Racism

Despite cricket's multicultural history, the game has long been blighted by racism. Racial segregation denied late 19th century fast bowler Krom Hendricks a chance to play for South Africa. In the 1960s, the Basil D'Oliveira affair precipitated South Africa's 22-year sporting isolation for its apartheid policies. Tony Greig's infamous statement in 1976 about making West Indies "grovel" is well known, as is Dean Jones casual, off-mic "terrorist" remark aimed at Hashim Amla, and the Monkeygate scandal of 2008. More recently, the Black Lives Movement has forced a reckoning within the game, with boards committing to change as cricketers have spoken up about their continuing experiences with racism and marginalisation.

Jul 22, 2021: Paul Adams: I was nicknamed 'brown s*** when I was playing' | Jul 25, 2021: Michael Holding: 'Racism strips away your humanity, takes away your feelings of self-worth'

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.

Jul 15, 2021: After Rishabh Pant, one member of India's support staff tests positive for Covid-19 | Jul 24, 2021: Bharat Arun, Wriddhiman Saha, Abhimanyu Easwaran rejoin India squad after isolation

Ball-tampering

Players are barred, by Law 42.3, from rubbing the ball on the ground, interfering with its seam or surface, or using any implement that can alter the condition of the ball to thereby gain unfair advantage. There have been plenty of ugly incidents centring on accusations of ball-tampering through cricket's history: the John Lever "Vaseline" affair in 1976-77; the times England and New Zealand accused Pakistan of it in the early 1990s; Michael Atherton's admission that he used dirt to treat the ball against South Africa in 1994; and perhaps most infamously, the Oval Test of 2006 when Pakistan forfeited the match because they were accused of having tampered with the ball.

Jun 3, 2021: David Saker calls for Newlands ball-tampering report to be made public | Jun 3, 2021: Australia, no one cares about your ball-tampering anymore

Pitches

Over the years the endeavour has been to take pitches out of the equation for ODIs and Twenty20s, by making them flat and uniform, so that the toss does not play a crucial part in the shorter format. In Tests, though, the preparation of the pitch and its durability are much more significant, impacting the result and duration of the game. Quite naturally pitches and their preparation in the longer forms of the game evoke a lot of comment and often controversy.

Apr 23, 2021: Bowling with a wet ball: 'It's about training your brain to understand that it is going to be extremely difficult' | Jun 23, 2020: Should the women's game use a shorter pitch and a smaller ball?

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.

Apr 21, 2021: UAE's Qadeer Ahmed handed five-year ban for corruption | Jul 5, 2021: Former Sri Lanka Cricket performance analyst Sanath Jayasundara banned for corruption

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.

Feb 22, 2021: MCC to consult on changes to bouncer regulations | May 11, 2021: MCC gives thumbs-down to bamboo bats, says they are 'illegal' under current laws

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.

Aug 15, 2020: England v Pakistan stoppages: Cricket still in the dark ages over issue of bad light | Dec 31, 2020: How 2020 made us fall in love with cricket all over again

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 21, 2020: Tech it and go | Nov 6, 2020: Seven ways to improve T20, starring high-res cameras, shared meals, and more

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.

Jun 26, 2020: Ross Taylor: One-day World Cup could have joint winners | May 26, 2018: Four things next week's ICC meeting should look to address