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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
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.
Over the years the endeavour has been to take pitches out of the equation for ODIs and Twenty20s, by making them flat and uniform, so that the toss does not play a crucial part in the shorter format. In Tests, though, the preparation of the pitch and its durability are much more significant, impacting the result and duration of the game. Quite naturally pitches and their preparation in the longer forms of the game evoke a lot of comment and often controversy.
For a game as steeped in tradition as cricket is, the question of how much to rely on technology is a perennial - and is now becoming increasingly complex. The Decision Review System has been controversial since it was first put in place
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.
Ambush marketing | Andrew Symonds' fall from grace | Australia crack the whip | Australian cricket under review | Axing the associates | Ball-tampering | BCCI elections | Bodyline | Corruption in cricket | Drugs | English television rights | India's coach hunt | Indian television rights | Kenyan player strike | Kolpak | New Zealand's captaincy controversy | Pakistan doping scandal | Pakistan's disciplinary crisis | Pietersen v Moores | Player contracts | Security concerns | South Africa's pullout from Sri Lanka, 2006 | The Darrell Hair Affair | The future of ODIs | The Greg Chappell-Sourav Ganguly spat | The IPL Mess | The Kevin Pietersen controversy | The Lahore attack | The Pakistan spot-fixing case | The Stanford meltdown | The Sydney saga, 2008 | The Woolmer investigation | The Zimbabwe crisis | West Indian contracts crisis | World Series Cricket |
Sri Lanka's marks out of 10 following their 2-0 series win against Pakistan
Former players react to India's humiliating 1-3 series defeat in England