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There are many controversies that surround the Gentleman game called Cricket. Most have been forgotten and many others would fade out from the memories but some controversies refuse to die even after decades. Under arm bowling incident of 1981 is one of them which still haunts the connoisseurs of the game. This is the Australia’s most infamous cricket controversy that involved Australian captain Greg Chappell and his brother, Trevor.
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During the Benson and Hedges World Series Cup final at the MCG On February 1, 1981 between Australia and New Zealand. New Zealand needed a six from the last ball to tie the match but however after instruction from the captain Greg Chappell, Trevor Chappell bowled the last ball underarm along the ground to New Zealand batsman Brian McKechnie. As a result, Australia won the match and the series 2-1.
The underarm ball was not against the rules at the time. However, it was considered to be unsportsmanlike.
After this incident came March 2018 ball-tampering scandal implicating skipper Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and batsman Cameron Bancroft, who is serving 9 and 12-month ban respectively.
The latest incident happened in a Somerset Cricket League match in England between Minehead Cricket Club and Purnell Cricket Club when a bowler's shameful behavior denied a batsman his first-ever league century. Minehead CC's Jay Darrell was batting on 98 and en route to his maiden century with his team needing two runs to win but the batsman was left stranded by one of the most unsporting acts. The unnamed Purnell CC bowler decided to throw the ball over the boundary rope for a no-ball four, which ensured Minehead's victory but left Darrell short of his landmark hundred.
After the match, one of Minhead CC players Angus Marsh took to Twitter to show his anger at the incident, calling it "the worst cricket moment of my life".
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Today I witnessed the worst cricket moment of my life... <a href="https://twitter.com/MineheadCricket?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MineheadCricket</a> 2s needed 5 runs to win, Jay Darrell was on 95*, never scored a league ton! Purnells bowler THREW the ball for a no-ball 6... embarrassing! <a href="https://twitter.com/BumbleCricket?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BumbleCricket</a> thoughts?</p>— Gus. (@MarshAngus) <a href="https://twitter.com/MarshAngus/status/1025821425670795265?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 4, 2018</a></blockquote><script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Soon the tweet went viral with likes of British TV personality Piers Morgan and former England cricketer Rob Key commented on the coward incident.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">SERIOUSLY?<br>How utterly pathetic. Shame on you <a href="https://twitter.com/purnellcc?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@purnellcc</a>. <a href="https://t.co/jSryH4FP1t">https://t.co/jSryH4FP1t</a></p>— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) <a href="https://twitter.com/piersmorgan/status/1025826618378313728?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 4, 2018</a></blockquote><script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
While commentating on the incident Rob Key blasted the bowler, calling the incident "appalling".
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Today I witnessed the worst cricket moment of my life... <a href="https://twitter.com/MineheadCricket?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MineheadCricket</a> 2s needed 5 runs to win, Jay Darrell was on 95*, never scored a league ton! Purnells bowler THREW the ball for a no-ball 6... embarrassing! <a href="https://twitter.com/BumbleCricket?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BumbleCricket</a> thoughts?</p>— Gus. (@MarshAngus) <a href="https://twitter.com/MarshAngus/status/1025821425670795265?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 4, 2018</a></blockquote><script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
One Twitter user revealed that the after the cowardly incident the bowler was seen "laughing".
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Iv played & seen a lot of cricket in my time and Iv never seen anything like that before <a href="https://twitter.com/MineheadCricket?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MineheadCricket</a> 2s. A young lad on for his first league 💯 and the bowler throws in over the ropes 🙈 and then laughs about it. Credit to his team they were just as disgusted.</p>— Roo Woodward (@razziabou) <a href="https://twitter.com/razziabou/status/1025818702254682112?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 4, 2018</a></blockquote><script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Just to remind you, this is not the first time that the fielding team's or a player's unsportsmanlike behaviour has denied a century for the batsman. West Indian star batsman Kieron Pollard bowled a big no-ball when Evin Lewis was on 97 off 32 balls, with St Kitts and Nevis Patriots needing one run to beat Barbados Tridents in a 2017 Caribbean Premier League match.
Back in 2010, India's Virender Sehwag was stranded on 99 when Sri Lankan bowler Suraj Randiv bowled a no-ball to complete a one-day international in Sri Lanka. Randiv was punished with a one-match suspension.
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