Biggest Rivalries between cricketers

August 10, 2022 | LetzCricket Team

Cricket is regarded as gentleman's game. However, players in the field are playing for their own teams. Sometimes, the arguments and incidents get heated to a significant level that the players lose their cool and get involved in ugliest of arguments.

In this article, we are going through some of the biggest arguments between cricketers :

Harbhajan Singh and S. Sreesanth (2008)

It was the first ever season of Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2008 when a bizarre incident happened between Harbhajan Singh and S. Sreesanth. The incident took place after Kings XI Punjab won the match against Mumbai Indians. Sreesanth was playing for Punjab while Harbhajan was a member of Mumbai team.

It is said that Sreesanth went to Harbhajan after the match and said "Well Played" in a teasing way. Harbhajan couldn't control his anger on this. As per the reports, Bhajji then slapped Sreesanth in his face. Sreesanth was caught crying by the camera afterwards. Consquently, Harbhajan was banned for the rest of the matches in the tournament. 

Gautam Gambhir and Shane Watson (2008)

It happened in 2008 in a match between India and Australia. India's batsman Gautam Gambhir was facing Shane Watson from Australia. Gambhir seemed irritated by sledging from Watson. While taking run in between, Gambhir elbowed Watson on his check which looked deliberate watching in the camera. The left handed opener Gambhir was consequently banned for the next match.

Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds (2008)

It was during India's tour of Australia in 2008, when Harbhajan and Symonds got involved in an ugly spat. This spat is famous as "MonkeyGate" incident as Symonds claimed that Harbhajan called him "Monkey", a racial slur.

Bhajji on the other hand refused that he hadn't said that. Bhajji said that he uttered "Maaki" which means your mother in Hindi. The Indian offspinner was banned for 3 matches afterwards. However, the Indian team warned to pull-out of the tour after this decision.

Eventually, the ban was lifted after going through statements from both the team. Both the players were fined after the match while Warne was even banned from 1 match for use of inappropriate language.

Marlon Samuels and Shane Warne (2013)

The incident took place in a match between Melbourne Stars and Melbourne Renegades in Big Bash League (BBL) 2013. Marlon Samuels had jokingly tugged on David Hussey’s shirt while Hussey was trying to take second run.

Melbourne Stars skipper Shane Warne didn't like that at all. In the second innings while Samuels was batting, Warne started abusing the West Indian batter with words which was also heard from player mic. Warne also threw a ball while fielding to Samuels slowly but deliberately.

Samuels couldn't control his anger at this moment and threw his bat in the air. Both the players were fined after the match while Warne was even banned from 1 match for using appropriate language.

Michael Clarke and James Anderson (2013)

This incident took place in 2013 Ashes. England's James Anderson was batting at number 10 for England in the match. Australia's George Bailey was sledging Anderson before Anderson replied by signalling him with a punch.

The then Australian captain Michael Clarke then came and had a verbal argument with Anderson. Clarke was subsequently fined 20% of the match fees for the use of inappropriate language.

Mitchell Starc and Kieron Pollard (2014)

An ugly looking tussle was seen between Australia's Mitchell Start and West Indies batter Kieron Pollard in IPL 2014. In a match between Mumbai Indians (MI) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Pollard missed a bouncer from Starc and Starc sledged him instantly.

The very next ball, Pollard pulled out from facing the ball as Starc was midway through his runup. However, Starc didn't pull out and bowled the ball towards Pollard. Pollard tried to throw the bat towards Starc in anger but controlled himself and the bat went towards no man's land. Both Pollard and Starc were fined 50% of their match fees for this ugly spat.

Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli (2015)

This has to be one of the most aggressive moment in the history of IPL. In a match between Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Gambhir and Kohli had heated discussion on the cricket field.

Kohli was batting well before he was dismissed in the 10th over. On Kohli's way back to pavilion, Gambhir was celebrating Kohli's wicket. Kohli heard some words that he didn't like at all from Gambhir. Kohli walked towards Gambhir and Gambhir didn't back away from the discussion. On field players and umpires got in the way and separated the players.

Special Mentions

MS Dhoni and Mustafizur Rahman (2015)

Gautam Gambhir and Shahid Afridi (2007)

Venkatesh Prasad and Aamir Sohail (1999)

Ramnaresh Sarwan and Glenn McGrath (2003)

India U19 and Bangladesh U19 (2020)