From WG Grace, with his penchant for delivering a running commentary on opposition players and umpires, to Steve Waugh's Australians and their tactic of "mental disintegration", sledging is almost as old as cricket itself. The Australians, from Dennis Lillee to Merv Hughes have been the acknowledged masters, but Asian exponents like Kumar Sangakkara are fast catching up

Feb 24, 2016: 'We've tried to hold up a mirror to grade cricket and see how people react' | Mar 21, 2016: Does sledging drive people away from the recreational game?

Cricket rules

Cricket has never stopped evolving: from round-arm bowling becoming the standard, to the 15-degree rule for arm flexion while bowling. From the number of balls per over to the specifications of equipment - ranging from glove-webbing to bat handles - almost every aspect of the game is regulated. New rules are frequently put in place - especially in the shorter forms of the game, as in the case of Powerplays, free hits, and the tweaking of field restrictions.

Feb 21, 2016: Bring back the back-foot no-ball law | Sep 30, 2015: MCC revises fielder movement Law

The future of ODIs

The growth of Twenty20 cricket has raised serious questions over the utility of the 50-over game, and concerns for its future. Though it is still the currency of the two main ICC tournaments, some boards have already shortened their domestic format. Suggestions for change have been plenty and even the ICC is thinking about tweaking the format.

Feb 8, 2016: Why the good-length ball has lost its sting | Feb 18, 2016: ODIs: less is more


Controversy over illegitimate bowling actions - a burning issue in the 1950s - flared up again in the mid-to-late-1990s after Muttiah Muralitharan was no-balled repeatedly in Australia. Since then a number of bowlers (Shoaib Akhtar, Shoaib Malik, Harbhajan Singh and Jermaine Lawson prominent among them) have undergone remedial work after having their actions reported.

Jan 19, 2016: Engelbrecht's reworked action deemed legal | Feb 7, 2015: 'If circumstances arise, will be ready for World Cup' - Ajmal

Corruption in cricket

Cricket's biggest match-fixing scandal was unearthed in 2000, when Hansie Cronje admitted he had accepted money to throw matches. Soon players from other countries were implicated, among them Mohammad Azharuddin and Saleem Malik. Since then, allegations of fixing - including the new phenomenon of spot-fixing - have cropped up sporadically, and it has been acknowledged that bookmakers and the underworld have been active in trying to influence cricket results and specific moments in play. In 2010, scandal reared its head again when three leading Pakistan players were questioned by Scotland Yard and suspended by the ICC over spot-fixing charges.

Jan 18, 2016: Ajit Chandila: Timeline from 2013 to 2016 | Jan 29, 2016: Bodi fixing info passed on to police - CSA

The Stanford meltdown

When Allen Stanford began to invest millions of dollars in cricket in 2005, he was painted as the saviour of the game in the West Indies. In February 2009, though, shortly after it was announced he was re-evaluating his association with Caribbean cricket, Stanford was charged by the USA's Securities and Exchange Commission of a "fraud of shocking magnitude". He was arrested and indicted in June 2009 and sentenced to a 110-year jail term in June 2012

Jan 17, 2016: The dark stain of Allen Stanford on West Indies cricket | Jun 14, 2012: Allen Stanford jailed for 110 years in fraud case

The Pakistan spot-fixing case

In September 2010 the ICC suspended three Pakistan players - Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt - on allegations of what was later defined as spot-fixing. They were alleged to have carried out specific on-field actions, including bowling no-balls at pre-determined times, during the Lord's Test against England on the instance of a bookie. The three were later handed long bans by the ICC before the matter moved to the British Crown courts, where all three were convicted and sentenced to spells of detention.

Aug 19, 2015: Bazid: Trio's return would be unfair to the rest | Aug 25, 2015: The Asif enigma