Anish AgrawalJuly 11, 20235min0

Top Five Ashes Controversies of the Last Decade: Unraveling the Fiery Battles

Top 5 Ashes Controversial Decisions in the Last Decade _ 11 Jul

The Ashes series, a fiercely competitive cricket rivalry between England and Australia, has witnessed its fair share of controversies in recent years. The quest for dominance and the pressure to perform at the highest level sometimes push players beyond the boundaries of acceptable behavior. Verbal abuse, on-field altercations, and unsporting conduct have marred the intensity of this renowned series. 

Moreover, the extensive media coverage adds fuel to the fire, magnifying controversies and subjecting players and officials to increased scrutiny. Let’s delve into the top five gripping incidents that have unfolded in the Ashes over the past decade.

The Ben Stokes ‘Obstructing the Field’ Controversy (2015)

One of the most memorable Ashes controversies occurred during the second One Day International (ODI) between England and Australia in September 2015 at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London. Ben Stokes, the England batsman, found himself at the center of attention when he stopped a delivery from Mitchell Starc with his left hand. The Australian players accused Stokes of intentionally obstructing the ball’s path towards the stumps. Following a discussion among the umpires, Stokes was controversially given out under Law 37 (Obstructing the field). This incident sparked debates on the interpretation of the rule, particularly in cases of unintentional actions and the required level of intent for a batsman to be dismissed.

Stuart Broad’s Controversial Non-Dismissal (2013)

During the Ashes Test match at Trent Bridge in July 2013, England’s Stuart Broad found himself entangled in controversy. Batting in the second innings, Broad edged a delivery from Ashton Agar, and the catch was cleanly taken by Brad Haddin. Astonishingly, the on-field umpire, Aleem Dar from Pakistan, failed to recognize the edge and did not give Broad out. Despite being aware of the edge, Broad chose not to leave the field. This incident was widely criticized as a violation of the spirit of the game and caused a stir among cricket enthusiasts.

Bairstow-Bancroft ‘Headbutt’ Incident (2017)

The Bairstow-Bancroft ‘headbutt’ incident unfolded during an Ashes tour in 2017 and involved Jonny Bairstow from England and Cameron Bancroft from Australia. After the conclusion of the first Test match in Brisbane, reports surfaced of Bairstow playfully making contact with Bancroft’s head during a night out following a practice session. Initially perceived as a lighthearted moment between the players, this incident garnered attention and became a talking point throughout the series.

Time-Wasting Tactics of Strauss (2009)

In the 2009 Ashes series, England’s strategy to waste time and secure a draw came under scrutiny. During a crucial match, the English team’s last batting pair, Jimmy Anderson and Monty Panesar, faced accusations of deliberate time-wasting. Australian skipper Ricky Ponting expressed his frustration, alleging that England’s captain, Andrew Strauss, had deployed the 12th man, Bilal Shafayat, along with physio Steve McCaig into the field on two occasions without any apparent reason. This controversial tactic sparked heated debates over the integrity of the game.

David Warner & Joe Root Fight (2013)

A notable controversy unfolded during the 2013 Ashes series when David Warner, representing Australia, engaged in a physical altercation with England’s captain, Joe Root, at a bar. Warner’s punch led to his suspension for the remainder of the series and strained relations between the two teams. Cricket pundits and players worldwide criticized Warner for his actions, creating a lasting impact on his reputation.

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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