The cricketing world had its ups and downs this year. Although we got to see some amazing cricket as many cricketers set new records, a few also sparked controversies and landed in trouble.
Our very own Gentlemen’s Game was dominated by India, Pakistan and England in the three different formats of the game. The year, however, was marred by yet another ball-tampering scandal in March, involving the Australian cricket team during a Test match against South Africa.
Here are some of the major events and happenings this year:
Pakistan Super League
The third edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL) was held in late February. It featured six teams, with the inclusion of Multan Sultans, which was the first expansion of the league since its formation. The group stage took place in the United Arab Emirates, with two playoff matches played in Lahore and the final at the National Stadium, Karachi.
Islamabad United defeated defending champions Peshawar Zalmi by 3 wickets in Karachi to win the title for a record second time. Luke Ronchi of Islamabad United was named the Man of the Match of the Final.
Australia’s oversee ball-tampering scandal
The cricketing fans were shocked in March seeing the uglier side of the game, when Australian cricketer Cameron Bancroft was caught by television cameras trying to rough up one side of the ball to make it swing in flight during a Test match against South Africa. Skipper Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner were found to be involved and all three received unprecedented sanctions from Cricket Australia.
Return of Intl cricket to Karachi
The month of March saw the much anticipated return of international cricket to Karachi, as Pakistan collided with the West Indies for a three match T20I series.
“This tour is a further major step for our friends at the PCB to bring their cricket back home, and we are pleased that our players and support staff have recognized this and supported this venture,” Cricket West Indies chief executive Johnny Grave said. Pakistan went on to win the T20I series 3-0.
Indian Premier League
The eleventh season of the IPL, held in April, saw the return of the Chennai Super Kings and the Rajasthan Royals after serving two years of suspension for the involvement of their respective owners in the 2013 IPL betting case. Chennai Super Kings grabbed their third title after beating Sunrisers Hyderabad by 8 wickets in the final.
Sunrisers Hyderabad captain Kane Williamson won the Orange Cap for the leading run-scorer of the tournament with 735 runs. Andrew Tye, of Kings XI Punjab, was awarded the Purple Cap for finishing as the leading wicket-taker of the tournament with 24 wickets. Sunil Narine of Kolkata Knight Riders was named Most Valuable Player, also known as Man of the Series, while Rishabh Pant of Delhi Daredevils was named the Emerging Player of the Tournament.
Asia Cup 2018
The 14th edition of Asia Cup, which was held in the UAE in September 2018, was won by India for the record seventh time beating Bangladesh in the final.
2018 ICC Women’s World Twenty20
The 2018 ICC Women’s World Twenty20 was hosted in the West Indies from 9 to 24 November 2018. It was the sixth edition of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, and the second hosted by the West Indies (after the 2010 edition).
Australia went on to win the tournament which was their fourth title after beating England in the final by 8 wickets.