Cricket news from ESPN

Friday, 10 December 2010

Top five English cricket touring scandals

Following KP's run-in with the Great Ocean Road fuzz recently, here's a comprehensive list of the top five English touring high jinx that have smeared shame over our nation's shoulders. Disclaimer: It is not a comprehensive list - it is a cobbled mishmash.

5. Gower and Morris's Carrara-lara-laughs
Already two down after three Ashes tests in 1991, former captain David Gower decided the best way to raise morale was to hire a Tiger Moth and take the rookie-ish John Morris on a fly-by past the Carrara Oval, where England were engaged in a practice match against Queensland.  Though Gower was known for his love of airy drives, incredibly this escapade still incurred the wrath of team management, who came down very hard on both players.  Ultimately a frivolous jape turned into an international freeze-out as both Gower and Morris had their future wings well and truly clipped by the repercussions (see here for an excellent in depth report on the whole shebang...)

4. Peter May allows a woman near some woodbines
As chairman of selectors for a seven years which saw some of the most ill-judged, unstrategic and haphazard selections since I last got dressed, Peter May could be regarded as one of the great scourges of English cricket. He is forgiven almost all, however, for his near-poetic mastery of  batting and captaincy throughout his serenely beautific playing career. What cannot go unpunished, however, is his decision to invite his fiance - a woman - on England's 1958-59 Ashes tour. Apoplexy ensued and we surrendered the Urn. Have you learnt nothing, Jimmy?

3. Puffer Tuffers hits the Buffers
Although now recognised as an astute analyst on TMS, Phil Tufnell's erstwhile reputation as a professional geezbag and saucy rogue has often done him no favours. Aside from possibly costing the most naturally gifted English spinner of the nineties an extra 30-odd caps, Tuffer's notoriety also got him into trouble even when he was guilt-free. In 1996, whilst on tour with England in New Zealand, he was accused of smoking weed in a Christchurch restaurant toilet and spent the night in the cells. With no evidence actually produced, "The Cat" was released without charge and went on to help England win an ODI soon after.

2. Freddie Flintoff's Fredalo debacle
Not ever known for his love of dry conditions, Superfred compounded England's miserable showing at the 2007 World Cup by tipsily stealing a pedalo and having to be rescued from the perilous St. Lucian waters. He was subsequently fined by the ECB, banned for the possibly crucial clash against Canada and furthermore stripped of the vice-captaincy. Post-his disastrous 2006/7 Ashes skippering, some believed Freddie's tactical nous was rivalled only by that of Tony Grieg opting to bounce Dennis Lillee, so perhaps the latter punishment was a silver lining. Michael Vaughan and Duncan Fletcher saw little jolly about the whole affair, though, with both subsequently heavily criticising the errant Flintoff for his salty frolics.

1. Chris Lewis's snorting delivery
Not so much a misdemeanour as a high felony, but anyway, Lewis currently resides in jail after his 13-year conviction for smuggling cocaine in fruit tins in 2008. He might have previously got up a few people's noses etc etc but it was still a sorry end to the career of a hugely gifted cricketer who had his moments in an England shirt. He also wasn't actually on tour with England or indeed still playing cricket when he committed the offence, so his place at the head of this list is thoroughly undeserved, only adding to his reputation as a bit of a rotter.


  1. great Gower pic!

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    - David

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