10 most selfish cricketers in history

All of these names have been termed selfish for their personal acts or for some of their antics on the field.

Brian Lara
Brian Lara. (Photo Source: Twitter)

It is difficult to stay on top of the highest level, no matter which era of cricketers we are talking about. It takes years of hardwork, sweat and determination to get there and some cricketers in the past have been accused of misusing their positions at the top. While it is understandable why they’re so possessive of their power, it’s never acceptable to keep a player ahead of the team.

These are the cricketers who have earned the “Selfish” and “Arrogant” tags during their playing days. Incidentally, most of these cricketers are some all-time greats of the game and ones who have been in major power for a long time. Some of them did set a wrong example, but a lot of them got hammered although the intention was not to be selfish.


Here is a list of cricketers who have been termed selfish for a number of reasons. All of these names have been termed selfish for their personal acts or for some of their antics on the field, which didn’t go down well with fans.

1. Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar. (Photo Source: GettyImages)

The demigod of masses, the cult legend of Indian cricket, Sachin Tendulkar has achieved everything possible during his career as a cricketer. The highest International run-scorer of all time has his own legendary moments on the field, but there were many other instances which hampered his status big. All of it was forgotten with his retirement, but some scars still remain out there.

Many accused him of prolonging his career for getting to the elusive 100th hundred mark and even during the game against Bangladesh where he eventually got it, his strike-rate was considerably below par. India ended up losing that match in the Asia Cup, one of the few times they encountered a defeat against the Tigers.

2. Brian Lara

Brian Lara
Brian Lara. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Someone who stands in the same bracket as Sachin Tendulkar among all-time greats, Brian Lara rocked the cricketing world with his class and exuberance and off the field, he was a gentleman par excellence. He was known to play marathon knocks, but that backfired on occasions for the great man.

During two of his greatest knocks against England where he scored 375 and 400, many experts accused him of being selfish for personal records. West Indies had a chance of winning the game during the 4th Test in 2004 where he got the 400, but they batted for a little too long and it didn’t give bowlers enough time to kill the game.

3. Geoffrey Boycott

Geoffrey Boycott
Former cricketer Geoffrey Boycott. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Although he was termed one of the finest of his generation, Geoffrey Boycott was always a central figure in various controversies. He was known to be an introvert who never really liked going around and having fun during his cricketing days, but was always a strict figure with his ideology and never changed it, even when it was necessary.

He never wanted to play aggressively even when it was necessary for the team, someone which pissed the fans and his management on occasions. There were also rumours in a game that the English coach had sent Ian Botham to run Boycott out so someone else could come and accelerate the scoring.

4. Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

A bit like Boycott, Gavaskar’s style of batting never changed, until his only hundred during the 1987 World Cup game against New Zealand where he scored his first and only hundred in limited overs. He was just way too slow for the format and played one of the most forgettable knocks in cricket history during the first-ever game in World Cup history.

No one can ever forget his 175-ball 36 against England while chasing a target in excess of 300. The format was still new, no one had a precise clue as to how they should approach the game, but there wasn’t any intent to win the game. India only won a single match in the first two World Cups in 1975 and 1979, which came against East Africa.

5. MS Dhoni

MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav
MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav. (Photo Source: Twitter)

MS Dhoni is one of those rare cricketers who has as many haters as lovers. While many consider him an all-time great, there are others who just don’t appreciate what he’s done for the country, which is very unreasonable. But some incidents during his career as a captain or as a batsman had some controversial calls being taken, which earns him a name in this list.

During the second Test against New Zealand in 2013, with the Kiwis five down in the second innings and in deep trouble of losing the series, Dhoni kept a very defensive field, which didn’t include even a slip. Brendon McCullum got enough time to settle in and walked his way through an unforgettable triple ton and India could only draw that game. There were many innings with the bat as well which were a bit too slow for ODI cricket, most recent of them came against Afghanistan in the 2019 World Cup.

6. Richard Hadlee

Richard Hadlee
Sir Richard Hadlee. (Photo by Joel Ford/Getty Images for Tourism New Zealand)

Sir Richard Hadlee, one of the father figures of New Zealand cricket, had his own share of controversial and selfish moments during his career which truncated his image. He shortened his run up during the final few years of his career to play for a longer time, thus become a lot more ineffective as a bowler. He was also a stubborn captain as many old articles by historians suggest and barely listened to anyone.

He also used records and statistics as the primary tool to select cricketers, a strategy which not many liked. The rumour has it that he never watched a lot of cricketers play before picking them up. He also never shared the prize money which he used to receive for winning player of the tournament awards, which always used to be shared between teammates.

7. Shahid Afridi

Shahid Afridi Gautam Gambhir
Shahid Afridi. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Shahid Afridi‘s status as a cricketer is bigger and better than what his record should command, but the Pakistani fans love him and not many can question that. He was an all-time great in their history and revolutionized the way this game should be played. But during his tenure as a captain, he was often accused of selecting cricketers he personally liked and ignoring them who he disliked.

These accusations of him working on his alter-ego never faded away from newspapers. He even came back from retirement many times just to try out his luck, to see if he had anything left in him. No other cricketer could’ve had such opportunities, but going by the status he has, he got those chances and experts termed as a misuse of power.

8. Steve Smith

Steve Smith
Steve Smith. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Despite knowing what Australian Cricket has been accused of so many years, Steve Smith following the wrong path had hands-on experience of one of the most nonsensical and selfish acts of all time. After getting hammered by experts and fans for his involvement in the DRS scandal against India, he should’ve learned to not meddle in such practices.

But a few months later, he was involved in the infamous sandpaper gate, which saw him get a one-year ban from professional cricket. He was the captain of that team and it is also said that he forced youngster Cameron Bancroft to use the sandpaper, which didn’t go down well with the fraternity. Well, good performances with the bat can always make people forget it and that’s what happened in his case.

9. Steve Waugh

Steve Waugh
Steve Waugh. (Photo by Boris Streubel/Getty Images for Laureus)

Steve Waugh was an aggressive and straight forward captain, who till date has one of the most sensational records as a captain. But he also had a strangled relationship with some big names, especially Shane Warne and even dropped the leg-spinner for some big matches for personal reasons although he was a very important player for them.

He was also accused of not playing for the team and battling for personal records. He tried to increase the number of notouts to better his average, thus putting the wickets of tailenders at risk. Ian Chappell also famously said that Waugh was too selfish a captain to bring the best out of most cricketers.

10. Douglas Jardine

MCC England captain Douglas Jardine (left) with the captain of India CK Nayudu prior to the 2nd Test match between India and the MCC England touring team, 5th January 1934. (Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images)

No cricket admirer would be unaware of the infamous Bodyline scandal, which sent shockwaves back in those days and still continues to be an unforgettable chapter in cricket history. Douglas Jardine, the English captain, was one of the primary masterminds behind this plan and despite understanding the danger behind it, he went ahead with it.

Some of the English players back then were against the plan, according to some old articles written in the 30s and 40s newspapers. But Jardine was stubborn to make them do it and ended up being on the wrong side when the issue became very critical. Although he captained the side for 15 Tests and achieved great numbers, he is still remembered by one word, “Bodyline”.