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Stuart Broad Retirement Tribute: Sun Sets on Legendary Career

“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

– Quote Attributed to Abraham Lincoln

This quote perfectly epitomizes Stuart Broad.

Stuart Broad has made each of his 6182 days in international cricket count. Ultra-competitive, yet also super fun to be around.

When Stuart Broad appealed, we saw the joy in him. When Broad took a wicket, we saw the joy in him. And when Broad talks about cricket, we still see the joy in him.

The all-time great has hung up his boots. Today, we look back at the highs, lows, and everything in between.

Here is Stuart Broad retirement tribute.

Table of Contents

Stuart Broad Debut: How Did it All Start?

Although fast bowling was his true calling, his beginning wasn’t always that.

He started his youth cricketing career as an opening batter (which is why he still valued technique till end). Rising up the ranks, we was called up in the England U-19 & England A sides during 2005-06. A certain Jimmy Anderson had made the senior side, so there was a vacancy in the A team.

On 28 August, 2006, Broad made his international debut at age of 20. And he did not disappoint—2 in 2 and on-a-hattrick in his first ever senior match.

By 2007, he had made England’s ODI & T20I World Cup teams. A couple of years later, he had announced himself on the big stage at the Ashes when his 5-fer reduced Australia from 73/0 to 111/7.

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Also Read: Dale Steyn, The Embodiment of Simplicity and Intensity, Retires—The Greatest Fast Bowler of Them All, MS Dhoni and SK Raina Retire: An End of An Era

Stuart Broad Stats & Records

Before we go on any further, here are a bit of his career highlights.


To elongate his Test career, Broad only played a handful of franchise tournaments early on. The only teams that he played for were

  • England, England U-19, England A, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), Hobart Hurricanes, Kings XI Punjab
  • 845 International Wickets (602* – Tests, 178 – ODI, 65 – T20I)
  • 4303 International Runs (3656 – Test, 529 – ODI, 118 – T20I)

Broad Test Wickets & Runs

  • 167 Tests
  • 602 Wickets, 8/15 (best inning), 11/121 (best match), 27.68 average, 55.7 strike rate: 20/3 (5-fer/10-fer)
  • 3647 Runs, 18.05 average, 54 sixes, 1 -100, 13 – 50s

Broad ODI & T20I Career

  • 121 ODIs
  • 178 wickets, 5/23 (best), 30.13 average, 34.3 strike rate,1 (5-fer)
  • 529 Runs, 45* (best), 12.3 average
  • 56 T20Is
  • 65 wickets, 4/24 (best), 22.93 average, 7.62 economy
  • 118 runs, 18* (best), 100.00 strike rate


  • 167 Tests – 5th Most Matches in Test Career
  • 8/15 (2015) – Best spell by a pacer since Glenn McGrath’s 8/24 in 2004
  • 33454 – 5th Most balls bowled in career
  • Most wickets in the Ashes by an Englishmen (151)
  • Joint Most wickets against a single batter (20) – David Warner
  • Two hat-tricks


  • 2004 – Debuted in County Cricket at Leicestershire
  • 2006 – T20I debut, ODI debut, Cricket Writers’ Club Young Cricketer of the Year
  • 2007 – Test debut, Yuvraj Singh six sixes
  • 2008 – Moved to Nottinghamshire, First Test 5–fer
  • 2010 – T20 World Cup Winner, 169 vs Pakistan
  • 2011 – Hat-trick against India, Kings XI Punjab IPL deal
  • 2014 – Seelcted as captain of England’s T20 World Cup side
  • 2015 – 8/15 spell against Australia
  • 2016 – Hobart Hurricanes BBL deal, British honor – MBE
  • 2023 – 600 Test wickets, Retirement

Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson: The Gift That Kept on Giving

Let’s be honest, England have not really been the most stable Test side in history.

That’s why the duo of Broad & Jimmy Anderson is so cherished by the English fans. They provided England with the stability they needed.

Amidst the 0-5 Ashes defeats, World Cup debacles, or Pietersen-Strauss drama, these two remained the only constants.

When Broad was out of form, Anderson swung it England’s way. When Anderson did not get the early breakthroughs, Broad produced one of those spells.

Although the talk of the decade was Steyn vs Anderson, Broad uncharacteristically went under the radar. But he didn’t mind. He actually flourished under Anderson’s wisdom and when his time came, he mentored the next generation of English bowlers.

A partnership that was bound to be. A partnership that kept on giving.

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The Famous Broad Spells: Ashes 8/15, Hat-Tricks, and Many, Many More

Have you seen magic?

