people, including the cricketer, were arrested for violating the COVID-19 protocol. Police raided the pub as it was open beyond the allotted time and did not follow any safety guidelines. Raina had been booked under sections 188, 269, and 34. However, his team released a statement, he was oblivious of the night curfew, and subsequently, the cricketer got released on bail.
8. Amit Mishra
Initially portrayed as just a verbal abuse case; the investigations revealed that the cricketer also fractured the victim’s ring finger. The incident of assault had also not happened, he claimed. It was indeed not a case of self-defence. The Delhi-Capitals leg-spinner got booked under sections 354 (intent to the outrage of modesty) and 328. After being subjected to three hours of interrogation, the criminal had been released on bail. Although, deserving, this tainted Mishra’s image for a while.
9. Leslie Hylton
The right-arm bowler, blinded in a fury by her wife’s infidelity, reached for his gun and shot her seven times. The Jamaican cricketer tried to defend himself in court with the claim of self-defense, which was fruitless. To this day, he remains the only cricketer to be executed.
10. Montague Druitt
The most notorious criminal of them all, Druitt, was the primary suspect in the infamous Whitechapel murders. Found drowned in the River Thames, many believed he was “Jack the Ripper” and might have led a sinister double-life. Experts conclude, although responsible for the former murders, he might be a tragic figure whose life was ended by the murderer who ensured his name came to attention to the police as they were desperately finding a solution.