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 25, 2016: CSA imposes 20-year ban on Bodi

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


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

Sep 26, 2015: India's aggression leaves a bad taste in the mouth | Oct 25, 2015: Sledging: where does one draw the line?

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

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.

Jun 26, 2015: Bowlers benefit from ODI rule changes | Sep 30, 2015: MCC revises fielder movement Law

Security concerns

The attack on cricketers and match officials in Lahore in March 2009 brought into tragic and dramatic focus a trend that began in Sri Lanka in 1987, when New Zealand abandoned their tour after a car bomb in Colombo killed 100 people. Nine years later, Australia and West Indies refused to play their World Cup games in Sri Lanka citing danger from the ongoing civil war. Subsequent series to be affected include New Zealand's tour of Pakistan in 2002, Australia and West Indies' tours of Pakistan the same year (eventually played at neutral venues), South Africa's tour of Sri Lanka in 2006, which was truncated halfway, England's of India in November 2008, when the ODI series was cut short by the attacks in Mumbai, and India's proposed tour of Pakistan in 2009.

May 21, 2015: 'Being shot changed my life' - Raza | May 20, 2015: 'I have moved on and I am not afraid' - Ahsan Raza