I have, and it is known as a Stuart Broad bowling spell.

When he is on fire, he is really on fire.

Although he was not lucky on his T20I debut, he finally got a hat-trick against India at Nottingham in 2011.

He was so good, sometimes he forgot he even took a hat-trick.

“He becomes the first Englishmen to take two hat-tricks in Test cricket, and he has got no idea. Typical fast bowler.”

With his famous headband, he found a second wind. In 2022, he took 2/3 wickets in a team hat-trick (the second wicket was also due to him. His celebrappeal for LBW took de Grandhomme by surprise, after which he was run out).

Broad found his forte when the pressure was its highest. The Johannesburg spell for example.

He took almost 25% of his career wickets (151/602) in the Ashes, becoming the leading Ashes wicket-taker of-all time by an Englishmen. Therefore, it is no surprise that his greatest spell – 8/15 came against the Aussies as well.

4th Test at Nottingham in Ashes 2015, Australia sent into bat, and Broad did the rest. Every wicket due to pace and perfect line & length. He ended with figures of 9.3-5-15-8. Watch it here. One of the greatest modern day bowling spells.

For some of his other highlights, look at this video.

Stuart Broad vs David Warner

From 2013 to 2023, if there is one batter that has been haunted by Stuart Broad, it has to be David Warner. The record across formats reads as follows:

63 innings, 556 runs scored in 934 balls, 68 fours, 3 sixes, and 20 wickets. That’s the joint 2nd of all-time only behind Ambrose-Mark Waugh (21).

When Warner had learned how to face Broad for a little while, Broad came around the wicket and became even more lethal.

Here’s Cricinfo’s detailed description of all his Test dismissals. And here are the videos.

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Things That May Not Have Gone According to Plan

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room—The Six Sixes.

Yuvraj Singh Six Sixes: Stuart Broad vs Yuvraj Singh

Amidst all the glory and the highs, there were some low points in his career too.

Yuvraj Singh, at his peak of his batting prowess, hit Broad out of the park the entire over. Yuvraj was angry at Flintoff, but Broad got the treatment.

Also Read; What If Flintoff Kept His Cool to Yuvraj Singh?

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England vs Netherlands 2009

His T20 World Cup experience continued to not go according to the plan.

In the 2009 T20 World Cup, the Netherlands defeated the English while Broad was bowling the last over.

There were some dropped catches, misfields, and overthrows from Broad that tilted the match in the Dutch’s favor. Oops.

No worries though. In a years time, he was a T20 World Cup winner.

Bumrah vs Stuart Broad

What’s worse than getting hit for 36 runs by Yuvraj Singh in a T20I?

Getting hit by Jasprit Bumrah for 35 runs (including extras) in a Test match.

The 2015 World Cup

Prior to England’s revival in limited overs cricket, they were actually a mediocre side for the better part of the last two decades.

The lowest point, though, was getting knocked out in the group stage by Bangladesh.

With 16 needed from 12 runs, there was still a chance. But Rubel Hussain castled Broad and Anderson to take Bangladesh to the knockouts.

That was the end of Broad & Anderson’s limited over careers. But a blessing in disguise, extending their Test careers by 8 years.

The Twitter Troll

Broad’s career rise coincided with the rise of social media. As an active Twitter user, he is often hilarious and engages the crowd with some banter.

Sometimes it comes off, and at least once a year, the video resurfaces of Broad hilariously not walking off despite edging the ball….So, there’s that.

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Stuart Broad 169: The Batter He Was

In his early days, Stuart Broad was considered an all-rounder.

In fact, between 2008 & 2011, Broad produced scores of 169, 76, 74*, 67*, 65, 65, and 64.

And then he got hit by a Varun Aaron bouncer in 2014.

Even though he had a couple of fifties in 2017, his batting perhaps did not see the best of him again.

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Stuart Broad Retirement

The series had underlying murmurs of, “Is this Jimmy Anderson’s last Test series?” Or at least, if this will be his last Ashes.

There was no such news about Broad.

In fact, Broad was at his best. He developed an outswing to counter the threat of Smith-Labuschagne and became the leading wicket-taker for England in the process. Anderson, on the other hand, had an abysmal series with Woakes & Wood leading English revival.

But in Broad fashion, he decided the night before at 8:30 PM and announced it today.

I knew I wanted to leave the game loving cricket and lasting memories being a very enjoyable changing room, and I’ve got lots of friends. I’ve played a long time, and the body feels great. I could have carried on, but it’s just feels like the right time.

– Stuart Broad

His final day may well be on Jimmy Anderson’s 41st birthday. How the stars align.

