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Flashback 2018: 5 infamous controversies that rocked cricket

There were several controversies which hogged the limelight ranging from Virat Kohli's 'leave India' controversy to the suspensions handed out to cricketers Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft after indulging in ball-tampering. 

Flashback 2018: 5 infamous controversies that rocked cricket

There was a lot of quality cricketing action in store for fans and enthusiasts in 2018 with each side battling it out intensely to emerge victorious at any cost. 

While India recorded their first bilateral ODI series win on South African soil, the Australian women's team went on to lift the ICC Women's World T20 trophy for the fourth time. 

At the same time, there were several controversies which hogged the limelight ranging from Virat Kohli's 'leave India' controversy to the suspensions handed out to cricketers Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft after indulging in ball-tampering. 

Let's take a look at five of the most infamous controversies that rocked cricket in 2018: 

1) Virat Kohli's Leave India Controversy: 

Indian skipper Virat Kohli was criticised after lashing out at a cricket fan who expressed his preference for English and Australian batsmen in comparison to Indian players.

"I don't think you should live in India, go and live somewhere else," said Kohli in a video during the launch of his mobile app. 

This reaction drew a lot of criticism against the batsman after the video went viral on social media.

The 30-year-old cricketer responded to the backlash by stating that he was "all for freedom of choice".

"I guess trolling isn't for me guys, I'll stick to getting trolled!," added Kohli. (Read full report here) 

2) Mithali Raj- Ramesh Powar fiasco: 

Legendary cricketer Mithali Raj was dropped from the Indian lineup for the Women's World T20 semifinal against England despite being in prime form throughout the tournament. 

The country's eight-wicket defeat further added fuel to the fire with the spat between Raj and coach Ramesh Powar becoming public soon after.

The 36-year-old cricketer wrote a letter to the BCCI, accusing Powar of being bias, discriminate in his attitude towards her. Not only this, he also stated that the former Indian cricketer had attempted to humiliate her. 

Powar, on the other hand stated that Raj had threatened to retire if not allowed to open the innings, adding that she should stop "blackmailing and pressurising coaches". Former Indian opener WV Raman was recently appointed as the new coach of the women's team. (Read full report here)  

3) Ball-Tampering Scandal:         

Australian openers Cameron Bancroft, David Warner and former skipper Steve Smith were handed cricketing bans after being involved in a ball-tampering scandal during a Test against South Africa in Cape Town. 

Bancroft was caught on camera using a sandpaper to rough up the ball with Smith later admitting that it was a pre-meditated move.   

Smith and Warner were handed a one-year ban while Bancroft was banned for nine months. The former Australian skipper and Bancroft will further be ineligible to captain Australia for 12 months after returning to cricket with Warner ineligible on a permanent basis.

The trio are next expected to feature for the nation in the ICC World Cup 2019 which will take place in England. (Read full report here)  

4) David Warner-De Kock indulge in heated arguament: 

Australian opener David Warner and South African wicketkeeper batsman Quinton de Kock were involved in a heated arguament on day four of the Durban Test between the two nations as revealed by a leaked CCTV footage. 

Aussie skipper Steve Smith attempted to intervene along with Usman Khawaja and Nathan Lyon in order to de-escalate the situation before guiding Warner to the dressing room. 

De Kock was initially termed as the culprit with the visitors stating that he had made a derogatory remark about Warner's wife Candice. South African team manager Mohammed Moosaje on the other hand, blamed Warner stating that he had provoked the Proteas opener by calling him a “bush pig”. (Read full report here) 

5) #MeToo: BCCI CEO Rahul Johri accused of sexual harrasment: 

Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) CEO Rahul Johri was accused of indulging in sexual harassment by a woman during his stint at Discovery channel. 

The woman accused Johri of taking advantage of her at his house after promising a job opportunity. 

The CoA formed a three-member panel comprising of former Allahabad High Court judge Justice Rakesh Sharma, Delhi Commission for Women chairperson Barkha Singh and former CBI Director P C Sharma for probing the allegations. 

In the end, Johri was cleared of all sexual harassment charges with the allegations termed as 'fabricated' in nature. (Read full report here)