5 Almost unforgivable errors by cricketers in ICC championship events
Here, we look into some errors committed by the cricketers which are tough to be forgiven.
Published - Jun 23, 2019 7:30 am | Updated - Jun 13, 2020 1:17 am
Cricket is a game of small margins, not even meters, it is a game of inches at times. While walking on such a tight rope, one error at a crunch moment means an infamous mistake that will be tagged onto your name for the rest of the life. Errors in judgement and decisions in an ICC championship event by cricketers can cost teams matches and even trophies, an opportunity that comes only once in a few years.
On multiple occasions, the cricket aficionados and pundits have witnessed players making choices which have turned out to be unwise in the end. A look at the cause of those blunders and it appears to be due to the fraction of a second they get at times to think, process and execute. Hence, sometimes, the moves come off and at times, they don’t. To err is to human.
Howbeit, in some instances, we have also seen the players making faux passes which can neither be forgotten nor forgiven. Doing things in embarrassing and awkward ways because of over-excitement or overwhelm has resulted in gaucheries which have landed the player and his team in extreme trouble.
Here, we look into some errors committed by the cricketers which are tough to be forgiven:
1. Herschelle Gibbs drops Steve Waugh and the World Cup trophy:
It was the 9th and the last game of the league stages of the 7th edition of the Cricket World Cup in 1999, where the Australian cricket team took on the South African XI at Trent Bridge. The game began with the Proteas winning the toss and electing to bat first. And with the help of a magnificent century from Herschelle Gibbs, the team posted a decent target of 272 runs in 50 overs.
Even for Australia chasing such a big score in a World Cup game was never going to be an easy task and what made the situation worse was the early wickets of Mark Waugh & Adam Gilchrist. However, it was Ricky Ponting and Steve Waugh who held their calm and handled the situation during the middle overs.
But then an incident occurred on the last ball of the 31st over as the Aussie skipper Steve Waugh edged a ball towards midwicket. Gibbs, who was standing there, almost caught the ball but it slipped somehow when he was trying to throw it in the air due to overexcitement. Waugh got a reprieve and went on to score a match-winning century which ensured a victory for Australia with 2 balls to spare.
Waugh in his Autobiography mentioned the exchange he had with Gibbs after the match, he had told the South African, “Do you realise you’ve just cost your team the match?”
2. Misbah-ul-Haq puts the T20 World Cup in Sreesanth’s hands:
Arch-rivals India and Pakistan locked horns with each other in the final game of T20 World Cup 2016. The two had gone through a lot in the tournament but still stayed strong; facing one-another in the grand finale. The young Indian skipper MS Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat first.
Gautam Gambhir (78) and Rohit Sharma (30) handled the situation and took India’s total to a respectable looking 157. With the likes of Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi & Misbah-ul-Haq present in the team, Pakistan were staring at a sure-shot victory. Howbeit, the India bowlers didn’t lose hope and kept taking wickets at regular intervals.
This put the opposition in a spot as, at one point, the Men in Green needed 80 runs in 8 overs with only 4 wickets. The equation soon went to 20 needed off the last 2 overs with two wickets in hand, and eventually to 13 needed off the last over with no wicket left. However, one batsman who still standing was skipper Misbah.
MS Dhoni played a gamble he asked Joginder Sharma to bowl the last over. This decision, initially, made little sense as Joginder first bowled a wide and was then whacked for a six by Misbah. Now, Pakistan required 6 runs in 4 balls and were on the verge of victory. But fortune had other plans. On the next delivery, Misbah tried to play the scoop towards fine-leg but hit the ball straight into S Sreesanth’s hands.
It was all done and dusted! India won the inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup, Dhoni’s gamble turned paid off and Misbah-ul-Haq committed a mistake which he might regret for a very long time.
3. AB de Villiers missed a run out in SF of World Cup 2015:
The two underperformers in the history of cricket, South Africa and New Zealand locked horns in the semi-final of World Cup 2015. The game, which was played at Auckland, turned out to be a rain-interrupted affair where the visitors could score 281 runs until the rain poured in.
