Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Australians are known for their fighting spirit on cricket ground. However, they have proved time and again that they can stoop so low and even go against the spirit of cricket to register victories.

One such infamous incident happened during Sydney Test in 2008, which was between India and Australia. Those were the days when the Decision Review System (DRS) was yet to see the light of day and there was no way to challenge the on-field decisions. 

The calls taken by the on-field umpires were final. 

Throughout that test series, several Australian players, led by their the then skipper Ricky Ponting made a mockery of the ‘spirit of the game’. 

The legendary Indian batter, Sunil Gavaskar who was on-air, got so pissed that he lashed out at the Australian captain.
There were several controversial decisions during the match. However, the one that led to Gavaskar’s outburst was a controversial catch that got rid of Ganguly.

Michael Clarke took a diving catch in the slips cordon, but the ball appeared to be close to the ground. Surprisingly, the on-field umpire Mark Benson, instead of involving the third umpire, consulted with Ponting and gave Ganguly the marching orders.

Gavaskar was furious with the fact that Benson, despite being unsure of the legitimacy of the catch, made up his decision on the direction of the fielding captain.

Without mincing any words, the ‘Little Master’ slammed the Aussie captain and questioned his honesty on Live TV.

“Now this is where he (the umpire) is asking the captain, ‘Did he catch it?’ and then he says yes. Well, if that’s the case why don’t ask the batsman then? Why is it that a fielder’s word has to be believed and not the batsman’s?” asked Gavaskar.

“Here is a man who didn’t walk when he was 14 [after being] caught down the leg side. So why should his words be taken that he or his fielder had taken the catch? It cannot be that you are honest when you are fielding and not so honest when you are batting. That is nonsense, utter nonsense,” the legendry batsman added.

Moreover, the then captain of the Indian team Anil Kumble also lambasted the Australians for their unsportsmanlike behaviour during the match, saying that only his side played the match in the true spirit of the game.

“Only one team was playing with the spirit of the game, that's all I can say,” a dejected Kumble had then said.