2018 has been that kind of year which has seen rapid transitions from highs to lows. There have been a lot of moments to cherish for and some of them are worth mentioning like India's performance in Overseas tours, England's dominance in limited-overs format, Chennai Super Kings' return to IPL, decline in the form of Sri Lanka and Australia and South Africa's mixed performance.
We have come across lightning centuries, nail-biting chases, mammoth totals, rapid centuries, quickfire cameos, stylish boundaries, electric fielding, perfect leadership skills in 2018.
It is a well-known fact that cricket is called a gentleman's game, however, every coin has two sides to it and 2018's cricket has had its dark side. There have been several instances where cricketers' have crossed their line and have been reprimanded for breaching the code of conduct. The number of controversies occurred in 2018 have been the greatest than any other year.
Here, we take a look at the 5 biggest cricketing controversies of 2018.
#5 Mohammed Shami Controversy
Mohammed Shami, the 28-year-old Indian speedster, had a troubled life in 2018. His downfall was not only related to cricket but to his personal life. After being accused of extramarital affairs, Shami hasn't been able to fully recover from the blushes.
Mohammed Shami's wife Hasin Jahan accused him of infidelity, attempt to murder and marital rape. He was also accused of age fraud. As a result, his BCCI contract also came under scrutiny and was later granted to him after several verifications.
However, Shami has put his personal life behind him and has rather focused on his cricket career. He has been a vital cog for India for the past six months in the longest format of the game. Nevertheless, his reputation and credibility took a dip after this shocking incident.
#4 "Leave India": Virat Kohli to a fan
Virat Kohli, the Indian captain found himself in very trouble as he replied in a very notorious fashion. This occurred during the launch of an app named Virat Kohli Official App during his 30th birthday. A cricket follower had tweeted "Over-rated batsman and personally, I see nothing special in his batting. I enjoy watching English and Australian batsmen more than these Indians,".
To which Kohli replied, "Okay, I don't think you should live in India then...you should go and live somewhere else, no? Why are you living in our country and loving other countries? I don't mind you not liking me but I don't think you should live in our country and like other things. Get your priorities right,".
These comments made by Virat Kohli did not go well with a lot of people and he was heavily criticised for his demeanour.
#3 Kagiso Rabada Controversy
The Test series between Australia and South Africa could simply be termed as the most controversial series in 2018. There were a lot of heated moments between the cricketers and they were often involved in banters. It has also been considered as Australia's unluckiest series by the cricket fraternity.
Another incident which broke the headlines was when South Africa's pace bowler Kagiso Rabada brushed Steve Smith to celebrate his dismissal in the Second Test. As a result, he was banned from playing the remainder of the series as he was found guilty of making contact deliberately
Kagiso Rabada was also charged with a level 1 offence for the send-off given to Australian vice-captain David Warner during the second Test held at Port Elizabeth.
#2 David Warner - Quinton de Kock incident
The Australian Cricket Team's value and support have significantly dropped ever since they played the four-match Test series against South Africa in 2018. In what could be called as their unluckiest tour ever, Australia had no positives to take away from the series.
Apart from the Sandpaper gate, another incident which broke the headlines was the ugly spat between David Warner and Quinton de Kock. This took place during the tea time of the third day of the first Test between South Africa and Australia at Durban. Quinton de Kock was accused of making derogatory comments about David Warner's family.
Later, David Warner was charged 75% of his match fee for breaching the Code of Conduct. Here 's what David Warner said regarding that incident:
“I cop it left, right and centre, especially off the field from spectators. I am used to that and it doesn’t bother me. But in the proximity of my personal space and behind me, a comment that was vile and disgusting and about my wife and just in general about a lady was quite poor, I felt, and as I said my emotional response, you saw, was just to something that I don’t believe should have been said. And as I said, I will always stick up for my family,” Warner said.
#1 Ball tampering Scandal
Australia's sloppy run of form currently can be attributed to the ball-tampering scandal which has also brought disgrace to Australian cricket. The ball-tampering scandal led to a one-year international ban for Steve Smith and David Warner and a suspension of nine-month for Cameron Bancroft.
This incident occurred during day 3 of the third Test between South Africa and Australia where Australian opener Cameron Bancroft was found using sandpaper to rub the ball. It was later known that he had used it to tamper the ball in Australia's favour and hoped to get more swing and turn in desperate need of wickets.
However, it was off to no use as Australia lost the match by 322 runs. David Warner and Steve Smith were accused of convincing Bancroft to pursue the action.
This move by Australia was heavily criticised by the fraternity and they received a lot of flak for their illegal tactics.