Who are the bad boys of the Cricket World Cup?
Zaahier Adams, who will be covering the tournament for Independent Media in the UK, looks at some of the players whose reputations precede them for the wrong reasons…
1 Ben Stokes (England)
The maverick all-rounder’s career almost came to an abrupt halt when he was involved in a nightclub brawl that saw him knock a man unconscious. A jury at the Bristol Town Crown court eventually acquitted Stokes after a seven-day trial that allowed him to return to the England team.
2 David Warner and Steven Smith (Australia)
Sent home for punching England batsman Joe Root in a Birmingham bar during the ICC Champions Trophy 2013, Warner took his antics to a new level when, along with his Test captain Smith and opening batsman Cameron Bancroft, the trio tampered with the ball by using yellow sandpaper during the third Test against South Africa at Newlands. Warner and Smith were both banned for a year.
3 Andre Russell (West Indies)
The big-hitting Jamaican was only recently twiddling his thumbs for a year. Russell was banned from all cricket for 12 months in 2017 when he was found guilty of a doping violation in his homeland. The West Indian failed to file his whereabouts on three occasions in 2015 – akin to a failed drugs test under World Anti-Doping Agency guidelines.
4 Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul (India)
The two young Indian cricketers found themselves at the centre of a media storm after being guests on a television programme, Koffee with Karan, in January. Both were fined R405 000 each by the BCCI for “sexist, disrespectful and racist” comments made towards women on the show.
5 Sabbir Rahman (Bangladesh)
Assaulting a fan: Check! Hitting a teammate: Check! Late-night hotel shenanigans: Check! Rahman is the undisputed bad boy of Bangladeshi cricket. Rahman has already been stripped of his national contract, been served a six-month domestic ban and fined R345 000 for his indiscretions.
6 Dimuth Karunaratne (Sri Lanka)
How does the Sri Lankan Cricket Board punish a player for drunken driving? Make him captain of their World Cup squad, even though he hasn’t played an ODI since the last edition in 2015! Karunaratne must have some dirt on the officials at the board as only a few months earlier, he was arrested for going through a red light before hitting a taxi driver.@ZaahierAdams