Cricketers who have been in news for their off-field controversies

Mohammed Shami

Allegations against Mohammad Shami

Mohammad Shami’s wife Hasin Jahan happened to discover a different phone in his car. She found out on WhatsApp that her husband has been chatting with a string of women. She took screenshots of the chats (which can also be described as sexting) and posted it on various social network sites. Things got murkier when one of his chatting buddies was found to be a woman from Pakistan. This led to allegations of match-fixing on him.

As a result, Shami’s name was missing in the list of 26 contracted players released by the BCCI recently.

Here are a few other cricketers who were caught in off-field controversies too.

Ian Botham

Ian Botham the great all-rounder from Britain was in news for his flings and use of drugs throughout his career. He had married his childhood sweetheart Kathryn at the age of 20. Kathryn always looked the other way which is why he never got entangled in any big controversy except the drug case. In the mid-80s he was banned from playing for England for 63 days. This was a punishment given out to him after he admitted in an interview that he had used cannabis.

Related reading: 6 reasons why women have an affair

Mohammad Azharuddin

Azharuddin was gifted with a natural flair but threw away his career after being embroiled in several scandals. He was married in 1987 to Naureen. In the early 1990s he was having an affair with actress Sangeeta Bijlani. She started accompanying him to all his tours much to the discomfort of other players. In 1996 he finally divorced his first wife and married Sangeeta. In 2000 he was found guilty of match fixing and was banned for life. It was lifted in 2012 but by then he was too old to play.

As they say, once a cheater always a cheater. In 2009 media was full of stories about his affair with badminton player Jwala Gutta. All parties concerned denied the news but Azhar and Sangeeta got divorced anyway.

Sourav Ganguly

Sourav got married to his childhood sweetheart Dona resisting parental opposition in 1996. But in 2001 he was spotted at a South Indian temple performing certain rituals with Nagma, which could be performed only by a married couple. News surfaced about Sourav meeting Nagma in 1999 and that they might have been secretly married. His father and father-in-law stood with him publicly stating that the news was a slandering rumour. But insiders claim that Sourav left Nagma only after getting a divorce threat from his wife.

Years later in an interview, Nagma stated that they had to dissolve the relationship as it might have adversely affected Sourav’s career.

Related reading: Why it’s important to be attentive to your partner

Shahid Afridi

Shahid Afridi and two of his teammates were caught with a group of girls in a hotel room in Karachi. He said they were just fans but the Cricket Control Board of Pakistan did not believe him. He was kept out of his country’s team in the ICC trophy of the year. His family got him married to his cousin after the incident. He has been away from such controversies since.

Shane Warne

Shane Warne is infamous for his escapades. He was married to Simone Callahan from 1995 to 2005 but was busy two timing her throughout the marriage. In 2000 he sent lewd text messages to a British nurse. The nurse talked to the media and he lost his vice captaincy.

In 2007 Simone was willing to take him back till she got a text from him which was intended for another woman.

Murali Vijay

Murali Vijay and Dinesh Karthik were from the same place and knew each others’ families. They were great friends till 2012 when Dinesh Karthik came to know that Murali Vijay was having an affair with his wife. The wife was pregnant with Vijay’s child. He immediately divorced her and his ex-wife got married to his ex-friend within no time.

Wasim Akram

Wasim Akram met Sushmita Sen when both of them were judging a dance reality show on Indian television. They were spotted at various public events together. When the Indian media in 2003 was busy anticipating the wedding of this glamorous couple, it came to light that Sushmita was in fact the ‘other’ woman all along.

Akram was in a serious relationship with an Australian lady Shaniera Thompson whom he was married to, that year. Poor Sushmita was left alone to do the damage control and fed the usual “we are only good friends” sound bites to the Indian media.

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