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What Can We Learn from Broad?

Despite initially being remembered for being hit for six sixes against Yuvraj Singh, Broad constructed a career of greatness, consistency, and longevity. By the time he was done with the England T20I side, he not only was England’s highest wicket-taker, but also a T20 World Cup winner.

This is a quality of great personalities. They realize that everyday might not go as planned, but they continue to believe and march forward.

That’s exactly what Broad did. Marched forward for seventeen years. Improving till the very last series, where he developed an outswing during the offseason to help him get rid of Marnus Labuschagne & Steve Smith.

Broad’s retirement took me by surprise. I am a bit sad but realize that we will see him in the commentary box for years to come. I will always remember his smooth flying action, those spells & hat-tricks, and most importantly, the joy he got from playing cricket and winning the crucial moments. A true match-winner. So, what can we learn from Stuart Broad?

Keep learning, keep moving, mentor others, lift the group, and never back down. All that while having fun. That’s what Broad’s life and career teach me.

The Legacy

Nasser Hussain & Mike Atherton summed it up perfectly.

“An undeniably great cricketer….He’s the complete article. The fitness, the hunger, the competitiveness, the skill, and being very clever and bright.”

Broad was an expert at wearing various hats. The commentator & analyst. The viral tweeter. The all-rounder & swashbuckling batter. The celebrappeal. The great entertainer.

For over a decade, Stuart Broad was England cricket and England cricket was Stuart Broad. With Jimmy Anderson, he gave us memories to last a lifetime.

It has been real, Stuart Broad.

What an incredible journey. Brilliant, wonderful career. What a player. What a man.

Peace out and have a wonderful second innings.

Facts About Broad

Stuart Broad Height

  • 6 ft 5 in

Stuart Broad Age

  • 37 years

Stuart Broad Net Worth ($1 million)

  • $790,000 (Red ball Contract)
  • $17,600 (Test match fees)

In 2023, he played 8 Tests& in 2020, he played 9 Tests. With the contract and match-fees, he earned $900000+. With brand endorsements & sponsorship deals, his net worth is welll over millions of dollars.

Personal Life

  • Chris Broad (father)
  • Mollie King (Partner)

Frequently Asked Questions

How many wickets has Stuart Broad taken?

Broad has taken 845 international wickets, 602 in Test cricket.

How tall is Stuart Broad?

Broad is 6 ft, 5 inches tall.

Who hit Broad for six sixes?

Yuvraj Singh hit Stuart Broad for six sixes in the 2007 T20 World Cup.

Who is Stuart Broad’s father?

Chris Broad is Stuart Broad’s fagther.

What is Broad’s highest Test score?

169 is Broad’s highest test scores against Pakistan in 2010.

© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, 2021. Originally published on 7/30/2023. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).

Sachin Tendulkar Life Lessons: What Sachin Tendulkar God of Cricket Taught Me

What lessons can we learn from Sachin Tendulkar’s life?

Today is a day of great reflection because today we celebrate the 50th birthday of the great Sachin Tendulkar.

Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, SRT, or the ‘God of Cricket’—regardless of how you referred to him, for most cricket fans between 1989 and 2013—the love of cricket coincided with the love of Sachin. He represented hope, excellence, and discipline for billions of people around the world.

Let’s reflect back on those 24 precious years and see what we can learn from Sachin Tendulkar’s life. Or at least here is what Sachin Tendulkar taught me.

Also Read: What Rahul Dravid Taught Me, 155 Greatest Cricketers of All Time (Men’s)

7 Lessons We Can All Learn from Sachin Tendulkar’s Life

1. We Must Accept Finite Disappointment, but Never Lose Infinite Hope

  • Quote By: Martin Luther King Jr.

After Kapil Dev & his men lifted the 1983 Cricket World Cup trophy, playing cricket for India and lifting the World Cup became a dream for every schoolboy. Sachin was no different. Fast forward three years into his career, he was selected for the 1992 ODI World Cup.

First time, no luck. Then, 1996 semi-final happened. Sachin Tendulkar stumped. Eden Gardens stunned. India collapse—A common sight in the nineties. It was followed by 1999 hardships & disappointment, 2003 (Final – so close, yet so far), and last, but certainly not the least, the 2007 Cricket World Cup. India crashed out in the group stage. It seemed to be curtains on Sachin Tendulkar’s lifelong dream.

But then four years later,Dhoni finished it off in style and India lifted the World Cup after 28 years.” Broken Dreams No More. Tendulkar’s years of toil finally transformed into moments of pure joy that he had always dreamed about.

  • What Can We Learn?

