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Sat Apr 19 21:36:34 SAST 2014

Cricket's memorable bust-ups and barneys

Tim Ellis, TEAMtalk Media | 26 June, 2012 11:570 Comments
India v England - 2nd One Day International
Kevin Pietersen of England speaks with former player Sir Ian Botham before the 2nd ODI between India and England at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium on October 17, 2011 in Delhi, India
Image by: Gareth Copley / Getty Images

Andrew Flintoff's verbal assault on Mike Atherton last week showed that cricket, like any other profession, harbours some strained relationships. Sometimes, it even gets physical. Just ask Michael Clarke and Simon Katich or Harbhajan Singh and Shantha Sreesanth.

1. Geoffrey Boycott vs Doug Insole - Insole was the chairman of selectors in 1967, dropping Boycott after he scored 246 not out on his home ground against India. "He would have bored the spectators a good deal more had he not been a Yorkshireman," observed Gordon Ross in Playfair Cricket Monthly. Regulars to Test Match Special will know that Boycott is still aggrieved. Earlier this month, Sir Geoffrey suggested Insole should have spelt his name with an 'A'.

2. Ian Chappell vs Ian Botham - Chappell and Botham's relationship makes Atherton and Flintoff's bust-up look like a handbag fight at Harrods. Their enmity goes back over 30 years, when Botham, who was a young and uncapped buck, ended up baiting Chappell in a Melbourne hotel bar. Chappell claimed Botham's account of events was fantastical: "Someone is going to regret awarding him a knighthood. Apart from having us in the same bar, the rest is a fairytale."

3. Michael Clarke vs Simon Katich - In 2009, Katich took Clarke by the throat during an argument over the singing of the team song after their win over South Africa in Sydney. Two years later, when Clarke took over the captaincy from Ricky Ponting, Katich found himself discarded from the test side. Katich said: "You don't have to be Einstein to figure out it's not just the selectors that had a part in sending me on my way."

4. Shoaib Akhtar vs Shahid Afridi vs Mohammad Asif - Put three temperamental Pakistani cricketers together with a difference of opinion and a bat and things might get nasty. Apparently, the problem started after Asif and Afridi disagreed with Shoaib that he shared the same stature as Imran Khan. Shoaib went on to hit Asif with a bat on his left thigh. Shoaib claimed Afridi used bad words about his family and that he accidentally struck Asif in retaliation.

5. Waqar Younis vs Wasim Akram - They were two of the greatest fast bowlers of all time, but like Darren Gough and Andy Caddick, were hardly bosom buddies. In fact, Akram said of his relationship with Waqar: "We hated each other so much that we were not even on talking terms on and off the field, but the fact is that Pakistan benefited from our rivalry."

6. Paul Collingwood vs New Zealand - Talk about being out on a limb. Collingwood had the Kiwis' dressing room door slammed in his face when he refused to withdraw a run-out appeal which ended in Grant Elliott's dismissal. The batsman had run into Ryan Sidebottom at The Oval during a one-dayer in 2008. Daniel Vettori, New Zealand's captain, celebrated his team's last-ball victory with some industrial language. He said: "I want to apologise for our team's reaction and my reactions. It took a long time to calm down."

7. Harbhajan Singh vs Shantha Sreesanth - Harbhajan's altercation with his Indian team-mate Sreesanth took place after an IPL clash between the Mumbai Indians and the Kings XI Punjab. The slow bowler slapped the paceman in the face and left Sreesanth weeping uncontrollably in view of the television cameras in what appeared to be an unprovoked attack. Harbhajan was in turn slapped with an 11-match ban and a hefty fine.

8. Dennis Lillee vs Javed Miandad - These two legends were not known for their fine sense of civility on the field. Miandad was fighting to save a tense test in Perth in 1981, when he was obstructed by Lillee going for a quick single. The batsman pushed Lillee, who responded by kicking him in the leg. Umpire Tony Crafter rushed in to separate Miandad, who was advancing on his opponent with his bat raised over his head as Lillee adopted a boxer's stance.

9. Kevin Pietersen vs Graeme Swann - The England dressing room may have been an interesting place to be when Graeme Swann released his autobiography, The Breaks Are Off, with the following thoughts: "There is no doubt that Kev is a good player, a really fine batsman, but he was never the right man to be captain. Some people are better leaders of men and Kev, for all his abundant talent, is not one of those natural leaders." Andy Flower assured everybody that the matter was handled in-house with few problems. KP's grimace at the mention of the topic suggests it still rankles.

10. Virender Sehwag vs Mahendra Singh Dhoni - After a crushing defeat against Australia in the recent tri-series in Brisbane, Dhoni stated that the three senior openers - Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir - were not being picked together in the tournament because they were slow fielders and could cost the side at least 20 runs. "Have you seen my catch?" Sehwag snapped back in response, adding: "We have been fielding the same way for the last 10 years. What he told us was to give a chance to youngsters and come here and play the next World Cup. That was what he told us."

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Cricket's memorable bust-ups and barneys

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