The future of ODIs

The growth of Twenty20 cricket has raised serious questions over the utility of the 50-over game, and concerns for its future. Though it is still the currency of the two main ICC tournaments, some boards have already shortened their domestic format. Suggestions for change have been plenty and even the ICC is thinking about tweaking the format.

Oct 11, 2022: Future of ODI cricket: 'Just take out that little middle bit,' say Khawaja, Finch and Zampa | Nov 22, 2022: Jos Buttler 'not fussed at all' by ODI series thrashing in Australia

Run-out controversies

Running out a non-striker who has left the crease before the ball is delivered has been a legitimate form of dismissal long before Vinoo Mankad got rid of Bill Brown thus in a Test in 1947 - leading to the act being referred to as "Mankading". But while it may be legal, is it really fair and in keeping with the often mythical spirit of cricket: that is the essence of the debate that crops up every time a bowler exerts their right to dismiss a batter who has been taking unfair advantage backing up.

Sep 30, 2022: Why is there stigma involved in running out a non-striker? Because it's all about power | Oct 18, 2022: Mitchell Starc calls for short-run penalty if non-striker strays out of crease

Cricket rules

Cricket has never stopped evolving: from round-arm bowling becoming the standard, to the 15-degree rule for arm flexion while bowling. From the number of balls per over to the specifications of equipment - ranging from glove-webbing to bat handles - almost every aspect of the game is regulated. New rules are frequently put in place - especially in the shorter forms of the game, as in the case of Powerplays, free hits, and the tweaking of field restrictions.

Sep 28, 2022: Everything you need to know about manufacturing crazy cricket arguments on Twitter | Sep 30, 2022: Why is there stigma involved in running out a non-striker? Because it's all about power

Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic hit sport in March 2020, forcing games to be played behind closed doors, and then getting cricket called off altogether. The PSL was suspended before the semi-finals, and all cricket ground to a halt. The men's T20 World Cup was postponed to 2021, the IPL to later in the year, and the launch of the Hundred deferred to 2021. International cricket only returned in July, when West Indies played in England in a biosecure bubble. In 2021, the PSL was hit by Covid again and its second half postponed.

Aug 23, 2022: Dravid tests positive for Covid-19, to delay travel to UAE for Asia Cup | Nov 27, 2022: Dean Foxcroft returns to New Zealand with big hits after two-year exile

Player contracts

As cricketers became more aware of their rights and the money they earned their boards, every team gradually moved to the contracts system, which would assure a player a certain amount of income for a year irrespective of an injury or an unforeseen drop in form. There has been a fair amount of controversy over the implementation of contract systems over the years: the ugliest it got was when several West Indies stars refused to play for their team because of a dispute over contracts. India, Zimbabwe and Kenya have had their share of contracts-related problems too.

Aug 9, 2022: NZC agrees to release Trent Boult from central contract | Apr 19, 2017: What's wrong with revenue-sharing, CA?

Security concerns

The attack on cricketers and match officials in Lahore in March 2009 brought into tragic and dramatic focus a trend that began in Sri Lanka in 1987, when New Zealand abandoned their tour after a car bomb in Colombo killed 100 people. Nine years later, Australia and West Indies refused to play their World Cup games in Sri Lanka citing danger from the ongoing civil war. Subsequent series to be affected include New Zealand's tour of Pakistan in 2002, Australia and West Indies' tours of Pakistan the same year (eventually played at neutral venues), South Africa's tour of Sri Lanka in 2006, which was truncated halfway, England's of India in November 2008, when the ODI series was cut short by the attacks in Mumbai, and India's proposed tour of Pakistan in 2009.

Jul 29, 2022: Explosion in Kabul stadium injures four Shpageeza Cricket League spectators | Sep 29, 2021: ECB chairman promises to 'do everything we can' to travel to Pakistan on schedule in 2022

Umpiring and technology

Questions of how the use of technology sits beside umpires have sprung to life frequently since the late 20th century. The advent of the DRS in 2008 was controversial at the start, but a decade on, most had accepted it was there to stay. Increasingly the rules of the game have been tweaked to allow for referrals to the third umpire on matters that were previously the purview of the on-field officials.

Jul 17, 2022: Captains should be suspended if their teams can't bowl 90 overs a day | Sep 2, 2022: MCC to ICC - speed up the game, penalise time-wasting, streamline the DRS process

Technology in cricket

For a game as steeped in tradition as cricket is, the question of how much to rely on technology is a perennial - and at certain points over the years has proved an increasingly complex one, as new technologies have been unveiled. The Decision Review System, introduced in 2008, took about a decade to gain widespread acceptance - if not always trust and support across the board among players and administrators.

Jul 17, 2022: Captains should be suspended if their teams can't bowl 90 overs a day | Dec 5, 2021: Looks fast, feels faster - why the speed gun is only part of the story

Corruption in cricket

Though betting on cricket was common in the 19th century, cricket's biggest match-fixing scandal was unearthed in 2000, when Hansie Cronje admitted he had accepted money to throw matches. Players from other countries were also implicated. Since then, even as cricket has gone about strengthening its anti-corruption mechanisms, instances of fixing have cropped up frequently. In 2010, three leading Pakistan players were banned and jailed on fixing charges. In 2013, three Indian players, among them Sreesanth, were arrested for spot-fixing in the IPL.

Jun 14, 2022: Former South African bowler Pumelela Matshikwe convicted in 2015 Ram Slam fixing case | Aug 4, 2022: BCB to investigate sponsorship social-media post from Shakib Al Hasan

Chucking

Controversy over illegitimate bowling actions - a burning issue in the 1950s - flared up again in the mid-to-late-1990s after Muttiah Muralitharan was no-balled repeatedly in Australia. Since then a number of bowlers (Shoaib Akhtar, Shoaib Malik, Harbhajan Singh and Jermaine Lawson prominent among them) have undergone remedial work after having their actions reported.

May 22, 2022: Mohammad Hasnain undergoes official bowling test in bid to revive international career | Jun 9, 2022: Mohammad Hasnain cleared to bowl internationally again