Cricket has been a gentleman’s game since time immemorial. However, the sport has seen a paradigm shift with an exponential increase in competitiveness.
Cricketers have often engaged themselves in heated battles, as soon as they step into the field of-late. Some of the confrontations have escalated to epic proportions creating an ugly display for the viewers tuned in for action.
Today, let’s look at the five-ugly fights between cricketers which has been documented on television:
1.) Gautam Gambhir and Shahid Afridi
This tiff is one of the most popular ones to be televised and has done several rounds since the age of social media took over fans’ lives.
During the 2007 Guwahati ODI between arch-rivals India and Pakistan, Gambhir slashed Afridi towards the mid-on boundary. Few words were exchanged before Afridi bowled the next delivery, which Gambhir took a single off a leg-bye.
While taking the single, some explicit words were exchanged again between the two at loggerheads with each other. What flared Gambhir up was that Afridi came in between Gambhir, while he was trying to reach for the crease.
2.) Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli
Former Delhi and India teammates, Gambhir and Kohli, went at each other during one of the IPL games between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders.
Kohli was dismissed while top-edging one in the air, which only managed to reach deep extra-cover. In jubilation, Gambhir hurled abuses at Kohli which did not go down well with the latter.
It wasn’t pleasant to see the two Indians abusing each other on the cricketing while donning their IPL jerseys. Later on, it was his fellow Delhi teammate Rajat Bhatia who asked Kohli to go back to his dugout, while the rest of the KKR teammates calmed their fierce leader down.
3.) Wahab Riaz and Ahmed Shahzad
This duel happened between former Pakistan teammates Riaz and Shahzad during Pakistan Super League (PSL) fixture between Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi.
After dismissing Shahzad with a peach of a delivery, Riaz extended his runup in excitement and the next thing which was seen live on TV was a physical tiff between the two players.
In the end, players had to intervene to separate the two agitated cricketers.
4.) Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja
Cricket fanatics have seen players from opposite sides going at each other in the heat of the moment. However, the reason why this fight is intriguing is that both Raina and Jadeja fought on the ground representing the same side.
Raina dropped one of the catches off Jaddu’s bowling while playing against West Indies. Jadeja, who was struggling to get wickets during the series, expressed his disappointment after Raina called for the catch, but lost the sight of the ball coming from the sky.
The reason which flared Jaddu up was that Bhuvneshwar Kumar was in a better position to take the catch, but did not attempt as Raina called for it.
After the over, Jadeja walked briskly towards Raina and picked up an ugly fight with Raina. Reportedly, during the confrontation, Jaddu told Raina that he was jealous of young Kohli appointed being captain ahead of him, as the deputy of MS Dhoni, who chose to sit out of the game.
Raina appeared to calm Jadeja down, and two walked towards the dressing after the end of the game, to sort out their differences.
5.) Ambati Rayudu and Harbhajan Singh
Another fascinating yet ugly instance when players from the same team went at each other in full throttle was the fight between Rayudu and Bhajji.
Mumbai Indians treat their squad like an extended family, and members in the family are bound to pick up fights. It was during one of the matches in the IPL when Rayudu was fielding deep and conceded a boundary off Bhajji’s bowling due to a misfield.
Watching the misfield, Bhajji might have said something which provoked Rayudu, who always had a spitfire attitude.
The two raced towards each other and almost got into a fist-fight before being separated by their MI teammates.