Life Lesson 1: Disappointments are a part and parcel of life. The important thing is to never lose sight of the hope, dream, or end goal you have deep down. If you persevere and keep at it, who knows, maybe one day that dream may come true.

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2. Rest at the End, Not in the Middle

  • Quote By: Late American basketball legend Kobe Bryant (and quote from his English teacher, Mr. Fisk) while accepting the ESPY ICON AWARD

This speech is so beautiful, it is worth writing it in full here.

“We are not on this stage just due to talent or ability. We are up here because of 4 AM. We are up here because of two-a-days. Or five-a-days. We are up here because we had a dream and let nothing stand in our way. If anything tried to bring us down, we used it to get stronger. We were never satisfied. Never finished. We’ll never be retired. My high school English Teacher, Mr. Fisk. He had this beautiful quote, ‘Rest at the end. Not in the Middle.’ And I took that to heart. I believe there is time to rest at the end, but the time is not now.”

– Kobe BryanT

Just like Kobe Bryant and other legendary sports stars around the world, Tendulkar had to work hard for it.

Sachin Tendulkar was definitely a gifted a cricketer, but that alone did not make him great. Sure, he had natural timing and great hand-eye coordination, but he still had to put in the hard yards. Hours and hours in the nets, days and days in the Bombay Maidans under the sun, honing his technique slowly but surely. One day at a time, he got better. And he just never stopped.

Life Lesson 2: What differentiates excellence from just adequate performance is the work ethic. To achieve greatness in any field, the end result is directly proportional to the amount of work you put in.

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3. The Price of Anything is the Amount of Life You Exchange For It

  • Quote by: Henry David Thoreau, American philosopher and writer

From an outsider’s point of view, Sachin Tendulkar was a superstar and public figure. But this definitely came at a cost. Staying away from family for the better portion of two decades, always being under media pressure, recovering from career threatening injuries, and maintaining international level fitness would not have been easy.

Life Lesson 3: Sacrifice. Whether that is time, family, plans with friends, delicious food, sacrifice in some extent is necessary to progress to the next level.

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4. Sometimes It is the People No One Can Imagine of who do the Things No One Can Imagine

Quote By: Alan Turing, Father of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence

Who would have thought that a 5-foot four schoolboy from Mumbai become the first ODI double centurion, go on to score hundred 100s, and become the idol that would inspire a nation of a billion? And even after he debuted for India, not many could have imagined the scale at which Tendulkar was able to conquer the cricketing world. There have been many 16- & 17-year-old debutants in cricket, but none like Sachin.

Life Lesson 4: If you can put your mind to it and imagine the impossible, you can achieve the impossible. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you that cannot do something.

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5. Only Those Who Will Risk Going Too Far Can Possibly Find Out How Far One Can Go

Quote By: T.S. Eliot, American Poet

Tendulkar did not stop until he reached the height of individual excellence. Sunil Gavaskar, the original ‘Little Master’ had set the bar with 10,000 Test runs and 34 Test centuries. How far would Sachin go? 35? 50? Once he got past, he did not stop. 34,347 runs across formats, scoring hundred 100s and 164 fifties, he finally hung up his boots. But by the time he was done, he had expanded the horizons of what batting excellence looks like.

Life Lesson 5: Beware of complacency. Take some risks. How far can you push the barriers in your profession?

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6. Courage is Grace Under Pressure

Quote by: Ernest Hemingway, American Author

Sachin Tendulkar had the weight of a nation’s expectations but never showed it. He always carried himself with grace and did not let the public know about the stress and mental pressure he must have been going through. That, my friends, is courage.

Life Lesson 6: It is more important how you carry yourself rather than what you achieve.

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7. Without Continual Growth and Progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.

Quote By: Benjamin Franklin, American writer, thinker, politician, scientist, diplomat, printer, publisher, everything.

With such a long career, ups and downs are bound to occur. Teams figured out some of his weaknesses, injuries occurred, and so did prolonged loss of form. What mattered was that Sachin continued to reinvent himself and bring out a new version to overcome certain obstacles. Prime examples are the 241* in Sydney when he famously gave up the cover drive & the second wind in 2010 (at the age of 37, he dominated the South African bowling attack, scored double centuries, and looked fluent as ever).

Life Lesson 7: Keep the curiosity alive and continue to learn. You can only make substantial progress if you struggle initially, experiment with possible solutions, and ultimately overcome the challenges. Lather, rinse, and repeat.

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Sachin Tendulkar Life Lessons – Final Thoughts

I will leave you with this final thought.

