Former Pakistan skipper and one of the greatest pacers Wasim Akram has recently revealed his addiction to cocaine after his retirement from international cricket. However, Akram is not the first cricket to be embroiled in drug-related controversies. Here is a look at some of the cricketers who made news for the wrong reasons.
Ian Botham is one of the greatest all-rounders of all time. He was suspended for smoking cannabis in 1986. The cricketer-turned-commentator admitted to the same during a newspaper interview. The incident led to his suspension from the game for two months.
In a shocking development, legendary leggie Shane Warne was sent home a day before the 2003 World Cup kicked off in South Africa. Warne was banned for a year from the game after a drug test on him during an ODI series in Australia showed a positive result for a banned diuretic. Warne defended himself stating that the drug was given to him by his mother, and that he thought it was just a fluid tablet. The Australian Cricket Board (ACB) however found him guilty of breaking the board’s drug code.
Mohammad Asif & Shoaib Akhtar
The fast bowling duo of Mohammad Asif and Shoaib Akhtar was banned from all forms of cricket in November 2006 after failing a drug test. While Akhtar was banned for two years, Asif was slapped with a one-year ban. Asif and Akhtar tested positive for a banned substance named nandrolone. The tests were carried out three weeks before the ICC Champions Trophy that was to be held in India that year.
One of the best and most respected skippers of all time in world cricket, Stephen Fleming found himself in the middle of an unwanted muddle when he admitted to smoking marijuana along with teammates Matthew Hart and Dion Nash at their hotel during New Zealand’s tour of South Africa in 1993-94. Fleming, Hart and Nash were banned for a brief while and were also fined.
The Sri Lankan batter was banned from the game for three months in 2011 after testing positive for a banned substance during the World Cup that year.
Former Indian swashbuckling all-rounder Yusuf Pathan was suspended by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for five months on the ground of a doping violation. The BCCI backdated the suspension from August 15, 2017 which effectively ended on January 14, 2018.