Cricket's fight club: Five infamous on-field spats

Sep 23, 2015, 08:37 IST | Ayan Roy

Following a violent altercation on-field between two club cricketers during a match in Bermuda, mid-day lists five infamous moments that have left a bitter taste in the mouth

Javed Miandad-Dennis Lillee
Both players are known for their passion for the game. That passion took on a confrontational hue during the Perth Test in November 1981 when Miandad collided with Lillee while taking a single.

Also Read: Bermuda match turns ugly as fight breaks out between cricketers

Lillee then 'deliberately' blocked the batsman by moving into his path, though he never admitted to it.

The Pakistani batsman shoved Lillee aside to complete the run. Lillee reacted to the shove by kicking Miandad on his thigh, only to see the temperamental Pakistani raising his bat to strike him.

Dennis Lillee and Javed Miandad
Dennis Lillee and Javed Miandad 

Thankfully, umpire Tony Crafter stepped in to avert an even uglier scene. Cricket Australia first fined Lillee A$200, but banned him for two matches later.

Also view in pictures: 21 ugliest spats in sports history

Raman Lamba-Rashid Patel
In Indian domestic cricket, one of the most infamous on-field spats was between West Zone's left-arm seamer Rashid Patel and North Zone's Raman Lamba during the Duleep Trophy final of 1990-91 at Jamshedpur's Keenan Stadium.

It was the 10th over of the innings, when Baroda's Rashid bowled in the 'danger zone' to Lamba, who had opened with Ajay Jadeja, and the opener expressed his displeasure in no uncertain terms.

Rashid then bowled a beamer, and in his follow-through picked up a stump and attacked Lamba. Lamba had to hide behind Jadeja, who also got hit.

Raman Lamba
Raman Lamba 

The crowd too got riled up and started pelting stones, which led to Vinod Kambli getting hurt.

Sreesanth-Harbhajan Singh
Now referred to as 'slapgate', Mumbai Indians off-spinner Harbhajan Singh allegedly slapped the erratic Sreesanth of Kings XI Punjab after an IPL match at Mohali in April 2008.

Kings XI Punjab's VRV Singh consoles S Sreesanth (right) during the 2008 IPL. Pic/mid-day archive
Kings XI Punjab's VRV Singh consoles S Sreesanth (right) during the 2008 IPL. Pic/mid-day archive 

There is a lot of speculation about what led to the actual incident and there's no visual of the 'slap' with the TV cameras missing the act. It is believed that the MI spinner reacted after the pacer said something offensive to him.

The cameras though did catch Sreesanth crying uncontrollably like a child during the post-match ceremony. After disciplinary hearings, Bhajji was banned for the rest of the tournament and Sreesanth was let off with a warning.

Sulieman Benn-Mitchell Johnson and Brad Haddin
Sulieman Benn seems to be a lightning rod for controversies and on-field spats. The lanky West Indian got into trouble with the authorities during the WACA Test of 2009.

Mitchell Johnson pushes WI’s Sulieman Benn during the 2009 Perth Test. Pic/Getty Images
Mitchell Johnson pushes WI’s Sulieman Benn during the 2009 Perth Test. Pic/Getty Images 

He got into a heated argument with Australian pacer Mitchell Johnson and wicketkeeper Brad Haddin. Benn, who was bowling at the time, initially bumped into Johnson while the latter was attempting a run.

Two balls later, Haddin got involved. The Aussie 'keeper's provocation saw Benn threaten to hurl the ball at Haddin. Not known to back down, the recently retired 'keeper also gave it back to Benn. It didn't help that Johnson then brushed into Benn leading to things escalating even further before the umpire intervened.

Kieron Pollard-Mitchell Starc
An ugly mid-pitch altercation between Mumbai Indians' Kieron Pollard and Royal Challengers Bangalore pacer Mitchell Starc spoilt an exciting IPL-7 game at the Wankhede Stadium in May 2014.

MI's Pollard hurls his bat at RCB's Starc. Pic/mid-day archive
MI's Pollard hurls his bat at RCB's Starc. Pic/mid-day archive 

The confrontation that took place in the 17th over of the MI innings saw Pollard, who was distracted for some reason, back away from the crease even as Starc was running in to bowl the 5th ball. The Aussie pacer still fired the ball at Pollard, which got the Trinidadian hot under the collar.

He flung his bat at the bowler, but luckily, it slipped out of his hand and dropped near him. The situation was exacerbated by the 4th delivery in the over — a bouncer — which had seen Starc giving Pollard an earful.

Some Other Infamous Altercations

Ishant Sharma and the Sri Lankan team, 2015
Gautam Gambhir vs Shane Watson, 2008
Harbhajan Singh vs Andrew Symonds, 2008
Mike Gatting vs Shakoor Rana, 1987
Shane Warne vs Marlon Samuels, 2013
Glenn McGrath vs Ramnaresh Sarwan, 2003
Shahid Afridi vs Gautam Gambhir, 2007

Also watch the Bermuda cricket brawl video here

DISCLAIMER: mid-day and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.

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