Thursday, February 29

5 Instances of a team forfeiting an International match

Australia team 1996 ODI WC. (PhotoSource: Shaun Botterill/Allsport)

Cricket is surely an uncertain sport thanks to the various number of formats it has approved till date. Sometimes the result can be determined in less than an hour thanks to rain-affected T20s and on some occasions, neither of the team wins even after playing for five or even more days. At the same time, the winner can be announced even before the game gets started or finished if one of the teams decides to give up due to various reasons. Such instances have been quite rare when it comes to International Cricket and has not happened in the last decade.

Here are all the occasions where a team conceded or forfeited a match in the International Cricket:

5. England vs Pakistan in 2001

England took on Pakistan in the 7th game of the 2001 NatWest Tri-series after they lost a chance of featuring in the final. Pakistan, who won the toss, invited England to bat first and bundled out them for 156 thanks to Waqar Younis’ 7-wicket haul in a single spell. Pakistan were 153/4 in 39.5 overs and further needed just four runs. At this point, a large number of spectators invaded the Headingley pitch.

The players and umpires tried to find safe places but the invasion turned to be quite violent as a ground steward was injured badly and was taken to the hospital. The steward was kicked in his stomach and head by the mob resulting in broken ribs and a damaged spleen. The England skipper Alex Stewart decided against resuming the game and instead conceded the match to Pakistan.

4. Australia and West Indies vs Sri Lanka in 1996 World Cup

Australia team 1996 ODI WC
Australia team 1996 ODI WC. (PhotoSource: Shaun Botterill/Allsport)

Clouds hung over the matches to be hosted by Sri Lanka during the 1996 World Cup until the start of the tournament. A total of 1000 people were affected due to a terrorist attack in Colombo about three weeks before the tournament. On the eve of tournament opener, Sri Lanka played against Wills XI, a team of players from India and Pakistan.

This game was organized to put away the security concerns of the visiting teams. However, Australia were not convinced enough and pulled out of the game against the Lankans at the Colombo’s R Premadasa Stadium. They stayed back in Mumbai on the day of the game. Just like the Australian side, West Indies also forfeited their match against Sri Lanka to be played at the RPS Stadium.

Both Australia and the West Indies let the home team Sri Lanka take away two points in this process. However, the forfeiture did not affect both sides who ended up in the quarterfinal. The Lankans did get to play their remaining two matches against Zimbabwe at the Colombo’s SSC and against Kenya at the Asgiriya Stadium in Kandy.

3. New Zealand and England in 2003 World Cup

New Zealand team 2003 WC
New Zealand team 2003 WC. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

The 2003 World Cup was jointly hosted by South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya but the majority of the games were played in the rainbow nation only. Zimbabwe played all their Group games in Harare and Bulawayo while two of Kenya’s Group games held in Gymkhana club in Nairobi. The matches to be hosted by Zimbabwe and Kenya were doubtful due to political and security issues.

England refused to travel to Harare to face Zimbabwe which was their first game of the tournament. They forfeited the match due to the moral, political and contractual unrest. Even before the tournament, the English side decided against touring Zimbabwe and asked the organizers to change the host accordingly. England conceded four points to Zimbabwe by forfeiting the game as no provision was made to shift it.

New Zealand did the same with their group match in Nairobi against Kenya. They conceded a walkover to the Kenyan side as the capital city Nairobi was under terrorist threat. Due to the walkover, England missed out on a spot in the Super Six and Zimbabwe went through. Even New Zealand failed to get through to the semi-final due to the four points left over to Kenya. The Kiwis finished Super Six with 8 points while Kenya got into the semis with 14 points under their belt.

2. Canada vs Kenya in 2007

Canada. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Canada and Scotland took part in the ODI Tri-Nation series in Kenya ahead of the 2007 ICC CWC League Division One. Canada began their campaign arriving two days after their 24-hour journey. They faced Scotland where they failed to defend their total of 292 in a thrilling game. They got a one day off before facing Kenya but on the night before the match-day, it was announced that the match was called off.

Canada officials called for a meeting with the match referee Javagal Srinath on the eve of the match. They informed that they will be unable to field an XI the next day with five players from their squad being unwell. The local doctor confirmed that all those players were suffering from a viral stomach condition. Srinath insisted the Canada team to wait until the morning before calling off the game.

But Canada rejected the offer and forfeited the match allowing the hosts Kenya to claim full four points. Canada thus became the first team and are also the only side till date to forfeit a match of International status due to lack of 11 match-fit players. The organizers dealt with a big blow as the game, to be played on Saturday, was set to see a huge turn-up due to the presence of school children.

1. Pakistan vs India in 1978

Bishan Singh Bedi 1978
Bishan Singh Bedi. (Photo Source: Getty Images/Fairfax Media via Getty Images via Getty Images)

India spent nearly three months in Pakistan in the last quarter of 1978. India won the first ODI game by four runs but were bowled out in the 2nd game for only 89 runs and lost by 8 wickets. Ahead of the final game of the ODI series, the two teams played the first two matches of the 3-match Test series. The first Test ended in a draw while Pakistan took 1-0 lead by winning the second Test. Sahiwal hosted the ODI series decider which was a 40-over match where Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first.

Asif Iqbal’s 72-ball 62 played a key role in helping the home team to finish with 205/7 in the 40 overs. Anshuman Gaekwad anchored the chase with a 44-run opening stand alongside Chetan Chauhan (23 off 28) and put on 119 runs for the 2nd wicket with Surinder Amarnath (62 off 75). Gaekwad faced Sarfaraz Nawaz when India needed 23 runs from the last three overs to win the series. Pakistan bowl high bouncers to keep India away from scoring. Anshuman asked the on-field umpires to intervene but they turned out to be helpless.

The home umpires Javed Akhtar and Khizer Hayat requested Pakistan skipper Mushtaq Mohammad not to bowl negative length but he refused to stop claiming it as an aggressive length. Each of the first four balls of the 48th over were well beyond Gaekwad’s reach and were dot balls as there was no provision of bouncers limit back then. Indian captain Bishan Singh Bedi walked out to have a word with the opposition number Mushtaq and seemed to be unhappy with the talks.

Bedi then called back his batters Gaekwad and Gundappa Viswanath to the pavilion. Mushtaq then walked into the Indian dressing room to convince the Indian side to resume the game. But Bedi firmly took a stand against Pakistan’s bouncer strategy and did not allow his batsmen even though he knew the opposition would win the match and series. Thus, Bishan Singh Bedi became the first captain to concede a match to the opposition in International Cricket.

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