Picking a Team of Bad Boy Cricketers
We have come up with an alternative-looking cricket XI, a side that has been selected on the basis of the crimes each player has committed, either on the field of play or off it, as opposed to any on-pitch accomplishments they may have achieved in their careers.
So, tell us what you think of the 11 who have been chosen, and whether we have left out any real bad boys from our final lineup…
Warwickshire seamer who was banned from the game for 18 months after testing positive for cocaine in 1996, although he did then still manage to represent England in four Test matches between 1999 and 2000.
However, after finally calling time on his international career, Giddins was then prevented from taking up a coaching role in the game after being found guilty of placing a £7,000 bet on county match involving a team that he was still playing for, leading to a £5,000 fine and a ban from being involved in any England matches for five years.
Herschelle Gibbs is a wonderfully talented South Africa opener whose hand-eye co-ordination really was something to behold, much like his dreamy front-foot cover drives too.
But “Scooter,” as he was known, faced accusations of racism during his career, while the right-handed batsman was also fined after being caught smoking marijuana on the beach with team-mates while on South Africa’s tour of West Indies in 2001.
And then most famously of all, Gibbs admitted to the King Commission that he had accepted $15,000 from Proteas captain Hansie Cronje in return for scoring 20 runs or less in a one-day international (ODI) in India.
In the end though, the right-handed batsman went against the plan by making 74, for which his skipper refused to pick him for six months.
Where to start with England’s lovable rogue, who was always getting himself into scrapes off the pitch, and usually when on tour with his country.
The most infamous of these occasions came on England’s trip to New Zealand in 1992 when the left-arm spinner was thrown out of a bar after being caught in a disabled toilet allegedly smoking cannabis, although he was subsequently cleared of this.
Meanwhile, away from the game Tufnell was convicted of assaulting Jane McEvoy, the mother of his child, while also admitting to locking his partner up in a cupboard in 1994.
Although, the tweaker did finally get his comeuppance when McEvoy’s father, Michael, exacted some revenge by smashing Tufnell in the face with half a brick.
Ouch, very ouch...
Without doubt the greatest spinner the game has ever seen, however, Warne’s career has not been without its own controversies either.
Firstly, in Dec. 1998 the Australian Cricket Board revealed that it had fined the leg spinner and batsman Mark Waugh three years earlier for accepting money from an Indian bookmaker in return for giving information on pitch and weather conditions, as well as likely team lineups, while on tour of Sri Lanka.
And then most famously of all, Warne was sent home on the eve of the 2003 World Cup in South Africa after testing positive for a banned diuretic, which actually turned out to be a slimming pill that his mum had given him!
During his playing days, the all-rounder was once given the unfortunate nickname of “The prat with the hat” after deciding to shave his head bald while on tour of West Indies, before then being carried off the field of play with sun stroke.
Lewis was also forever turning up late for matches, once blaming his non-arrival for an international on a flat tyre, which did not go down too well with the England management.
However, those minor on-field misdemeanours pale into insignificance when compared to Lewis’ brush with the law in 2009, when the 45-year-old was caught trying to smuggle cocaine into Britain from his native West Indies with an estimated street value of £140,000.
Lewis, who had attempted to hide the drug in liquid form in tins of vegetables and fruit in his kit bag, was handed a 13-year prison sentence as a result.
Vermeulen is a Zimbabwean bad boy who really had a year to forget in 2006.
Firstly, the batsman received a 10-year ban from the game, later reduced to three years on appeal, after reacting to being heckled by a spectator during a Lancashire League match by hurling the ball into the crowd, before then threatening to also throw a pitch spike at the offender (see above video).
Luckily a colleague prevented Vermeulen from doing so by knocking him to the ground, although later that year the offices of the Harare Sports Club and the National Academy did not get off so lightly after the batsmen burnt them then to the ground, resulting in his arrest.
Sir Ian Botham
The greatest all-rounder the game has ever seen? Quite possibly, although off the field the larger-than-life character also knew how to enjoy himself and let his hair, or should I say mullet, down.
So much so that in 1986 he was banned for two months by the Test and County Cricket Board for "bringing the game into disrepute by using cannabis."
And Beefy, being Beefy, marked his return to the England team by taking a wicket with the very first ball of his comeback against New Zealand at the Oval, with Graham Gooch, who had taken the catch at slip to affect the dismissal, famously remarking: “Who writes his scripts then?”
The brilliant swing bowler has also had a pretty chequered career off the pitch as well, including getting done for both performance-enhancing and recreational drugs, although it was his involvement in the 2010 spot-fixing crisis that hit the sport for which Asif will always be best remembered for.
As a result, the Pakistani was banned from the game for seven years, the last two of which were suspended, after being found guilty of deliberately delivering no-balls during the fourth Test against England at Lord’s that summer.
The languid Pakistan captain was well known for not being the fastest mover on a cricket pitch, however, that all changed during an ODI against arch-rivals India in Toronto in 1997.
After a supporter with a megaphone had spent most of the match calling Inzy a “fat potato,” the fielder finally snapped and waded into the crowd before attacking the fan, while all the time hurling a bat above his head.
A mini riot then ensued, with those present still to this day claiming that they have never seen the big man use such a turn of speed before or since...
The moustachioed batsman was an obdurate opener for the Aussies in the Eighties and early Nineties, scoring a hatful of runs, mostly against England.
However, the rotund Tasmanian may be most fondly remembered for the remarkable achievement of necking 52 cans of beer on Australia’s flight over to the UK ahead of their successful 1989 Ashes tour.
In the summer of 2010, Pakistan’s then highly respected captain was found to have been at the centre of a match-fixing scandal involving his two main fast bowlers, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer, on their tour of England.
Butt had received money from bookmakers in return for coercing his paceman to deliberately deliver no-balls at specific times of a Test match against the home side, while he himself had also agreed to score a certain amount of runs in an innings.
Consequently, the left-handed opener was hit with a 30-month jail term and a 10-year ban from the sport, with this being the greatest crime committed by our team of bad boys.