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.

Oct 23, 2018: The story of a corrupt approach at the 2011 World Cup | Oct 27, 2018: PCB turns its back on Qayyum report with Wasim Akram appointment

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.

Oct 12, 2018: Mohammad Amir's no-ball | Jun 20, 2016: 'The dream is to come back and play for three to four years'

The Lahore attack

The attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009 was the first time cricketers had been directly targeted by terrorists. That attack, in which several cricketers and coaching staff were injured, shattered the illusion that sportsmen were outside the terrorists' agenda. As the cricket world tried to digest the the story of Sri Lanka's miraculous escape, Pakistan sunk further into the abyss of isolation

Oct 7, 2018: The Lahore attack | Jun 13, 2014: Teams cannot risk tours to Pakistan

Ball-tampering

Players are barred, by Law 42.3, from rubbing the ball on the ground, interfering with its seam or surface, or using any implement that can alter the condition of the ball to thereby gain unfair advantage. There have been plenty of ugly incidents centring on accusations of ball-tampering through cricket's history: the John Lever "Vaseline" affair in 1976-77; the times England and New Zealand accused Pakistan of it in the early 1990s; Michael Atherton's admission that he used dirt to treat the ball against South Africa in 1994; and perhaps most infamously, the Oval Test of 2006 when Pakistan forfeited the match because they were accused of having tampered with the ball.

Aug 7, 2018: Many factors made ball-tampering reach 'tipping point' - Ponting | Oct 26, 2018: 'Australians play hard and fair' - Steve Waugh

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.

May 26, 2018: Four things next week's ICC meeting should look to address | Dec 24, 2017: Why Australia ought to have made it to the Champions Trophy semis

Sledging

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

Apr 6, 2018: The brawlers | May 26, 2018: Four things next week's ICC meeting should look to address

Pitches

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.

Jan 30, 2018: Nine deadly pitches | May 26, 2017: Hard, flat and true