Sacrifice, patience, longevity, work ethic, reinvention, curiosity, grace. The list goes on. We can learn so much from Sachin Tendulkar, a cool head on broad shoulders that taught a country how to excel, win, and most importantly, dream.

What life lesson has Sachin instilled in you? What has he meant to you?

Other Articles on Cricket, Philosophy, and Life Lessons

If you liked this article, be sure to check these articles below on Cricket Life Lessons:

  1. Top 10 Life Lessons From India Vs Australia 2020: Courage, Character, Resilience – Which One Is Your Favorite?
  2. Top 10 Life Lessons From IPL: Beauty of Cricket
  3. Cricket’s Reflections of Passion
  4. Rahul Dravid Biography: What Dravid Taught Me
  5. Lasith Malinga: The Slinga, Slayer, and SuperStar
  6. What Can Ellyse Perry Not Do?
  7. Nicholas Pooran, A Story of Pain, Hope, & Inspiration: The Next Big Thing of West Indies & World Cricket
  8. Dale Steyn, The Embodiment of Simplicity and Intensity
  9. Ross Taylor, An Underrated Cricketer Who Was A Giant Among New Zealand’s Greatest Generation
  10. 20 Years of Mithali Raj And Jhulan Goswami: Eternal Legends for Indian & Women Cricket
  11. The Magician With the Yorker – Umar Gul
  12. Faf du Plessis & AB De Villiers’ Friendship: Broken Dreams of Faf and ABD
  13. Dinesh Karthik and the Art of Self Correction
  14. MS Dhoni and SK Raina Retire: An End of An Era
  15. Dean Jones: A Celebration of Life

Frequently Asked Questions

What lessons can we learn from Sachin Tendukar’s life?

Some lessons we can learn from Sachin Tendulkar’s life are: Sacrifice, patience, longevity, work ethic, reinvention, curiosity, and grace.


© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, LLC 2023. Originally published on 04/24/2023. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).

Kaun Pravin Tambe? Movie Review: Does Shreyas Talpade Revive His Iqbal Magic?

By Nitesh Mathur, Broken Cricket Dreams, 04/01/2022

Actor Shreyas Talpade, from Iqbal fame, is back to portray this inspirational story of a man who realized his dream of playing cricket on the national stage at the age of 41.

Can Pravin Tambe’s unlikely journey capture the imagination of the public like other sports movies? Today we review this latest cricket movie released on Disney+HotstarDetails, Summary, Verdict, and most importantly, Life Lessons We All Can Learn from Pravin Tambe. There is also a section of most popular Pravin Tambe videos, his playing career, and stats at the very end.


  1. Kaun Pravin Tambe Detail & Information
  2. Kaun Pravin Tambe Summary and Review
    1. The Stories
    2. The Acting
  3. Verdict: To Watch or Not to Watch?
  4. 5 Life Lessons We All Can Learn from Pravin Tambe
    1. 1. Age Is Just a Number
    2. 2. Balancing Dreams with Practicality of Life
    3. 3. Be Open-Minded
    4. 4. Passion Makes Perfect
    5. 5. All You Need Is One Good Over. Never Give Up. Dreams Really Do Come True
  5. Pravin Tambe Videos and Interviews
  6. Who Is Pravin Vijay Tambe?
    1. Pravin Tambe Stats
    2. Pravin Tambe Major Teams

Also Read:

Kolkata Knight Riders just posted an emotional video on social media regarding a special screening of Kaun Pravin Tambe?, celebrating Pravin Tambe who is on KKR’s support staff in IPL 2022 (video of KKR’s special screening linked below).

Kaun Pravin Tambe Detail & Information

Title Name: Kaun Pravin Tambe? (Who is Pravin Tambe?)

Hotstar Summary: Relentless effort can make an underdog rise to the top, and cricketer Pravin Tambe’s extraordinary journey proves why age is just a number.

Protagonist: Shreyas Talpade as Pravin Tambe

Major Cast:

  • Ashish Vidyarthi as Coach Vidyadhar Paradkar
  • Parambrata Chatterjee as journalist Rajat Sanyal
  • Anjali Patil as wife Vaishali Tambe
  • Nitin Rao as teammate/friend/Mumbai selector/India player Abey Kuruvilla (Check Out Kuruvilla’s debut wicket against the West Indies)
  • Arif Zakaria as Jamil Jalali

Directed By: Jayprad Desai

Release Date: April 1, 2022

Length: 2 hour, 13 minutes

Language: Hindi (English subtitles available, also dubbed versions available in Telegu & Tamil)

Rating: 4.5/5

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Kaun Pravin Tambe Summary and Review

Kaun Pravin Tambe? begins with a clip of a Rahul Dravid, who is portraying Pravin Tambe as the embodiment of passion (full speech below). The movie then tries to answer the question for the audience, who is this Pravin Tambe that Dravid is talking about? Cricket fans have heard about with his exploits with the Rajasthan Royals between 2013 and 2015, but how did he start his career? Why did he have to wait for 20 years?

