It was vigorous year in the personal and professional lives of international cricketers, support staff and officials. In untoward incidents involving cricketers, the year began with West Indian fast bowler Jerome Taylor getting arrested and subsequently freed on bail after partaking in a brawl at a bar in Kingston, Jamaica. Then on March 7, a resolution was reached in a dispute involving Pakistan allrounder Shoaib Malik, who admitted he had filed for divorce from a woman he'd married seven years previous. Her family subsequently decide to withdraw the police complaint filed against him, paving the way for Malik's marriage to Indian tennis star Sania Mirza.
On August 7th , New Zealand allrounder Jesse Ryder, said he was glad to be reinstated as a player in the national side after being fined and suspended for "intoxicated and rowdy" behaviour. And the year was rounded off with Jacques Kallis accidentally crashing his car into a residence gate while making his way home in the wee hours of the morning of Dec 21.
2010 was also a year of personal achievement for various players. For instance, Sri Lankan batsman Sanath Jayasuriya bacame a parliamentarian on March 9, winning a seat for the United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) led by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse.
Then on July 13, Indian captain MS Dhoni, became the world's richest cricketer when he signed a Rs 2.1 billion (US$ 42 million) three-year endorsement deal with a sports marketing agency, surpassing his team-mate Sachin Tendulkar, whose 2006 deal was worth Rs 1.8 billion (US$ 38 million).
Several retirements and appointments of support staff were also recorded in the last year of the decade. On Jan 26, South African coach Mickey Arthur resigned his post after a falling out with captain Graeme Smith, while Corrie Van Zyl was appointed in his Arthur's place. Just four days later, former New Zealand opener Mark Greatbatch was named coach of the national team after Andy Moles quit the job in Oct 2009. That news was followed by another appointment on Feb 2, when former West Indies seamer Ottis Gibson became coach of the West Indies team, to fill the post left vacant by the sacking of John Dyson in 2009.
Keeping with the trend, on Feb 20, former England batsman Alan Butcher, was appointed Zimbabwe's coach, replacing Walter Chawaguta. Then on March 3, former Pakistan pace ace Waqar Younis, signed on as the side's coach, replacing Intikhab Alam. On June 4, Umpire Rudi Koertzen from South Africa, announced that the Headingley Test in July between Pakistan and Australia would be his last international assignment. Finally, on July 1, India's Sharad Pawar took over as ICC president from England's David Morgan for a two-year term.
As far as cricketers' retirements go, Australia speedster Brett Lee quit Test cricket on Feb 3 in order to focus on his limited-overs career. He finished with an impressive tally of 310 wickets from 76 Tests. On March 11, Bangladesh batsman Raqibul Hasan retired from international cricket on the eve of the first Test between Bangladesh and England in Chittagong, but was recalled in June. On the same day, Prosper Utseya resigned as Zimbabwe captain, and was replaced by allrounder Elton Chigumbura. Just three days later, New Zealand fast bowler Shane Bond announced he was quitting all forms of cricket.
On March 22, former Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar, ostensibly retired from all forms of cricket and one week later, former Pakistan captain Mohammad Yousuf, also put in his papers after the PCB slapped an indefinite ban on him, but he returned soon enough. Then on May 22, Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi, announced his return to Test cricket after four years. He was immediately named Pakistan's captain for the Asia Cup and the England tour that was to include six Tests against Australia and England, but retired mid-way and is replaced by Salman Butt. Three weeks later, Bangladesh veteran Mashrafe Mortaza replaced Shakib Al Hasan as Bangladesh captain for the ODI tour of the UK.
Then on July 6, Muttiah Muralitharan announced he was going to quit Test cricket after the Test against India in Galle. On Aug 18, Graeme Smith quits as South Africa's Twenty20 captain, and announces that he will also quit as one-day leader after the World Cup. Johan Botha is appointed captain till the 2012 World Twenty20.
Then a few weeks later, on Sep 16, English allrounder Andrew Flintoff announced that he was calling it quits. He pulled down the curtain on his 12-year career with a Test batting aggregate of 3,845 runs from 79 matches and a wicket-tally of 226. Flintoff had also played 141 one-dayer, making 3,394 runs and taking 169 wickets. Finally, on Nov 2, South Africa's first black international cricketer Makhaya Ntini said he was hanging up his boots. The fast bowler had taken 390 wickets from 101 Tests and 266 scalps from 173 ODIs. He further announced that the Jan 9th T20 against India would be his final appearance for South Africa.
Concerning the cricketers career-turns, there was some unsettling news. On Jan 31st, Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi is reprimanded for biting the ball during his side's fifth and final one-dayer of the tour of Australia, and is banned for two Twenty20s. On March 10, following Pakistan's disastrous tour of Australia, seven players are punished by the PCB. Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf are banned indefinitely for reasons of "indiscipline", Shoaib Malik and Naved-ul-Hasan are handed one-year bans, Shahid Afridi and the Akmal brothers are fined and placed on a six-month probation.
A day later, two Essex players - Danish Kaneria and Mervyn Westfield - are confirmed to be under investigation for alleged spot-fixing. On Aug 9, Stuart Broad is fined 50% of his match fee for throwing the ball at Pakistan batsman Zulqarnain Haider on the third day of the Edgbaston Test. Then on Aug 18, SLC hands a one-match suspension to off-spinner Suraj Randiv for deliberately bowling a no-ball to deny Virender Sehwag a century in an ODI.
Then on Aug 8th, the entire cricket landscape is rocked by its biggest crisis since the match-fixing scandal when the News of the World tabloid claims Mazhar Majeed, a player agent, accepted £150,000 in return for getting Pakistan's Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif to bowl deliberate no-balls at specific times in the Lord's Test against England, with the knowledge of captain Salman Butt. Majeed is arrested by Scotland Yard and later released on bail without charge. PCB chairman Ijaz Butt says none of the players would be suspended until the police come up with solid evidence, but the ICC suspended the three provisionally, pending a full hearing.
In another controversial development for the Pakistan cricket team, on Nov 22, wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider fled Dubai for London without permission and in the middle of being contracted to play a one-day series against South Africa. The runaway cricketer claimed he was seeking security after his life was allegedly threatened by book-makers who wanted him to rig matches. He announced his retirement from international cricket soon after and is yet to obtain asylum in the UK, while the Pakistan Cricket Board deputed a committee to look into the motivations behind his actions.
From impromptu departures to quick appointment and replacements, from disorderly conduct to monumental personal achievements, from action spawning disrepute to the game to honourable tributes, 2010 has seen it all in the personal and professional lives of cricketers, support staff and officials.