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28/03/2018 12:08 SAST | Updated 28/03/2018 12:50 SAST

The Darkest Moments In Modern Cricket🏏

Former South African great Hansie Cronje is one of the players who tarnished the sport, but Australia and Pakistan have had their share of cheats too.

Aussie Ball Tampering

The "Sandpapergate" scandal seems to have opened a Pandora's box for the Aussie national team. Not only are they facing a crisis, as they try to save the image and integrity of Australian cricket, but the team will also have to face the Proteas on Friday without three of their top players.

Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland held a press conference in Johannesburg on Tuesday in which he said captain Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and opening batsman Cameron Bancroft would be sent home for their role in the ball-tampering scandal.

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It has been reported by Cricket Australia that Smith and Warner have been banned for 12 months each for their involvement in the attempt to change the condition of the ball in Cape Town. Bancroft was also slapped with a nine-month suspension.

The coach, Darren Lehmann, seems to be off the hook at the moment – as Cricket Australia believes (unlike many fans and players, including Kevin Pietersen) that he knew nothing about the incident. This is highly unlikely, and one of many questions regarding Australian ball tampering that will no doubt be probed further.

Whatever happens from here, the scandal has proved a monumental blow to the once impeccable Australian cricket reputation.

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Bancroft – who only made his debut for Australia in December last year, when England toured Australia to play for the Ashes – was caught on camera rubbing the ball with an unknown yellow object. He and Baggy Greens captain Steve Smith later openly admitted they were deliberately cheating to gain an edge.

The scandal has been trending on social-media sites all week, and is turning into one of the darkest moments in modern cricket. It is not, however, the first time a controversial saga has rocked the cricketing world.

Here are a few of the other shameful moments the sport has endured.

Pakistan No-Ball Scandal

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In a Test match between England and Pakistan at Lord's in 2010, bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir delivered deliberate no-balls to aid betting syndicates.

The two players and captain Salman Butt admitted to working with a bookmaker to fix the match, before serving time in prison in England and being suspended for five years by the ICC.

The incident gained worldwide attention when the match-fixing operation was uncovered on camera. An undercover reporter met with the bookmaker, who said he had a lot of players under his control who could rig games in favour of the betting syndicate.

Hansie Cronje

The late Wessel Johannes "Hansie" Cronje was a beloved captain of the Proteas. He was one of the finest cricketers of his day, but was quickly demoted to the Proteas' biggest fraud, according to public opinion, in 2000 – when he was banned for life due to his role in a match-fixing scandal.

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It was revealed that Cronje and Sanjay Chawla, a representative of an Indian betting syndicate, were engaging in conversations about fixing matches – and that Cronje had accepted money to throw matches. He had also tried to influence fellow teammates to follow suit. The fallout was immense, with Cronje eventually saying on camera that "the devil" made him do it – in front of a disbelieving world.