Also Read: What Rahul Dravid Taught Me

The film begins in the early 2010s, when Tambe is juggling his life as a construction supervisor, father, husband, and cricketer. After brief introduction of the Shreyas Talpade, the movie rewinds to Tambe’s childhood and develops chronologically. We see that at the age of 12, Tambe finds his life purpose—to play Ranji cricket for Mumbai. The essence of the plot is to fill the gap between ages 12 to 41.

The Stories

There are several mini-stories within the larger movie. Tambe begins his career as an all-rounder and specifically, a medium-pace allrounder. How does he then turn into this leg-spinner? (Don’t worry, will not spoil that for you here). Another plotline is the various jobs Tambe takes upon for the sake of financial stability, while still trying to give time to cricket. This is my favorite part of the movie.

Finally, the portrayal of the Mumbai grassroots cricket, Shivaji Park maidaans, and gully cricket is cherry on top of the cake. The actual cricket has the perfect screen time—not too much (like 83’s highlights reels), not too little, just right.

The Acting

What makes this a neat watch is Shreyas Talpade’s bowling action. I loved his bowling action in Iqbal and since Tambe started as a medium pacer, Talpade was a perfect fit. His acting is brilliant as usual, but the minor characters (older brother, childhood friend, wife Vaishali, Abey Kuruvilla, and Arif Zakaria as Jamil) are the heart of the film. Special mention to Ashish Vidyarthi, who does an excellent job portraying Vidyadhar Paradkar sir (influential coach for Zaheer Khan and other great Indian cricketers).

Finally, a note on Parambrata Chatterjee, who is a wonderful actor (you might know him as the police officer in Kahaani & Aranyak). However, his minor negative character as a journalist did not suit him or the script well.

Verdict: To Watch or Not to Watch?

At this moment, there is loads of cricket going on—2022 Women’s World Cup, IPL 2022, Australia Vs Pakistan ODIs, Bangladesh Vs South Africa Tests, Netherlands Vs New Zealand limited overs series, and the 2022 County Championship will begin in a week as well.

On top of this, I am sure you are busy with work, family, or school.

But if you can make time for two hours in this busy world, I hope you can set everything aside and give Kaun Pravin Tambe? a sincere watch. Good, light-hearted movie that will rejuvenate your belief in cricket, specifically grassroot & gully cricket.

My review for Kaun Pravin Tambe? is 4.5/5. Great watch. The only thing that took away from the film for me was the minor conflict with the journalist, which seemed a bit forced.

Before we move on to “Life Lessons we can learn from Pravin Tambe”, check out BCD’s social media pages and consider subscribing to our newsletter. It would really help support this website.

5 Life Lessons We All Can Learn from Pravin Tambe

Pravin Tambe symbolizes Broken Cricket Dreams. His journey has broken dreams, but his story is also full of inspiration, passion, hard work, modesty, and determination.

Tambe is one of the great stories of the IPL. Got his big break before playing a Ranji Trophy match. And guess what? After all his toil, results were evident – hat-trick vs KKR, highest wicket taker for Rajasthan Royals in 2014, and the Golden Wicket taker for RR in 2012 Champions League.

And he played till he was 49 across IPL, CPL, Abu Dhabi T10 leagues. I am sure he still plays a few gully cricket games here and there. Dedication to the max. Here are some of the other life lessons from Pravin Tambe we can apply to our lives.

1. Age Is Just a Number

After almost 30 years of toil, Tambe finally got selected for the Rajasthan Royals in 2013. A few months later, he would get his beloved Ranji Trophy cap.

In this day and age of the internet and focus on fitness, anything is possible. Tom Brady, Pravin Tambe, Brad Hogg, and Chris Gayle can still play professional sports at 42. With resources online, you can obtain a new skill, learn new things, change careers, or start a business. At any point in your life, age is no barrier.

2. Balancing Dreams with Practicality of Life

As Tambe entered his twenties, he assumed more responsibilities. He got married, had two kids, and had to pay bills. Usually, people give up dreams during this time for financial security.

Pravin Tambe did not. He worked multiple jobs instead.

Life is all about moderation and balance. And to survive, money is needed. If you can develop multiple streams of income, while still being within reach of your dream goal, that is the ideal zone.

