Anish AgrawalJuly 14, 20237min0

Ashes 2023: Eight Times England Broke the Spirit of Cricket

Ashes 2023_ 8 Times England Broke the spirit of Cricket _ 19 Jul

The England cricket team has often been praised for their conduct on and off the field. They have demonstrated a commitment to playing the game in the right spirit and upholding the principles of fair play. England players have been known for their graciousness in victory and their ability to accept defeat with humility. A recent incident from the second Test match where Jonny Bairstow was stumped by Alex Cary while the batsman was just walking towards the non-striker’s end to have a quick word with Ben Stokes, has questioned the spirit of cricket again. 

England has been on the receiving end but in the past, England has also harmed the “Spirit” of cricket in many ways. Below are some eight incidents where England players behaved in an improper manner.

1) Stuart Broad Refuses to Walk, 2013

In the first Test match of the Ashes 2013 series, played at Trent Bridge, there was a contentious moment when Broad edged a delivery from Australian bowler Ashton Agar to slip. The Australian fielders appealed for a catch, but the on-field umpire, Aleem Dar, ruled not out, seemingly missing the edge. 

Despite the clear edge, Broad chose not to walk off the field, meaning he did not voluntarily acknowledge that he had been caught. This decision caused controversy and sparked a debate about the spirit of cricket and the ethics of players not walking when they know they are out.

2) Using mints to ball-tamper

Marcus Trescothick in his autobiography “Coming Back to Me,” Trescothick acknowledged that he had used mints and saliva to shine the ball. He mentioned that the use of mints helped him produce more saliva, which he used to maintain the shine on one side of the ball. It’s worth noting that at the time, the specific act of using mints to aid ball shining was not considered illegal or against the laws of cricket.

3) Jellybean-gate against India, 2007

“Jellybean-gate” refers to a controversial incident that occurred during England vs. India Test match at Trent Bridge in 2007. The incident involved the English players allegedly placing jellybeans on the pitch near the popping crease as a means to distract and unsettle Indian batsman Zaheer Khan. 

The incident highlighted the need for players to maintain the spirit of cricket and avoid any actions that could be perceived as unsportsmanlike conduct.

4) NZ’s Elliott run out after obstruction, in 2008

New Zealand batsman Grant Elliott was involved in a run-out incident with England fielder Ryan Sidebottom in an ODI match in 2008. As Elliott attempted to complete a run, he collided with Sidebottom, resulting in both players falling to the ground. After the collision, England wicketkeeper Matt Prior picked up the ball and threw it toward the stumps, running out Elliott while he was still on the ground. 

The incident caused controversy because there was debate regarding whether Elliott’s collision with Sidebottom constituted obstruction, which would have resulted in a penalty against the fielding team.

5) Specialist sub fielder runs out Ponting, 2005

This incident took place during an Ashes Test match between England and Australia in 2005. Ponting, who was well-set and batting aggressively, was run out by Pratt when he attempted a quick single. Gary Pratt, who had been subbing on the field, collected the ball and threw it accurately at the stumps, catching Ponting short of his crease. 

What made the incident particularly noteworthy was that Pratt was not a regular member of the playing XI but a substitute fielder brought onto the field to provide a break for a fatigued player.

6) Ball-tampering claims in South Africa, 2010

In 2010, while on tour to South Africa, the bowling duo James Anderson and Stuart Broad were accused of ball tampering. The footage showed Broad stopping the ball with shoes and Anderson picking it up with the seam. However, there were no fines or charges pressed by the South African cricket team.

7) Foakes’ stumping v Ireland, 2019

During an ODI match in 2019 between England and Ireland, the English wicketkeeper Ben Foakes made headlines by producing a late stumping of Andrew Barnabie. Barnabie missed the ball while trying to sweep and Foakes cleverly waited for him to lift his leg and then stumped the batter for 29 runs. The incident was criticised by Ireland but no action was taken.

8) Bairstow’s ‘Alex Carey’ against Australia, 2023

There are a lot of headlines regarding Bairstow’s stumping in the media by Alex Carey. However, very less individuals are aware of Bairstow trying to repeat what Carey did with him. On day three of the same Test, Bairstow attempted to stump Marnus Labuschagne in a similar manner. As Labuschagne missed the ball which was picked up by Bairstow, the wicket-keeper quickly attempted to confuse while Labuschagne was outside the crease but not trying to take a run.

Anish Agrawal

Hi, I am Anish Agrawal and I am the lead cricket journalist for Cricnews. I have been a sports journalist for the past 7 years and have experience covering all major cricket tournaments. My favourite tournament is the IPL and I am a big supporter of the Mumbai Indians.

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