After all the DLS calculations, the Kiwis were given a target of 293 runs in 43 overs. In the chase, Kiwi openers got off to a blistering start but soon there were dismissals at regular intervals. Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson built a small partnership but the spin duo of Imran Tahir and JP Duminy got rid of the pair. Then, Grant Elliott and Corey Anderson started to build a dangerous-looking partnership.
The Saffers had a chance to send Anderson back in the 32nd over, a misunderstanding between the two batsmen created a run out opportunity. The chance was so clean that Corey didn’t even think of making it back when the fielder was throwing the ball towards AB de Villiers, who was present at the non-striker’s end. But then there was a brain fade moment – instead of dislodging the bails with the ball, he did that with his hands. Yes! AB de Villiers, one of the best fielders in the cricket fraternity, missed an easy run out a chance on such a big occasion and the rest, as they say, is history.
Elliott went on to contribute 84 and Corey Anderson’s blitz of 58 runs ultimately helped the Kiwis chase down this target and defeat the Proteas in the high-octane thriller. That was a disappointing end to South Africa’s otherwise spirited journey in the ICC mega event.
4. Ravichandran Ashwin & Hardik Pandya bowling no-balls in WT20 2016 SF:
The semi-final of the World T20 2016 witnessed the clash of two titans – Indian and West Indies at the iconic Wankhede. The hosts won the toss and elected to field first. India got off to a slow start which was followed by a scintillating knock from Virat Kohli. His knock of 89 runs helped India post 192 runs in 20 overs.
Defending such a mammoth total in front of the home crowd seemed like a possible task for the Indian bowling line-up and the whole world expected them to pull off an easy victory. What made it look easier was the dismissals of dangerous-looking Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels at the initial stage of the game. But then came Lendl Symmons, alongside, Johnson Charles, built a once-in-a-lifetime partnership and fetched off a victory from the jaws of defeat.
But what became the highlight of the game was the two reprieves Symmons got. The Carribean cricketer once edged a ball on the penultimate delivery of the 7th over which was caught at the third man and then mishit a full toss in the 11th over which went straight into the hands of Ravi Ashwin. Howbeit, on both the occasions, the bowlers i.e. Ravichandran Ashwin and Hardik Pandya had overstepped and the batsman lived on.
The game eventually went down the wire and was ultimately won by the visitors by 7 wickets. The Windies also went on to also win the championship.
5. Jasprit Bumrah’s no-ball in the final of CT 2017:
The grand finale of the exemplary Champions Trophy 2017 witnessed arguably the biggest rivalry of the cricketing world as the Indian cricket team took on its arch-rivals Pakistan at the Kennington Oval, London. India won the toss and chose to bowl first. Azhar Ali and Fakhar Zaman were the openers whilst Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar shared the new ball.
Indians had the edge as their bowlers were in form and started off on top. It was evident Bumrah got Fakhar to edge the 1st ball of the 3rd over bowled and it landed in the wicketkeeper MS Dhoni‘s gloves. The batsman was walking off and the Indian cadre busy in celebration. The umpires just wanted to see if the front foot was fine and the big screen showed that Bumrah had overstepped.
The on-field umpire, hence, raised his hand horizontally and Fakhar was called back. This turned out to be a real gaffe as the dashing opener went on to score a breathtaking century. This one error right at the start of the game potentially cost them the game as Pakistan posted an awe-inspiring target of 339 runs in 50 overs.
The pressure to chase such a mammoth total in the final of a tourney was clearly visible on the Indian batsmen. Their sturdy top order became Mohammad Amir‘s bunny. The Men In Blue could never really recover and were bundled out on the minimal score of 158 runs. The mercurial-yet-consistent Green Army was handed an easy victory by an unbelievable margin of 180 runs.
India lost the trophy after playing amazing cricket throughout and being firm favourites in the final. Jasprit Bumrah’s no ball became an unforgivable mistake and has been the highlight of the game.