Cricket is a demanding sport. The high levels of technical proficiency required often mask the equally challenging levels of athleticism and physical fitness needed.
Think of prolonged bowling during, say, in warm weather. Top teams commonly featured on top bookmaker apps like Bet365 (here is a guide on bet365 app download) commonly put their players through grueling fitness regimens to maintain optimal conditions.
Unfortunately, some cricketers have engaged in doping to enhance their capacities. This article details six cricketers who were once penalized for doping scandals.
Mohammad Asif (Pakistan)
Mohammad Asif is a former cricket player for Pakistan, and he was born on December 20, 1982. He started playing for the Pakistani national team in 2005, but the controversial usage of banned substances rocked his promising career.
It all started in 2006 when he was banned for testing positive for the anabolic steroid Nandrolone.
This led to his withdrawal from the Pakistani World Cup team despite an appeal canceling the one-year ban. He was further detained in Dubai for possessing a banned substance.
In February 2011, the right-handed fast bowler was banned for 7 years for his role in the match-fixing scandal and was sentenced to one-year imprisonment in November. Asif lost his Delhi DareDevil contract amid these crises, and his cricket career ended in 2010.
Shoaib Akhtar (Pakistan)
Shoaib Akhtar is a former Pakistan cricket player who played as a right-arm fast bowler. He was born on August 13 1975 and played for the Pakistani national team between 1997 and 2011. Batsmen dreaded Akhtar’s bowling style due to his incredible pace, and he was regarded as one of the best bowlers in history.
However, his career was surrounded by various controversies ranging from unethical behavior and failed drug tests.
In 2006, Akhtar was banned for two years for testing positive for nandrolone, a performance-enhancing drug. It led to his withdrawal from the nation’s 2006 champions trophy squad.
Further, his public criticism of the Pakistan Cricket Board in 2008 led to another five-year ban, but it was later suspended. He represented Pakistan in the 2011 Cricket World Cup and retired afterward.
Shane Warne (Australia)
Shane Keith Warne was born on September 13 1969, and played professional cricket for the Australian national team between 1992 and 2007. The Right-arm leg spin bowler is one of the greatest bowlers to play cricket having over 700 Test Wickets.
In 2003, Warne was withdrawn from the Australian squad to play in the World Cup in South Africa after failing a dope test. He tested positive for a diuretic, a banned substance, and he was banned for a year after he was found guilty. This led to the postponement of his ODI retirement plan.
He returned in 2004 in a three-test series match against Sri Lanka. He announced his retirement in 2006 and was awarded 2006 Men’s Test Player of the Year by Cricket Australia. Warne died on March 4 2022.
Pradeep Sangwan (India)
Pradeep Sangwan is an Indian cricket player born on November 5, 1990. The Left-arm fast-medium bowler made a wave at the 2008 under-19 Cricket World Cup, and his impressive performance helped the Indian under-19 team win the championship.
Despite his promising start to cricket, he failed a random dope test in 2013. He tested positive for the steroid stanozolol, a banned substance, and he was banned for 18 months. Meanwhile, Sangwan confessed that his gym trainer gave him the substance for weight loss.
However, he couldn’t represent the Indian team even after serving his ban. Currently, Sangwan plays for Delhi in first-class cricket with a 30.43 bowling average.
Stephen Fleming (New Zealand)
Stephen Paul Fleming played as a left-handed top-order batsman for the New Zealand national cricket team. He was born on April 1, 1973, played between 1994 and 2008 and is widely considered a fantastic batsman for his nation.
The former Kiwi Captain, alongside his teammates Dion Nash and Matthew Hart, was found guilty of smoking pot for recreational purposes during the 1993 West Indies tour. Although this is not as serious as other cases in this article, it cost them a few bucks as a fine, and they were banned for the rest of the tours. He also lost his sponsorship deal.
However, Fleming had a stellar career with over 15000 runs with a batting average of 40.06 in Test and 32.40 in ODI before his retirement in 2008.
Alex Hales (England)
Alexander Daniel Hales is a right-handed opening batsman who plays for the English national cricket team. Hales was born on January 3, 1989.
He is one of the best batsmen in recent times and the first English cricket batter to score in a century. His drug ban case is the latest in the cricket world.
Meanwhile, he failed an April 2019 dope test where he tested positive for a recreational drug. Consequently, he was banned for three weeks by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). Also, this incident cost him his place in the 2019 English World Cup Squad.
However, his return in 2022 was in time for the T20 World Cup, replacing Jonny Bairstow, who was injured. He won the semi-final man of the match award as they became the 2022 T20 World Champion
Ultimately, some cricketers might want to resort to doping to stay fit and win games.
However, this isn’t good and may cost them their career. Cricket regulatory bodies should ensure cricket players are well-sensitized against doping.