It was an eventful year for all things cricket! Some incidents gave you good reasons to chuckle around, while some forced you give a serious thought to the future of international cricket. It was a year when the Champs - the Aussies got beaten by a side having an ordinary ranking among the Test playing nations - the Indians. The year also saw the march of Twenty-20 to stardom, leaving Test match far behind.

The year started with what you can call, “monkey business”. The first quarter of the year was marked by the questionable umpiring; display of poor sportsman spirit, racial claims and power game of the top bosses of the domestic and international cricket boards. Harbhajan Singh was charged against ICC code of conduct and eventually banned from three Test Matches, by match referee Mike Procter. The entire episode was given a racial color. But the BCCI was prompt in taking the side of its players, with its president going o the extent of warning of a tour cancellation. The Channel 9 was asked to handover the stump microphone transcripts and that concluded the episode; Harbhajan was cleared off the charge of racial slur, the ban was lifted, but nevertheless he had to pay fifty percent of his match fee as fine.
But Australian players were not the ones to believe in the theory of forget and forgive and so this time it was Harbhajan Singh who received the blow of verbal abuse, this time coming from Australian opener Matthew Hayden. You can say he was rather creative with his choice of words when he called the Indian spinner, an “obnoxious little weed”. Already in the second month of the year, and this incident opened the floodgate of fresh cricket controversies and gave the TV channels and other media some real reasons to smile all the way to bank. However, the Indians took the sweet revenge by beating the world Champions by nine runs and lifted the tri-series title on the Australian soil.

And then came the IPL with all its glitz and glamour and the hype it created was simply unprecedented. For a serious cricket lover, the twenty-20 format may lack the merit of attention, but the big money that it involved definitely flew some of the heavyweight players off their feet and it was enough for some of them to defy their National Boards, suffering from the insecurity that this may come into the loyalty of the players to their national teams. Eventually England players missed the multimillion dollar bus only to give in to an American Twenty-20 game sponsored by Texan billionaire Allen Stanford.

There was turmoil within ICC too regarding the restoration of law of international cricket. And then happened the row with ICL that kept on depleting the teams further weakening some of the teams such as Bangladesh, New Zealand and Pakistan. It created a crisis of sort when led by Bangladesh former captain Habibul Bashar, thirteen players from Bangladesh team signed ICL.

Another cricket controversy of the year was related to doping; during IPL, Pakistani fast bowler Mohammad Asif tested positive for a dope test and suspended from. He also spent 19 days in custody in Dubai under the charge of trafficking illegal substances.

In the meantime tours were called off; Indians and the Australians agreed on at least one point and that is Pakistan is not a safe place to tour. The talks and more talks ensued, but the fate of Champion’s Trophy remained undecided.