Hyderabad: T20 cricket is a game of small margins. The cliché never gets old. Given the volatility of the shortest format of the game, every second of the game is crucial to its outcome. One error can cost dearly, turning players into villains instantly, especially in big-ticket events like the World Cup. Though players strive […]
Hyderabad: T20 cricket is a game of small margins. The cliché never gets old. Given the volatility of the shortest format of the game, every second of the game is crucial to its outcome. One error can cost dearly, turning players into villains instantly, especially in big-ticket events like the World Cup. Though players strive to give their best for the country, they were subjected to online abuse and threats.
Here is a look at the recent instances where a few cricketers turned villains in closely fought matches.
Hasan Ali T20 World Cup semis vs Australia
Pakistan bowler Hasan Ali has become a villain overnight in Pakistan after he dropped a catch off Australia’s Matthew Wade. The Australian wicketkeeper went on to win the game for his side with a hat-trick of sixes in the 19th over of Shaheen Afridi that knocked Pakistan out of the World Cup.
Fans abused him for the loss as Babar Azam-led side looked set for their second T20 World Cup final before the shocking loss. Even Babar, in a moment of emotion, blamed Hasan for the loss before he re-tracked his post-match comments at the press conference saying players can drop catches. Ali faced death threats as well. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, sent his support to the player and the team.
Chris Jordan in semis vs New Zealand
England, the pre-tournament favourites, were coasting along nicely in the semifinal against New Zealand in the ongoing T20 World Cup. However, the 17th over, bowled by Chris Jordan, turned the tide for the Kiwis players. He conceded 23 runs, with Jimmy Neesham and Daryl Mitchell at the crease that decided the fate of the match.
Former England players like Nasser Hussian took a dig at the bowler’s poor form in the death overs in the recent past.
Bumrah in 2017 Champions Trophy final vs Pakistan
There were many instances in the past where one costly error made a cricketer villain. India’s Jasprit Bumrah faced the heat of the fans when his error cost India the ICC Champions Trophy against Pakistan.
Fakhar Zaman was caught behind in the third over of the innings in Bumrah’s over. However, the bowler overstepped and the batter went on to score 114 and Pakistan clinched the trophy with a 180-run victory. Even the Rajasthan police department used his overstepping picture to caution the citizens on the roads.
Ben Stokes in 2016 T20 WC final vs Windies
One of the most celebrated all-rounders around the world is England’s Ben Stokes. The star player turned villain for England in the 2016 T20 World Cup final. Needing 19 runs in the final over for West Indies to win, England were clear favourites.
However, Windies all-rounder Brathwaite struck Stokes for four consecutive sixes to clinch a second T20 World Cup for his side. However, Stokes made amends with his heroic performances in the Ashes and 2019 World Cup final against New Zealand that made him one of the most-loved cricketers.
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