Our World Cup 2019 cricket bad boy XI would take some beating on the cricket field and even more on the indisciplined stakes…
About 2/3 of the way into the Cricket World Cup, plenty of cricket fans and writers alike have assembled lists of the best-performing players and no doubt, an all-star XI for the tournament.
But away from the bowlers bowling the match-winning spells and the batsmen piling on the runs, we’ve compiled a cricket Bad Boy XI made up of mavericks guilty of any manner of transgressions throughout their careers. Would it beat the all-star XI? Maybe not but the dressing room banter and post-match drinks would be better.
Chris Gayle (West Indies) – Womaniser forgets there’s a time and a place
Gayle is used to hitting cricket balls far but he wasn’t so successful when hitting on Channel 10 reporter Mel McLaughlin back in January 2017, on live TV.
While giving a pitch side interview just after getting out in a Big Bash game he told McLaughlin, famous for her hazel eyes, “That’s the reason why I’m here, just to see your eyes for the first time… hopefully we can win this game and we can have a drink later. Don’t blush, baby.”
He was fined 10,000 AUD jointly by his own team the Melbourne Renegades and the Big Bash itself. He wasn’t invited back by the Renegades in what was his final season of Bash cricket.
David Warner (Australia) – Desperate will to win goes wrong
The instigator of ‘Sandpergate’ came up with the plan to use sandpaper to roughen up one side of the ball in a Test match against South Africa in 2018 in a bid to make the ball reverse swing. Including showing team-mate Cameron Bancroft how to do it.
He was banned for a year from all cricket, losing about 2.4 million AUD by missing out on the 2018 IPL, as well as other revenue from multiple sponsorship deals. He was also banned from taking leadership positions in the future.
Steve Smith (Australia) – Skipper lets Sandpapergate happen on his watch
Smith was the Australian captain when Sandpapergate took place and though the idea is likely to have been Warner’s, it was very much on Smith’s watch that it all happened and he was found to have sanctioned it.
Sacked as captain and received similar penalties to Warner, one notable difference being that might be considered for captaincy roles in the future.
Australia are favourites to win the World Cup at a best price of 3.0 with Royal Panda.
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Shakib Al-Hasan (Bangladesh) – Team superstar’s bad attitude matches his talent
No-one has done more than Shakib for the Bangladesh cause this World Cup with wickets and mountains of runs; but he and the Bangladesh Cricket Board haven’t always been singing from the same hymsheet.
In 2014 he was suspended for six months by the BCB from all cricket for, among other things: assaulting a fan during an ODI against India, ‘serious misbehaviour’ towards then coach Chandika Hathurusingha and trying to play in the Caribbean Premier League without a no-objection certificate from his board.
As then BCB President Nazmul Hassan explained: “He has a severe attitude problem, which is unprecedented in the history of Bangladesh cricket.”
Bad attitude- just the sort of requirement to make our cricket bad boy XI.
Ben Stokes (England) – All-rounder takes the law into his own hands
A key member of our cricket bad boy XI.
As a hard-hitting all-rounder who gives it his all in the field, Stokes is a real fighter. But in September 2017 in Bristol city centre, on a night out with team-mate Alex Hales after an ODI, the fighting was of a different variety.
Apparently trying to protect a gay couple he thought were about to be attacked, Stokes threw multiple punches at the two men he thought were about to assault the couple, causing facial injuries to both and a broken eye socket to one.
He was suspended from England duty and lost the Test vice-captaincy but was cleared of affray in court on the basis that he was acting in self-defence.
Stokes’ England are 1.44 with Betfair Sportsbook to beat New Zealand in their crucial game on Wednesday. And 3.75 to win the World Cup.
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Andre Russell (West Indies) – Dre-Russ goes missing
We’ll never know if this was just as case of a careless cricketer who didn’t fully understand his responsibilities as a professional athlete or if there was more to it than that.
What we do know is that on three separate occasions in 2015, the brilliant Jamaican failed to report his whereabouts to the World Anti-Doping agency. Charged by the Jamaican Anti-Doping Commission, he was found guilty of ‘gross negligence’ after his explanation that he didn’t know how to use the online system (whereby he needed to confirm his whereabouts at all times), a requirement so that any athlete can be tested at any time.
He was suspended from all cricket for a year.
Hardik Pandya (India) – Indian star wakes up and smells the Koffee
The talented all-rounder got into hot water with the BCCI after appearing, ironically, on an Indian chat show called ‘Koffee with Karan’.
Among his overly-loose comments were the claims he regularly hooked up with different women and liked to watch girls move on the dancefloor before deciding whether to chat them up. There was also an admission to bragging to his parents about his sexual conquests.
His comments were found by the BCCI to be misogynistic, racist and not of the standards expected of a role model. He was sent home from a tour of Australia.
Ravindra (India) – Multiple offender gets banned
Jadeja becomes the fourth all-rounder to make our cricket bad boy XI.
In August 2017 Jadeja was suspended for one Test after being found guilty of throwing the ball at Malinda Pushpakumara in a ‘dangerous manner’ after fielding off his own bowling.
As his second offence in a 24 -month period (the first for running on the pitch) he was suspended for a Test.
Earlier in his career he missed out on a season of IPL cricket after trying to find a new team (on bigger money) when he was still under contract with the Rajasthan Royals.
Kasigo Rabada (South Africa) – Fast bowler with short temper
One serious offence during a Test a match is bad enough but two within the same Test makes you a proper bad boy. Coincidentally during the same match as Sandpapergate, Rabada was first found guilty of bumping into captain Steve Smith after dismissing him and then screaming in the face of David Warner when getting the opener out, as well.
There was also an incident involving a third member of our cricket Bad Boy XI a year earlier when he got a one match ban for an altercation with Ben Stokes.
Mohammad Amir (Pakistan) – Youngster dragged into spot-fixing scandal
Young, vulnerable, junior player just doing what his skipper asked of him and fearing for his safety and that of his family? Or brash, precocious talent well aware of what was going on and keen to make a quick buck?
You’ll have to ask Amir about the exact circumstances in which he agreed to and went on to deliver no-balls following a ‘script’ written by sports agent Mazhar Majeed in the ill-fated Test match at Lord’s in 2010. We’ll probably never know the complete truth but it’s probably somewhere in between.
Amir, alongside skipper Salman Butt and senior fast bowler Mohammad Asif, was found guilty of match-fixing and spot-fixing by the ICC and suspended for five years. Worse was to come. When criminal charges were brought forward, he was found guilty of suspicion of conspiracy to defraud bookmakers and sentenced to six months in jail.
Amir did his time first and served the remainder of his cricket suspension. He eventually returned to domestic cricket and then to the national team. He’s currently Pakistan’s leading bowler at the CWC with 16 wickets and the third highest wicket-taker in the tournament.
Pakistan are a big-looking 21.0 with Unibet to win the World Cup. A slip-up by England against New Zealand and a win for Pakistan against Bangladesh would put them in the semis.
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Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka)- ‘Overweight’ player doesn’t mince his words
When Sri Lanka failed to make the semis of the 2017 Champions Trophy, Sri Lankan Sports minister Dayasiri Jayasekara accused the players of being overweight and generally not fit enough for international cricket.
Maling wasn’t having that, explained to the media that players knew best about the game and went on to liken the minister to a…a monkey occupying a parrot’s nest.
He pleaded guilty to speaking to the media without permission and received a one year suspended sentence from his own board.