Cricket often requires you to take some tough and risky decisions. If you win the match, that decision is termed as a masterstroke and if you lose, it is then termed as a “Foolish Decision”. Over the years, we have seen a lot of cricketers take some big and bold decisions. These calls tend to sometimes benefit them and sometimes don’t. Among all the big and brave calls taken, which of them have backfired? Which are those decisions which turned out to be wrong? Today we shall be taking a look at 5 most shocking decisions ever made in the history of cricket:

1) Sourav Ganguly- Decision to bowl first in the 2003 World Cup:


Sourav Ganguly was later blamed for his defensive decision

This is one decision which would haunt Ganguly forever. It was the 2003 WC final which saw Ganguly shockingly choose to field first. India’s batting line-up consisted of world class players such as Tendular-, Sehwag, Dravid, Yuvraj Singh and Ganguly himself. Despite this, he decided to expose his relatively inexperienced bowling attack and the Australian batsman made full merry of that. Aussie Skipper Ricky Ponting scored a breathtaking 140 off 121 balls and took their score to 359-2 in 50 overs.

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2) MS Dhoni- Sending Yuvraj Singh at 4 in the 2014 T20 World Cup Final:

This inning of Yuvraj almost finished his career


India were sensational in the 2014 T20 WC. They were unbeaten untill they lost to the eventual champions Sri Lanka in the final. It was an absolute tragedy for each and every Indian fan as India scored 130 after batting in thr first innings. Sending Yuvraj Singh at No.4 turned to be an absolute disaster. Given that Yuvraj was having a lukewarm tournament and India had Dhoni and Raina sitting in the dugout made this decision look even worse.

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3) WICB- Selecting A New Team for the 2015 World Cup:

WICB has often issues with his player, which have affected their performances largely


Every team takes 4 years to prepare for an ODI WC. They build their team and combine experience and youth to form a team good enough to win a WC. However, the West Indies board didn’t believe that and completely changed their team for the 2015 WC. They dropped their senior players like DJ Bravo, Pollard and Rampaul and didn’t even have the services of Sunil Narine. They dropped their captain Bravo and named Holder as the new captain. It was speculated that they did this because of their issues with the board, but these claims were ridiculed by the WICB selectors. WI were knocked out of the tournament in the quarter final against New Zealand.

4) CSA- Kyle Abbot Being Dropped for Vernon Philander in the 2015 World Cup Semis:

This decision drew a lot criticism from the Cricket Pundits


Just before the 2015 WC semis, half an hour prior to the usual team meeting, the then skipper AB De Villiers was called in by the selectors. They informed him that Vernon Philander would replace Kyle Abbott, ensuring 4 players of colour were on the pitch. This was mentioned in ABD’s autobiography. This decision was awful to say the least as Abbot was having a sensational tournament and Philander was just coming back from an injury.

5) Allan Donald: Not Focusing On Running The Final Run In The 1999 World Cup Semis:

This will be most heartbreaking moment for every South African Cricket Fan


Arguably one of the greatest matches in the history of cricket. The 1999 WC semis saw SA needing one run to win of one ball and they still couldn’t win the match. That run out capped one of the most dramatic ODI finishes of all time. “My memory that will always stand out is the ’99 World Cup, not because I was run out in the semi-final, but the team that I played with, that team had the belief. I just knew that team had the ability to win the World Cup for sure,” Donald told ESPNcricinfo. “The disappointing fact of what happened was just a real tragedy.”

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By Arvind Krishnan

Cricket writer, statistician and analyst. An unorthodox media student, marketing runs in his blood. Sports Marketer and analyst.

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