3. Be Open-Minded

Pravin Tambe reluctantly switched from medium pace bowling to leg spin. And boy, did it pay dividends.

There is a fine line between persistence and inflexibility. Quitting should always be your last option, but if things are not working in your favor, be open to change. Being open minded in the micro can have large positive effects on the macro.

4. Passion Makes Perfect

Dravid’s speech illuminates on Pravin Tambe’s work ethic. Although he did not play much the first year, he attended every optional practice session, every gym session, and was always discussing how to improve his game with other players in the squad.

After his first man of the match award in the IPL, “he was weeping.” He cherished every moment of this journey. Although he has now assumed coaching roles, he still plays for his company (Kanga League, Time Shield) and still bowls 15-20 overs a day in three-day-games.

We usually say ‘Practice Makes Perfect.’ That is true, but what is more is that ‘Passion Makes Perfect.’ If you combine your love or passion for a certain activity and put in the practice and the hard yards, then you will be happy with all your efforts and gradually get closer to your dream.

5. All You Need Is One Good Over. Never Give Up. Dreams Really Do Come True

The main theme of Kaun Pravin Tambe can be summed up by one quote in the movie.

“Whether it is life or match, all you need is one good over.”

Pravin Tambe was in the 40 Probable’s List for a number of seasons, even as early as 2000.

But he had to wait. And Wait. Almost gave up. And had doubts cast upon from friends and society, but he kept on working relentlessly and kept on dreaming a dream till he got his big break that changed his life.

In Tambe’s own words, “Just never give up on your dreams. Really dreams do come true.”

Try, Try, and Try Again Until You Succeed. You may take rest but never quit. The light at the end of the tunnel may be bleak, but there is light, nevertheless.

Pravin Tambe Videos and Interviews

Here are some of my favorite Pravin Tambe videos. In his interview with Aakash Chopra, Tambe reveals that his IPL cap was not his biggest moment. Getting the Ranji cap for Mumbai from legend Wasim Jaffer was his most memorable moment.

Here below is one of his best innings of his career. So much spin! Beautiful.

Here is Tambe’s hat-trick and 5-wicket hall in a T10 match that featured wickets of Chris Gayle, Eoin Morgan, and Kieron Pollard (Bowled!), Upul Tharanga – as a 47-year old. Wow!

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Who Is Pravin Vijay Tambe?

Born: 8 October, 1971 (Mumbai, Maharashtra, India)

Pravin Tambe Stats

T20s: 64 matches, 70 wickets, Best Innings – 4/13, 22.35 average, 6.92 economy

List A: 6 matches, 5 wickets, Best Innings – 2/26

First Class: 2 matches, 2 wickets, Best Innings – 2/127

  • First Indian and oldest player to play in the CPL.

Also Read: 5 Reasons Why BCCI Should Allow Players In Foreign Leagues? Learn From the West Indies

Pravin Tambe Major Teams

  • Indian Premier League (IPL): Rajasthan Royals, Gujarat Lions, Sunrisers Hyderabad
  • Caribbean Premier League (CPL): Trinbago Knight Riders
  • Abu Dhabi T10 League: Sindhis
  • Domestic: Mumbai, Mumbai Cricket Association XI, Dr DY Patil Sports Academy, Orient Shipping

© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, 2021. Originally published on 04/01/2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).

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20 Years of Mithali Raj And Jhulan Goswami: Eternal Legends for Indian & Women Cricket

Mithali Raj & Jhulan Goswami, the dynamic duo.

Sounds okay but could be better. Let us try again.

Mithali Raj & Jhulan Goswami—The Eternal Legends? Scratch that. How about

Goswami & Raj: Stalwarts that Let the Flame Burning for India’s Women Cricket.

I have to be brutally honest here. I had a tough time finishing this article.

It took me weeks. I mean how could I summarize such long careers, awe-aspiring legacies, and inspirational stories with a mere couple of phrases? In fact, it took me an entire day just to research just the sheer number of records and awards these two possess (all of them listed below).

103 days away from the 2022 Women’s ODI Cricket World Cup Final, let us look back at the glorious careers of Mithali Raj & Jhulan Goswami—Where Did It all begin? Statistics and legacies, ups and downs, the final hurrah, and of course what can we learn from the lives of India’s best women batter and fastest bowler?

