2019 was a year packed with a lot of cricket internationally. It was a year that had some big moments in the game across teams. Meanwhile, several individuals also stepped up and delivered to build some big moments. The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 was held in England and Wales last year, besides the Ashes 2019 as well.
It was a year that saw India dominate the show, with Australia not lagging behind as well. It was a year that celebrated comebacks. It was also a year that saw certain individuals up the ante and produces substance. Cricket fans had their exciting moments with what they had on offer.
However, the year also had several unforgettable moments that will be difficult for many fans of the game to forget. From some crunch moments in pivotal games, fallouts, racism, and match-fixing, we had a year that had its moments that never quite managed to leave positive imprints on the minds many.
In this article, we look at the seven worst moments of cricket in 2019.
Boundary count rule sees Kiwis get robbed of the Cricket World Cup
This was extremely heartbreaking for the Kiwis and to suffer this in the final of the sport’s biggest event was even more disappointing. New Zealand, who reached the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, fought valiantly against England in the finale. They took the match to the wire and saw the Englishmen draw the match at the end of 50 overs after a brilliant knock from Ben Stokes (84).
The match went to the Super Over and there too things ended in a stalemate after both teams scored 15 runs each. And finally, England was awarded the trophy on the basis of more boundaries hit during the match. This bizarre rule by ICC saw criticisms come in from several corners. The world fell in love with the Kiwis for their simplicity and character.
Dhoni’s run-out against Kiwis in the semi-final of the Cricket World Cup
This was one of the worst moments in Cricket for Indian fans across the globe. Virat Kohli-led Team India was out to chase down a target of 240 against New Zealand in a crunch semi-final encounter. And suddenly in the chase, India were reeling at 5/3. Team India rallied on with MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja adding 116 runs for the seventh wicket. Dhoni scored a 50, whereas, Jadeja slammed 77.
After Jadeja’s dismissal, Dhoni was India’s prime hope. However, while trying to steal a second, the former Indian captain was caught short of his crease after a brilliant direct hit from senior cricketer Martin Guptill. As MSD walked back, India’s hopes were crippled alongside him. More so, India was considered the favorites to win the event. However, things weren’t meant to be.
Jofra Archer’s racism incident in New Zealand
Racism and sports still go hand in hand. And that is a sorry state of affairs. In November 2019, England fast bowler Jofra Archer was subjected to racist chants in their tour of New Zealand. The incident happened during Day 5 of the first Test match between the two sides.
Archer took to social media site Twitter and said, “A bit disturbing hearing racial insults today whilst battling to help save my team,” said Archer on Twitter. “The crowd was been amazing this week except for that one guy. The Barmy Army was good as usual also.” The incident, as expectedly, bothered him, however, Archer stood tall and rallied himself.
Shahzad’s treatment by Afghan Cricket Board a terrible moment
Veteran Afghanistan wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Shahzad was dropped from the ICC Cricket World Cup squad after their match against Sri Lanka in Cardiff on June 4. Notably, Shahzad had played the first two matches of the tournament for Afghanistan despite retiring hurt with a knee injury during their warm-up match against Pakistan.
A miffed Shahzad claimed, as per the doctor, he could play after resting for two-three days. He added that his heart wasn’t with cricket anymore. In August 2019, the Afghanistan Cricket Board suspended Shahzad’s contract due to a breach of ACB’s Code of Conduct. One prime reason it listed was Shahzad failed to attend meetings with the ACB Discipline Committee in relation to disciplinary matters during the ICC World Cup 2019.
Gulbadin Naib threatens to name Afghan players for underperforming in CWC 19
In another incident in relation to Afghanistan cricket, former skipper Gulbadin Naib threatened to ‘expose’ the board officials saying that he will publicly name and shame the government, players, and management if appropriate actions aren’t taken.
“My dear Afghans, the main reason why I went public is not that I have a personal grudge against player or the board. I am going to reveal every person’s identity involved in corruption and other misconducts and betrayals against our Nation cricket and its ppl,” tweeted Naib starting a series of tweets.
He added, “Some blatantly admitted to the board that they were not performing as they were supposed to during the World Cup because of my captaincy.”
Pakistan’s fall from grace in T20Is
Pakistan did all the hard work and mesmerized fans with their consistent performances in the shortest format of the game. The fleet of results helped the side to be ranked number one in the ICC Rankings in T20Is. However, 2019 saw Pakistan cricket fall from grace. They participated in four T20I series and lost all of them.
They played a total of nine matches across the four series and managed to win just one game, besides losing eight. Losing 3-0 against Sri Lanka at home was perhaps the lowest moment in their current history. The 2-0 loss against Australia next showed how Pakistan cricket fell from grace and the road ahead for them in T20Is looks to be a difficult one from here on.
Match-fixing grips Karnataka Premier League
The Karnataka Premier League came under the scanner after spot-fixing allegations stepped up. The Bengaluru police arrested KPL Bellary team captain CM Gautam and Abrar Kazi. It was alleged that both cricketers were involved in spot-fixing during the KPL 2019 final between Hubli and Bellary.
Meanwhile, the police during the course of investigations had also arrested Belgavi Panthers team’s owner Ali, Bengaluru Blasters bowling coach Vinu Prasad and batsman Vishwanathan. Ali had allegedly placed bets with a bookie based in Dubai and was in touch with players of other teams during the league.
In November 2019, the police issued notices to the Karnataka State Cricket Association and the franchises that were part of KPL in the 2019 season. The notice had a set of 18 questions and police have told all the KSCA and the franchises to reply to the notices within a set time frame.