Although it’s their personal tool, cricketers have the responsibility of a team’s brand and image on the internet. This has become one of the effects of this digital era. However, sometimes, it so happens that cricketers tend to cross their line with controversial statements. While their frustration might have led to the outrage, on a few occasions, these very comments have put them in trouble. In this article, we take a look at five players who got into trouble due to controversial tweets.
1) Ollie Robinson – Suspended from International Cricket
After impressing for Sussex in the domestic competitions, Ollie Robinson earned a place in the English squad for the series against New Zealand. However, on the very day that he made his Test debut, a few screenshots of Robinson’s tweets made nine years ago surfaced online.
All of the fast bowler’s tweets carried racist and sexist flavour. There was widespread outrage on the internet, and the English Cricket Board decided that the player would be suspended from international cricket until a disciplinary investigation gets carried out. Amidst all this, his fine Test debut of seven wickets and 42 runs went under the radar.
2) Ambati Rayudu – Retired a few days after the tweet
A special cricketer that he is, Ambati Rayudu has often taken the ‘controversy’ route. While his on-field spat with Harbhajan Singh on the field in 2016 and the ban by BCCI for argument with umpires were some of the black spots, the ‘3D’ tweet by Rayudu is still his most controversial act.
Rayudu was in line for selection to the Indian Team for the 2019 World Cup. However, a run of poor form occurred and the selectors favoured Vijay Shankar. The chief selector said that Vijay’s ‘three-dimensional’ contributions would serve the team better. However, Rayudu sarcastically used the ‘3D’ word in his tweet. Although there was no official reprimand, a few days later when Vijay was ruled out of the World Cup, Mayank Agarwal was chosen as his replacement instead of Rayudu. The cricketer then announced his decision to retire from the game.
3) Kevin Pietersen – Fined by ECB
Be it his comments about South Africa’s quota system, the feud with Andy Flower or his clash at Nottinghamshire, throughout his career, Kevin Pietersen was controversy’s favourite child. Hence, it is no surprise that he got into trouble due to controversial tweets.
On two occasions, KP crossed the line with his tweets. In 2010, when he was dropped from the English ODI squad for games against Pakistan, he took to Twitter and vented his frustration. ECB criticized him, and he had to delete it. Later, in 2012, he tweeted that it was ‘ridiculous’ to see English cricketer Nick Knight in the commentatory box. ECB felt it was not in the right taste and fined him an undisclosed amount for the tweet.
4) Mushfiqur Rahim – Forced to delete the tweet
In the semi-final of the 2016 World Cup, India lost to West Indies by a fine margin. Just a few days ago, the squad had pulled off an unlikely victory against Bangladesh in which MS Dhoni had famously removed his gloves for the final delivery.
While India was grieving the loss, Bangladeshi wicket-keeper Mushfiqur Rahim took to his Twitter account and said “Happiness is this….!!!!!! #ha ha ha..!!!! India lost in the semifinal.. ????????????”. This tweet was instantly met with widespread criticism and trolls from across the subcontinent. Rahim was forced to delete it and till now, he has not earned the respect of the Indian fans due to that incident.
5) Suryakumar Yadav – Had to provide an explanation
Suryakumar Yadav was a controversial figure in the past but has now mellowed down a bit. In 2017, when he was excluded from the Mumbai squad, he retweeted a post that questioned his exclusion.
Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) then asked him to explain the act. It also gave a statement that players did not have permission to comment on selection on social media. SKY, though, has moved on and currently represents India in limited-overs cricket.