Cricket, also known as the gentleman’s game, has had its fair share of controversies over the years. While most of the controversies have been related to match-fixing allegations and sledging, in some cases, players have tarnished their image with their off-the-field lifestyle and remarks.

Keeping all that in mind, we present you the most controversial XI of all-time:

Openers:

1. Jesse Ryder

Jesse Ryder

Jesse Ryder was a vital member of the New Zealand cricket team at one time. He, however, ruined his career due to his off-the-field activities. He was once found drinking till 1:30 after midnight before a game against England the next day.

Ryder injured himself at the bar and was taken to hospital, where he misbehaved with hospital staff, asking for preferential treatment for himself. This attitude affected his popularity among fans and ended his international career at the age of 29.

2. Salman Butt

Salman Butt

Former Pakistan skipper Salman Butt stands as a fine example of talent going to waste. He was banned by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for 10 years, having played his part in a match-fixing scandal during Pakistan’s tour of England in 2010.

Though he has featured in the domestic circuit, Butt has not been able to stage a comeback into the Pakistan cricket team. Notably, he was recently involved in a spat on social media with former England skipper Michael Vaughan.

3. Ricky Ponting

Ricky Ponting

Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting is one of the most disliked cricketers of his era. Ponting, during his career, enjoyed a lot of success but he also had his fair share of controversies.

Especially his attitude of’ ‘victory at any cost’ unimpressed fans all around the cricketing spectrum. He was also criticized for sledging the opposition players, something seen by many as against the spirit of the game.

However, the biggest controversy of his life came during the infamous Sydney Test in 2008, a game that witnessed many wrong decisions by umpires against India. Ponting was accused of influencing the umpire’s decision.

4. Greg Chappell

Greg Chappell

Regarded as one of the greatest Australian batsmen of all time, Greg Chappell’s cricketing career was marred with controversies, whether it was his playing career or his coaching career.

In 1981, Chappell, being the captain of the team, asked his younger brother Trevor Chappel to bowl an underarm delivery when New Zealand needed 7 runs off the last ball in an ODI. This incident is one of the famous incidents that hampered the spirit of the game in cricket.

His career, as the coach of the Indian cricket team, was even more controversial. He was blamed by many for ruining the atmosphere of the dressing room, damaging the career of Irfan Pathan and most importantly, the ouster of Sourav Ganguly as captain.

5. Marlon Samuels

Marlon Samuels

Marlon Samuels is arguably the most controversial cricketer of all time. He was involved in a controversy in 2007 which led to him being banned for 2 years by the ICC. However, he is largely infamous for his episode with England all-rounder Ben Stokes.

Last year, Stokes had revealed how challenging and taxing being in quarantine can be, and how he would not want his “worst enemy” Marlon Samuels to go through it. However, the Jamaican was not too pleased with his light-hearted joke.

Samuels went on to pass derogatory remarks over Ben Stokes’s wife while also bragging about his skin tone. He received a lot of backlash for his comments. He also had a verbal duel with old nemesis Shane Warne, over the same controversy.

6. Mushfiqur Rahman

Mushfiqur Rahim

Former Bangladesh skipper and wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim garnered a lot of hate from the cricketing fraternity for his immature and arrogant behaviour on social media.

India defeated Bangladesh by 1 run in ICC T20I World Cup 2016 but lost to West Indies in the semi-final. Rahim celebrated India’s defeat with a tweet but deleted the same after realizing his mistake. However, his image had already taken a hit.

7. Abdul Razzaq

Abdul Razzaq

Former Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razzaq had a good fan following during his playing days. But, his recent comments on Jasprit Bumrah did not go well with cricket fans and pundits.

Razzaq called Bumrah a baby bowler and asserted that the Indian pacer would have gone into pressure if he batted against him. He was criticized for the same by fans and many of his former teammates.

8. Shane Warne

Shane Warne

Confusing the batsmen with his vicious leg breakers, Shane Warne is one of the most decorated bowlers of all time. He is the second-highest wicket-taker of all time in Test cricket with 708 scalps to his name.

However, Warne’s doping ban put a speed-breaker in his career. He found it difficult to return to form and eventually announced his retirement from ODIs in 2005. Throughout his career, he had also made headlines with various affairs of his.

9. S Sreesanth

S Sreesanth

A former T20I World Cup and 50-over World Cup winner, S Sreesanth was a promising pacer for Team India at the start of his career. Though he was pretty famous for his sledging, his involvement in IPL 2013 spot-fixing scandal hampered his cricket career. 

He was banned from all forms of cricket for a lifetime but his ban was reduced to seven years after he managed to prove himself innocent at court. He recently featured for Kerala in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy and the Vijay Hazare Trophy as well.

10. Shoaib Akhtar

Shoaib Akhtar

Widely regarded as the fastest bowler of all time, Shoaib Akhtar was involved in every possible controversy on the cricket field. Even nowadays, as a pundit, Shoaib often finds himself in trouble for his untimely remarks on the PCB.

From ball-tampering to substance abuse, from making controversial statements to brawling with his own teammates, he was surrounded by controversy and was banned on several occasions.

11. Mohammad Amir

Former Pakistan pacer Mohammad Amir is the latest player to show concern for India and has sent his prayers.

After helping Pakistan win the 2009 T20 World Cup in England, Mohammad Amir’s cricketing career hit a roadblock as he, along with Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif, was banned by the ICC for playing his part in a match-fixing scandal.

Though Butt and Asif failed to make their respective returns to the National team, Amir made his comeback to the team and helped Pakistan win the 2017 Champions Trophy, while also registering a famous win over arch-rivals India in the final.

However, Amir, out of nowhere announced his retirement from international cricket. Not only that, but he also went on to accuse head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis of ‘mentally torturing’ him and not backing him enough.

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