The year 2023 brought some great events to the fore with fans, players, and officials enjoying their experience across formats and in every competition; but the year was not without its controversies. Besides being a year of many controversies in cricket, 2023 gave fans some memorable moments to talk about for decades to come. Australia had one of the best years in their cricket history, and managed to scalp India twice in a little over five months.
The Aussies snatched a coveted World Test Championship (WTC) title before going on to clinch the Ashes and another ODI World Cup 2023.
Cricket controversies rarely happen, but make the news whenever they do. In 2023, cricket controversies took a different turn, with multiple controversies taking place throughout the year. Each controversy rocked international sports news media, and everyone got the scoop of each scandal in detail. Let’s check out five (5) top cricket controversies of 2023 and everything that transpired in each event.
Hasan Raza vs Indian Bowlers at ODI World Cup 2023
You’ll know someone’s opinion about an issue is so bad when his countrymen start laughing at him. That’s the case of Hassan Raza and his comments against Indian fast bowlers at the ICC ODI World Cup 2023. The ex-Pakistan cricketer claimed that Indian bowlers were getting balls with superior seam and swing ahead of players from other countries.
The cricketing world were not surprised by Raza’s controversial comments and former Pakistan players took a swipe at him too. Ex-cricketers like Wasim Akram and Sikander Bakht took several digs at Raza for such unhinged statements.
Virat Kohli vs Gautam Gambhir in IPL Cricket
Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) took on Naveen-ul-Haq’s Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) at IPL 2023. Tempers flared throughout the game and LSG official Gautam Gambhir almost came to blows with Virat Kohli. Both sides had to be separated, but it was already on record as one of 2023’s most-awkward moments in cricket.
Harmanpreet Kaur takes on ODI Umpires against Bangladesh
Kaur remains one of the MVPs in women’s cricket, but she features in this year’s list of cricket controversies. The India women’s captain took several digs at umpires during India’s series tour of Bangladesh in early 2023.
Kaur showed her displeasure at a decision during the third ODI by smashing stumps during the game, and it didn’t end there. During the joint photo session, Kaur asked the umpires to join in seeing that they influenced the results. She would earn a 2-match band for her outburst, but Kaur claims she doesn’t regret her actions one bit.
Angelo Matthews’ timeout
Legendary Sri Lankan all-rounder Angelo Matthews was involved in one of the most popular cricket controversies of 2023. The veteran achieved an unwanted record of being the first player to get a “time out” in international cricket. The incident happened when Sri Lanka faced Bangladesh and after the Lankan batter Sadeera Samarawickrama got dismissed.
Rules stated the new batter had to strike no later than two minutes after the previous batter’s dismissal. Matthews was next to take up the crease position, but the skilled cricketer noticed a broken strap on his helmet. Matthews called for another helmet and had to wait for his request. The Bangladesh team will call for a timeout and umpires in that game agreed according to rules.
Matthews appealed to the Bangladesh players and their captain Shakib Al Hasan, but the opposing team refused to withdraw their appeal and sent out the Sri Lankan all-rounder in unceremonious fashion.
Alex Carey (Australia) vs Jonny Bairstow (England)
This controversy rolled back the years of drama in Ashes with Jonny Bairstow taking the short end after everything died down. Bairstow took up his position at the crease and played till the last ball in an over from Aussie player Cameron Green. He (Bairstow) will shoulder arms to delivery and move away from the crease.
Aussie keeper Alex Carey took advantage of Bairstow’s movement, underarming a ball toward the stumps, hitting it in the process. Carey won’t stop there and appealed for a wicket, surprising Bairstow. Since “Over” hadn’t been called and the umpires referring decisions according to rules, Bairstow was declared out.
The English batter attempted getting the attention of the officials and Aussie players to no avail. He appealed, saying he wasn’t looking for any advantage but the Aussies took advantage of the situation and angered English fans.
Australia will say they broke no rules and pointed fingers at the English for the issues. However, England’s cricket team and officials will say the Aussies did not act in “the spirit of cricket” throughout that encounter.