The 20 cricketing images that define the last decade
Over the years, the game of cricket has provided plenty of fascinating snaps, whether it revolved around off-field incidents or those that took place on the field.
Unsurprisingly, the current decade also churned out its fair share, meaning that there were several moments that fans could reminisce about in the future.
While the decade saw India lift its first World Cup since 1983, it also witnessed New Zealand falling short at the final hurdle twice. On the other hand, England quenched their thirst for a 50-over crown whereas Australia added another to their kitty in 2015.
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Thus, as the decade draws to a close, the time is ripe to embark on a time machine-esque sojourn and relive some of the most eye-catching images over the past ten years.
#20 Mohammed Amir’s spot-fixed no-ball at Lord’s
At the turn of the decade, Mohammed Amir had the world at his feet. Yet, he took a step too far at Lord’s in a Test against England, thereby attracting immense controversy for his abnormally huge no-ball and subsequent ban from the sport. A few years earlier though, he made his return to cricket after serving a five-year suspension.
#19 Wahab Riaz vs Shane Watson at the 2015 CWC
A fiery spell by Wahab Riaz had the usually imposing Shane Watson hopping on his toes. And, had Pakistan held on to their chances, the left-arm fast bowler would’ve had something to show for that memorable effort.
#18 Carlos Brathwaite nearly pulls off the impossible
Carlos Brathwaite came within inches of providing another exceptional cricketing spectacle when his attempted lofted shot over long-on was plucked out of thin air by Trent Boult. Yet, his miraculous knock sprinkled hope on a side that had resigned itself to its 2019 World Cup fate.
#17 Steve Smith in tears after the Sandpaper Gate
After being found guilty of ball tampering, Steve Smith broke down in tears at a press conference. It was a sight that didn’t just shake the cricketing fraternity to its core, it also reminded the world that cricketers are humans, after all.
However, fortunately, the players in the wrong seem to have recovered with Smith and David Warner excelling with the bat. The latter in particular, enjoyed his time in England, albeit not with the willow.
We at Sportskeeda are compiling a series of articles that capture the best moments of the last decade.
Come, walk down the memory lane as we publish one article everyday at the turn of this decade to help you reminisce the iconic battles, performances and encounters from the last ten years.
On that note have a look at the Top 5 Indian T20I batsmen of the decade
#16 David Warner mocking Sandpaper Gate against England
Despite a wretched 2019 Ashes, David Warner still had the humour and wherewithal to delve deep into his pockets and show that they were empty, responding to banter from the English fans. Pure theatre.
#15 1st Day-Night Test at the Adelaide Oval
The Trans-Tasman rivals, Australia and New Zealand played out the first instalment of the Day-NightTest under the glittering Adelaide Oval floodlights. A historic moment for the game indeed.
#14 Sachin Tendulkar conquers Mt.200 in ODIs
Sachin Tendulkar, one of the greatest ODI batsmen of his generation, became the first to scale the 200-run barrier in ODIs. Well, some records seem written in the stars, don’t they?
#13 Ben Stokes getting hit for 4 sixes against Carlos Brathwaite
The original ‘remember the name’ moment; Ben Stokes squandered a world title-winning opportunity when he was hammered for 4 sixes by Carlos Brathwaite in the ICC World T20 2016 final. Absolutely distraught, the Englishman couldn’t put to bed those ghosts, until a rather manic 2019 cricketing summer came about…
#12 Ben Stokes’ stirring comeback against Australia at Headingley
A few weeks after his World Cup heroics, Stokes massacred Australia at Leeds to churn out an improbable victory. Also, arguably the greatest Test innings of this decade. And, the most memorable 1* of all time, courtesy Jack Leach.
#11 Rohit Sharma’s 264 against Sri Lanka in an ODI
A previous double hundred against Australia had apparently not satiated Rohit Sharma’s appetite as he racked up another double ton at Kolkata. This time though, he thrashed a hapless Sri Lankan attack en route a monumental 264 in November 2014.
#10 Sarfaraz Ahmed’s yawn against India
With the game tantalisingly poised, Sarfaraz Ahmed found time to remind the world of the sleepless nights he had endured prior to facing India. And, perhaps, that’s where the gaps in his captaincy began resurfacing.
#9 Ireland hunt down England at Bengaluru in the 2011 CWC
Often termed England’s noisy neighbours, Ireland created plenty of excitement and frenzy when Kevin O’Brian powered them to a miraculous victory over the Three Lions at the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup. Till date, it remains the highest run-chase in World Cup cricket.
Talking about traditional cricketing superpowers and their emerging next-door rivals….
#8 MS Dhoni’s sensational run out against Bangladesh in the ICC World T20 2016
At a juncture when everyone tried to lose their composure, MS Dhoni displayed it in abundance, running towards the stumps and dislodging it, thereby scripting an unlikely triumph. And, Mushfiqur Rahim’s premature celebrations only made the victory sweeter.
#7 Pakistan’s disappointed uncle
With grey clouds surrounding the venue and Pakistan cricket, a Pakistan supporter provided the requisite happiness, albeit slightly unconventionally. And, maybe, he might also have gotten disillusioned at their dismal record against India in World Cup cricket.
#6 Phil Hughes’ death
On the 25th of November, 2014, Phil Hughes copped a blow on the neck and collapsed. More dishearteningly, he never returned to complete his essay. Hughes' death changed how the world looked at safety protocols in the game. More fittingly, the sport Phil cherished changed for the better, albeit courtesy a shattering event.
As a tribute, the scorecard was amended to display the opener at 63*.
#5 Steve Smith dedicates his 100 to the late Phil Hughes
After bringing up his ton against India at Adelaide, Smith ran towards the ‘408’ painted on the field and looked up to the heavens, paying homage to his former teammate. You may be gone Phil, but you’ll never be forgotten!
And, that leads us to our final segment, comprising the most epic cricketing images of this decade.
#4 Ben Stokes’ run out chance in the 2019 CWC final
Fervently searching for inspiration, Stokes astonishingly found it with the back of his bat. It truly embodied the fine margins of the sport and consigned New Zealand to a heart-breaking ‘so close yet so far’ moment. And, maybe, the game of cricket doesn't have a place for fairy tales, after all.
#3 New Zealand vs South Africa semi-final at the 2015 ICC CWC
A South African-born New Zealander Grant Elliot halted the Proteas’ charge for a maiden World Cup conquest. Ultimately though, he portrayed adequate sportsmanship to offer a hand of apology, compassion, empathy and above all, friendship.
#2 Sachin Tendulkar retires
Arguably India’s greatest Test cricketer, Sachin Tendulkar, walked down the aisle one final time against the West Indies in 2013, thereby creating one of the most emotional moments in cricketing history.
#1 India lift the World Cup after 28 years
MS Dhoni provided an image that would forever be etched in Indian cricketing folklore as billions erupted in joy. And, 'Dhoni finishes it off in style' would perhaps resonate across the country for years to come.