Once cricket was tagged and known as the ‘gentlemen’s’ game. The game was born and nurtured in England and it initially took root among the upper echelons of society. Until 1962 there was a clear divide between the gentlemen and the players – with gentlemen with amateur status as against the players who were professionals. Since then all cricketers who indulge in the higher forms of the game of cricket have become professionals.
More so the game from being a Test-cricket-centred one has changed and the accent and the ‘eye of the storm’ has shifted with the advent of its by-products of the pyjama versions -- the 50 overs-a-side game and the T-20 version.
Test cricket withstood the test of time and the purest form of the game stood almost unblemished with the closest to a controversy being the 1932-33 Ashes series between England and Australia – an encounter that was later dubbed as the “bodyline series’. Besides that, Test cricket’s name remains untarnished.
Though the limited overs cricket (60 and 50 overs) initially was adopted to inject adrenaline to a wilting game as the cricket pundits thought at that time, its first controversy came when the Australian millionaire Kerry Packer along with his cricketing brain Tony Greig introduced the coloured clothing and floodlit cricket. It was a cricketing branch that broke away from the accepted norms and it was called the Packer series.