Monday, October 12, 2015

Pakistan, England, and DRAMA!

Pakistan vs England test series always provide entertainment, on the field and off it as well! Rarely does a series against England go by without one controversy or the other. While the cricket between the two sides has been extremely entertaining, there has been plenty of drama dished at us as well in the past.

Arguments with umpires, ball tampering allegations, forfeited tests, spot fixing, pitch tampering, court cases, you name it and we have seen it in a series involving Pakistan and England.

With yet another test series between the two sides starting tomorrow, here’s a look at some of the controversies we have witnessed in the past in Pakistan vs England tests.

Umpiring Altercation: GATTING vs RANA

Back in 1987 when there was limited TV coverage and barely any cameras covering the action on the ground, the naked eye of Shakoor Rana spotted England captain Mike Gatting moving a fielder while a bowler was in his run up (during the 2nd Test at Faisalabad). Rana immediately halted play and reprimanded Gatting for breaking the rules, and with it the spirit of the game. Gatting waving his finger at Rana is an image that has been played repeatedly on Pakistan television and the internet.

Umpiring Altercation: AAQUIB VS PALMER

During England’s tour of 1992, Pakistan’s pace attack was arguably at its best and England’s batsmen had little answers for them. During the 3rd test at Old Trafford, Roy Palmer warned Aaqib Javed about intimidating bowling to number XI Devon Malcolm. Aaqib had bowled a couple of bouncers and Palmer was not too impressed. Aaqib bowled another short one but it was not a bouncer from any stretch of the imagination. Malcolm ducked and the ball hit his helmet smack in front of the stumps. Palmer called it a no ball! At the end of the over Aaqib snatched his sweater and cap back from Palmer in anger and Miandad had to intervene to calm things down and also give Palmer a piece of his mind.

Umpiring Altercation: INZAMAM VS HAIR

Who can forget the episode with Darrel Hair who accused the Pakistanis of ball tampering and docked them 5 penalty runs during the 4th test at the Oval in 2006. Pakistan’s captain, Inzamam Ul Haq, took this so personally that he decided not to take the field after tea and forfeited the test match. The first such instance in the history of test cricket. Administrators from both sides and ICC officials failed to convince first Inzamam, and then Darrel Hair, to restart the game and an exciting test match ended midway during day 4 with the first forfeiture ever in test cricket history.

Ball Tampering Allegations

That wasn’t the first time the Pakistanis were accused of ball tampering; though it was the first time that they were docked 5 penalty runs because of it. No Pakistan tour to England is complete without ball tampering allegations.

It all started in 1992 when Wasim and Waqar swung the old ball so late into the batsmen that the English had no idea what hit them. They were so confused by what was happening that they termed it cheating and accused the Pakistan pacers of tampering with the ball. The British Tabloids were full of stories about Pakistani bowlers running their nails into the ball and lifting the seam with their fingers. Accusations were passed left, right, and center as the English batsmen continued to fall like nine pins.

The allegations continued during Pakistan’s tour to England in 1996 and 2001; and then finally culminated in that forfeited test in 2006.

The Spot Fixing Saga

Arguably the worst scandal to hit Pakistan cricket. Despite all the match fixing allegations levelled against Pakistani cricketers throughout the 90s, surprisingly tours to England remained devoid of such accusations. Besides one-off rumors about ODIs during the tour in 1992 and 1996.

Pakistan’s last tour to England in 2010 has got to be their worst tour there ever. In Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir, Pakistan had found a potent new ball pair that was right up there with the very best. Finally, Pakistan boasted a new ball attack as lethal as Wasim and Waqar. What could have been is a question that still lingers around the minds of cricket fans as we all witnessed the downfall of the two best bowling talents produced by Pakistan in the past decade.

The 4th and final test of the series was underway at Lord’s when the News of the World broke the news about a spot fix that Asif and Aamir has been involved in along with their captain Salman Butt. Pakistan’s cricketers had been caught in a sting conducted by the now defunct investigative British tabloid.

Every tour of England has been full of drama for Pakistan’s cricketers but there was none that had been as embarrassing as the one in 2010.

Whether you are a fan of off-the-field drama or not, you can't miss action in a Pakistan vs England game, so use these bonus codes and pick your side and get ready for some non-stop action packed cricket.

*                         *                         *

There are several more off-the-field stories like British tabloids reporting Imran Khan’s affairs during tours to England, Shoaib Akhtar and Shahid Afridi partying at Soho on nights before matches, and the famous pitch tampering that Afridi got involved in during England’s tour to Pakistan in 2005 that have added extra spice to Pakistan vs England contests over the years.

With Pakistan’s current test squad largely subdued compared to their predecessors, one doubts that we will witness drama of this kind in the test series that gets underway tomorrow. But then again, one thought the same about the Inzamam led team.

Make your pitch on this post...

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,