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Six World Cup Controversies


1. 1992 - South Africa suffer rain heartbreak

South Africa's World Cup debut ended in farce when they were knocked out at the semi-final stage after a rain delay late in the game against England. The Proteas had needed a difficult but achievable 22 from 13 balls with four wickets in hand when the rain came. When it disappeared the ICC's "highest overs scoring" rule calculated a revised target of 22 from one ball to leave the South Africans fuming.
2. 1996 - Sri Lanka matches forfeited

Australia and the West Indies opted to forfeit their group games against Sri Lanka in the island nation due to security fears following the Central Bank bombing by the Tamil Tigers earlier that year. Sri Lanka were awarded the points from both games, and after topping their group, went on to beat Australia by seven wickets in the final in Lahore.
3. 2003 - Shane Warne fails drug test

Legendary spinner Shane Warne was sent home a day before the tournament after it was revealed he had failed a drug test in the lead-up to the event. Warne pleaded his innocence, however, and claimed he had only taken a pill to help reduce his weight on the advice of his mother.
4. 2003 - Zimbabwe protest

Zimbabwe skipper Andy Flower and Henry Olonga wore black armbands in their side's opening match on home soil in protest of Robert Mugabe's presidency, later describing the act as "mourning the death of democracy in Zimbabwe''. After some political pressure, England opted not to play against the Zimbabweans in Harare, citing "security fears'' while New Zealand also chose not to travel to Kenya on the same grounds. England's decision proved costly as they failed to progress to the Super Six stage behind Zimbabwe.
5. 2007 - Death of Bob Woolmer

The death of Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer following his side's defeat to minnows Ireland left a permanent cloud over the staging of the Caribbean's first World Cup. Woolmer, who played 19 Tests for England, was found dead in his hotel room in Jamaica the day after the match. While local authorities declared they were opening a murder case soon after Woolmer's death a jury later decided there was insufficient evidence of either a criminal act or natural causes.
6. 2007 - Flintoff's 'Fredalo'

Andrew Flintoff was stripped of the England vice-captaincy and banned for a match after he was caught commandeering a pedalo following a late-night drinking session in St Lucia. Reports suggested Flintoff had to be saved after he fell off the craft and got into difficulties in the water following England's defeat to New Zealand, though that has been denied. Five other players were also fined for drinking on the same night with James Anderson, Liam Plunkett, Jon Lewis, Ian Bell and Paul Nixon all sanctioned.

Compiled by Matt Somerford, Press Association Sport

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