Though cricketers are revered as ‘Gods’ by many in India, the players are as accustomed to folly as an ordinary citizen. They have to go through the same process when breaking laws or committing blunders.
Here are five popular cricketers who were arrested in the past for their wrongdoings:-
1.) Suresh Raina
It might shock many that their hero Suresh Raina was arrested for breaking the lockdown rules in Mumbai. The incident happened in the later part of 2020 when Raina was attending a party.
The southpaw was booked under Section 269 (Negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) under Indian Penal Code (IPC).
His team soon released a statement defending the former Indian cricketer by pointing out that the 34-year-old was unaware of the local protocols and was in Mumbai for a shoot.
“Suresh was in Mumbai for a shoot which extended to late hours and was invited by a friend for a quick dinner post the same prior to him taking his flight back to Delhi. He was not aware of the local timings and protocols.”
The team further added that once Raina knew the procedures, he immediately complied with them and held the highest regard for the governing bodies.
“Once pointed out, he immediately complied with the procedures laid out by the authorities and regrets the unfortunate and unintentional incident. He always holds rules and laws laid down by governing bodies with the highest regard and will continue to do so in the future as well.”
The Meerut-born was soon released on bail.
2.) Wasim Akram
Pakistan speedster Wasim Akram had to bear the brunt of law when he, along with his ex-teammates Waqar Younis and Aqib Javed, went to a beach during their tour in West Indies.
Pakistan team had just reached Grenada from Georgetown and were having a merry time when some unknown men who had earlier claimed to be their fans arrested the trio for possession of marijuana.
Cigarette butts were found in the sand where the three compatriots were sitting during their stay at the beach. However, the cricketers in question were released later and proved not guilty unless a specific scientific test could be taken to indict them for the charges.
3.) Praveen Kumar
Once a mainstay of the Indian bowling attack, Praveen Kumar was accused of beating up his neighbour and the latter’s son in a brawl. Kumar immediately washed his hands off the charges as he stated that he didn’t live in the house next door and had only gone there to check the paintwork that was being done.
The former Uttar Pradesh cricketer further added that the case was a prime example of local politics and blamed the neighbour for trying to snatch his chain.
“It is all a lie. In fact, he tried to snatch my chain. It is a case of local politics and nothing else. I don’t even live in that area. I have two-three houses there and I had gone to see the status of paintwork there,” Kumar told PTI.
4.) Vinod Kambli
Vinod Kambli was labelled as the rising superstar in Indian cricket by media outlets. But Kambli soon lost his place in the team after a series of unfortunate events. The left-hander was also known for his arrogant attitude and regularly made headlines for all the wrong reasons.
An FIR was filed against Kambli and his wife Andrea Hewitt in 2015 when their house helper Soni Nafesinh Sarwal accused the couple of holding her up without permission in a room for three days after the maid had asked for her wages.
However, Andrea rubbished the charges and described a different story where the servant used to take illegal drugs and used to take a lot of leaves and was sacked following her casual attitude towards the job.
“Our maid was taking drugs and often remained absent. So she was sacked. Hence she filed a false case against us,” Hewitt argued.
5.) Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes was arrested for a night on charges of a confrontation outside Mbargo nightclub at Bristol in 2017. A 26-year-old man was also taken in custody for the suspicion of causing physical harm, while another man was taken to the hospital with facial injuries.
After spending the whole night in prison, Stokes was released without any conclusive accusations as two gay men appeared as witnesses and stated that the former had saved them from a homophobic attack.
It was speculated that his England teammate Alex Hales was also involved in the incident, and the duo was excluded from the playing XI against West Indies for the fourth ODI.
However, this was not the first time that Stokes had gotten into trouble, as the police had also detained him during a night out in 2012.