At the end of 2018, ESPNcricinfo has shared the major happenings, incidents, issues, scandals, achievements and record breaks of the year in pictures.
Following are some of the photos of the cricket world in 2018.
- Steve Smith of Australia celebrates after reaching his double century during day three of the Third Test match during the 2017/18 Ashes Series between Australia and England at WACA on December 16, 2017, in Perth, Australia.
2. Pakistan’s year began with a 5-0 ODI loss in New Zealand. It was only New Zealand’s second whitewash in a five-match series.
3. India won their first bilateral series in South Africa across formats, carried in large part by Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, who took 30 of the 43 South African wickets to fall in five matches.
4. South Africa’s 3-1 victory over Australia in the most vituperative series of the year was almost forgotten in the biggest scandal of recent times – Sandpapergate. Australian opener Cameron Bancroft was caught on camera working on the ball with a mystery object, later found to be sandpaper tucked away in his pants.
5. Australia captain Steven Smith admitted that the team’s “leadership group” had planned to tamper with the ball. A subsequent CA investigation saw 12-month bans slapped on Smith and vice-captain David Warner, and a nine-month ban for Bancroft.
6. South Africa fast bowler Morne Morkel called time on his career at the end of the Test series against Australia. Incidentally, his career-best match performance came in the controversial Newlands Test, where he took 9 for 110.
7. New Zealand women amassed 491 for 4 – the highest total in all ODI cricket – against Ireland in Dublin in June. Suzie Bates scored a quickfire 151 off 94 balls, and No. 3 batsman Maddy Green made 121 off 77 balls to seal the win.
8. Bangladesh Women beat six-time champions India to claim their maiden T20 Asia Cup title in a nail-biter final in Kuala Lumpur. Despite India’s modest total of 112 for 9, it came down to the very last ball, which Jahanara Alam dispatched to deep midwicket to claim the last two runs.
9. Afghanistan’s scrappy rise through the cricket ranks is the stuff of fairy tales, so everyone was rooting for a magical win in their first-ever Test, against India. It was not to be, of course. Afghanistan lost by a colossal margin – an innings and 262 runs – getting bowled out twice in one day.
10. Fakhar Zaman became Pakistan’s first double-centurion, securing them a 244-run win over Zimbabwe with his unbeaten 210. His 304-run stand with Imam-ul-Haq took Pakistan to their biggest ODI total – 399.
11. Close to a year after Ben Stokes was first arrested for a punch-up outside a Bristol bar, he was found not guilty of affray by the Bristol Crown Court. Stokes had missed the Ashes and the incident had also cost him his England vice-captaincy. He was added to the England squad after his acquittal, for the third Test against India.
12. Could Alastair Cook have had a better send-off? He departed Test cricket as he debuted – with a century against India. England winning the series 4-1 was the big, shiny bow on his going-away gift.
13. The India-England Test series saw another record broken – James Anderson overtook Glenn McGrath as the most prolific fast bowler in Test history with 564 wickets. Almost 12 years earlier McGrath had claimed his 563rd wicket with his very last ball in Test cricket. The victim? Anderson.
14. Australia’s women lifted the World T20 title for the fourth time. Their record of never having lost to England in a women’s cup final is now safe until the next world event, in 2020.
15. It wasn’t the retirement Rangana Herath wanted or deserved, but a limp Sri Lanka gave up their rain-soaked three-Test series to England with barely a whimper. Herath finished with 433 Test wickets, the most by a left-arm bowler, putting him eighth on the all-time list.
16. Zimbabwe stormed to their first away win in 17 years, in Bangladesh’s newest Test venue, Sylhet, but Bangladesh levelled the series with a win in the second Test, powered by Mehidy Hasan’s 5 for 38.
17. Thirty-two-year-old legspinner Yasir Shah broke an 82-year-old record when he became the fastest bowler to 200 Test wickets. Yasir reached the milestone in his 33rd Test, beating the record set by Australian legspinner Clarrie Grimmett, who took 36 matches.
18. It has been quite the year for New Zealand. Their 2-1 victory in the UAE was their first away win against Pakistan since 1969. Their captain, Kane Williamson, was a rock in the batting order, while debutant spinners Ajaz Patel and Will Somerville took crucial wickets in the two victories in Abu Dhabi.
19. Dale Steyn finally broke Shaun Pollock’s record of 421 dismissals, becoming South Africa’s highest wicket-taker, in the Boxing Day Test against Pakistan. Steyn was five wickets away from Pollock’s record when he suffered a shoulder injury during South Africa’s tour of Australia in 2016 and has been clawing his way back to full fitness ever since.
20. When Sri Lanka were knocked out of the Asia Cup, captain Angelo Mathews was booted out of the ODI squad to England, ostensibly on fitness grounds, by coach Chandika Hathurusingha. After a magnificent rearguard hundred in Wellington that helped Sri Lanka draw the Test, Mathews performed ten push-ups, then flexed his biceps in the direction of the dressing room.