To play or not to play - one of the greatest off-spinners of all

To play or not to play

- By Statsman    

The Pakistani Cricket Board has generated a controversy by refusing to play at Ahmedabad during their forthcoming tour of India. This is not the first such instance in cricket history.

Player / Country    Particulars


The Pakistan Cricket Board has maintained that their team will not play in Ahmedabad. The Board has contended that their decision was based on 'security' reasons and not 'political' ones as stated earlier. The state of Gujarat witnessed gruesome communal riots three years ago.

Muttiah Muralitharan

The former world record holder for the highest number of Test wickets and one of the greatest off-spinners of all time was no-balled for 'chucking' during Sri Lanka's tours of Australia in 1995-96 and 1998-99. He refused to tour Australia along with the Sri Lankan team last year. It was even alleged that the Australian Prime Minister had called him a 'chucker'.

Sunil Gavaskar

The redoubtable Sunil Gavaskar did not play in the Kolkata Test of the 1986-87 series against Pakistan. It was believed that he had withdrawn because of the booing and hostile reception he was subjected to during Test matches in 1983-84 and 1984-85.


Due to alleged threats from the local political party Shiv Sena, Pakistan refrained themselves from playing international cricket in Mumbai. They played their last match at the Wankhede Stadium way back in the 1979-80 season and their only ODI (not against India, but vs. Australia) was played at the Brabourne Stadium in 1989-90. In 1991-92, Shiv Sena activists dug up the Wankhede Stadium wicket a few days before the scheduled one-day series between the two countries. The series was subsequently called off.


India have played the maximum number of ODIs at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium; as many as 72 matches from 1984 to 2000. During this period, there was a lot of hullabaloo about match-fixing, especially games between arch-rivals India and Pakistan. India have refrained from playing in the desert for the last four years. They played their last game in Sharjah on 9th October 2000.