Cricket: The Underarm Incident
The “underarm incident” refers to a situation that occurred on the final ball of a match between Australia and New Zealand on February 1, 1981. New Zealand needed a six (obtained by hitting the ball over the fence without it bouncing) to win the game. Australian captain Greg Chappell ordered his brother Trevor to bowl the ball underarm along the ground to the number 10 New Zealand batsman, Brian McKechnie), thereby eliminating any possibility of a six and guaranteeing victory for the Australian team. The move, however, was seen as against the spirit of the game and drew the ire of many cricket fans on both sides of the Tasman.
Aftermath: The team was booed off the Melbourne Cricket Ground by their own fans and Brian McKechnie was censured for throwing his bat down in disgust. The Australian and New Zealand public were quite vocal in their distaste for the incident and it was criticized by a number of noteworthy individuals.
Rob Muldoon, the New Zealand prime minister called the act, “the most disgusting incident I can recall in the history of cricket”, and went on further to say, “it was an act of true cowardice and I consider it appropriate that the Australian team were wearing yellow”. The Australian prime minister, Malcolm Fraser, was a little less harsh calling the move, “contrary to the traditions of the game”. Former Australian captain and legendary commentator Richie Benaud, called the incident “disgraceful” and “one of the worst things I have ever seen done on a cricket field.”