Top 5 Ashes Controversies in the Last Decade


The Ashes series is one of cricket’s most prestigious and fiercely contested rivalries between England and Australia. Over the last decade, this historic series has witnessed several controversies that have sparked heated debates among fans, players, and experts alike. Here are the top five Ashes controversies from the past ten years.

Also Read: The significance of Ashes Series Victories in National Pride

The Ben Stokes ‘obstructing the field’ incident (2015)
During the second Test of the 2015 Ashes series, England’s Ben Stokes was given out for obstructing the field. Stokes, attempting to avoid a throw at the stumps, instinctively put his hand up to block the ball, leading to his dismissal. This decision sparked controversy, with some arguing that Stokes had unintentionally obstructed the field, while others believed he had acted deliberately. The incident raised questions about the interpretation of the obstructing field rule and its consistency in application.

Stuart Broad’s controversial non-dismissal (2013)
In the 2013 Ashes series, England’s Stuart Broad edged a delivery to slip, but the umpire failed to notice it and declared him not out. Broad chose not to walk and continued his innings, which drew strong criticism from the Australian team and fans. This incident ignited a debate about the spirit of the game and players’ responsibility to uphold fair play, leading to calls for the introduction of technology to assist umpires in making correct decisions.

DRS controversies (ongoing issue)
The Decision Review System (DRS) has been a source of controversy in Ashes series over the past decade. Instances of incorrect decisions, inconsistent application, and technical glitches have marred the system’s credibility. Controversial DRS incidents, such as incorrect edge detections, questionable ball-tracking, and controversial umpire’s call rulings, have ignited fierce debates and calls for improvements in the technology and its implementation.

Kevin Pietersen’s texting scandal (2012)
During the 2012 Ashes series, England batsman Kevin Pietersen was embroiled in a texting scandal. Reports emerged of Pietersen sending derogatory text messages about his own teammates to members of the opposing Australian team. The incident led to Pietersen’s exclusion from the England squad and strained relationships within the team. This controversy not only affected team dynamics but also sparked discussions about player conduct and the impact of personal issues on team performance.

Ball-tampering scandal (2018)
The infamous ball-tampering scandal that unfolded during the 2018 South Africa-Australia Test series had repercussions on the Ashes rivalry as well. Australian players, including then-captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner, were caught using sandpaper to alter the condition of the ball during the third Test. The incident resulted in severe punishments, including lengthy bans for the players involved. The scandal sent shockwaves through the cricketing world, raising questions about the ethical standards in the game and leading to increased scrutiny on players’ conduct.

The Ashes series has witnessed its fair share of controversies over the last decade, ranging from on-field incidents to off-field controversies. As the series continues to captivate cricket fans worldwide, it remains to be seen what new controversies will arise and how they will shape the future of this historic rivalry.