Table of Contents

  1. Table of Contents
  2. The Beginning
    1. Jhulan’s Inspiration
    2. Early Decisions, Discipline, and the Passion to Excel
    3. Debut
  3. Records and Statistics of Mithali Raj & Jhulan Goswami
    1. Joint Records Held by Raj & Goswami
    2. Mithali Raj Stats
    3. Mithali Raj Records
      1. Tests
      2. ODIs
      3. T20Is
    4. Mithali Raj Awards
    5. Jhulan Goswami Stats
    6. Jhulan Goswami Records
      1. Tests
      2. ODIs
      3. T20Is
    7. Jhulan Goswami Awards
  4. International Success
  5. World Cup Dream
    1. Bright Promises
    2. Rock Bottom of 2009 & 2013
  6. 2017 World Cup and the Broken Dream
    1. T20 World Cups
  7. Captaincy & Controversies
    1. The Captaincy-Controversy Complex
  8. Women’s IPL Without Goswami & Raj Already a Failure for BCCI
  9. What Can We Learn from Mithali Raj & Jhulan Goswami?
    1. Life Lessons
    2. Quotes on Mithali Raj & Jhulan Goswami
  10. Final Hurrah for the Iconic Duo?
  11. Jhulan Goswami Videos and Articles
  12. Mithali Raj Videos, Articles, Book, and Biopic
  13. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
  14. Further Reading: Women’s Cricket
  15. Further Reading: Cricketing Heroes

Also Read

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The Beginning

It has been 8216 days and 7291 days since Mithali Raj’s and Jhulan Goswami’s debut respectively. That is a really long time, let alone for a sporting career. Let us trace back to where it all began.

Jhulan’s Inspiration

Jhulan Goswami did not actually start playing cricket till the relatively late age of 15. It was the 1997 ODI World Cup Final between Australia and New Zealand that sowed the seeds of cricket deep into her roots.

She was a ball picker in that World Cup final at the Eden Gardens when Australia’s World Cup winning celebrations ignited her passion to take up the sport.

It was now her dream to lift the World Cup trophy for India.

Mithali Raj’s talent was picked early, and she was in the national radar by the time she was 14. However, actually devoting her career to cricket was not such an easy decision.

Early Decisions, Discipline, and the Passion to Excel

In their interviews with Gaurav Kapur in Breakfast With Champions and Mithali Raj’s chat with Ravichandran Ashwin in DRS With Ash, we gain a bit of insight in their lives—Raj’s early interest & training in the Indian classical dance form of Bharatnatyam, her fascination with books, and what obstacles both Goswami & Raj had to overcome during their journey.

Although both of their parents were supportive of their decisions to play cricket, there was backlash from extended family and the rest of society, especially when women’s cricket in India was in its infancy. Raj states that her toughest decision was to choose World Cup selection games over her 12th grade board exams. In any case, they both started training in cricket academies, disciplined their routines, and woke up around 4 AM to get ready for practice.

In Raj’s case, the discipline stemmed from an army family background. For Jhulan, originally from the small town of Chakdaha, it was the two hours travel by train for practice.


It was an evident in their early days of international cricket that these two were going to make an indelible impact in Indian cricket.

Opening the batting, Raj scored 114* against Ireland in her debut ODI on 26 June, 1999 just at the age of 16. Goswami would follow suit on January 5th, 2002, opening the bowling against England and returning with figures of 7-0-15-2. Her high arm release, bowling speed, and the beautiful smooth action would be a breath to behold in the years to come.

A few days later they would debut together against England in the first of only 12 Test matches.

Records and Statistics of Mithali Raj & Jhulan Goswami

In these tributes, I usually like to add a statistics section to paint the whole picture of the cricketer, but this one is a bit unique. Since Raj & Goswami have played so much cricket & have been consistently excellent, they practically have all the individual records to their name.

Slowly scroll down, sit back, and just reflect how dominant these two legends have been for two decades.

Joint Records Held by Raj & Goswami

  • 2nd – Joint Longest Test Careers (debut 14 January, 2002)
  • 157 – Highest Partnership for the 7th Wicket in Test Cricket (Aug 14-17, 2002)

Mithali Raj Stats

Mithali Raj Career Statistics

Mithali Raj Records

  • Leading scorer in women’s cricket across formats (10454+)
  • Only Indian captain to lead the country in two ODI World Cup finals


  • 3rd Youngest Test Captain (At 22)
  • Youngest Player to score 200+ (19)
  • 2nd Highest Individual Score (214)


  • Most Runs (7391* and counting)
  • Longest ODI Career (Debut: 26 Jun 1999)
  • Most Career Matches (220)
  • Most Consecutive Matches (109 – Between April 2004-February 2013)
  • Youngest Player to score 100+ (16)
  • Hundred on Debut (114*)
  • Most consecutive 50s (7 between 7 Feb-25 June 2017, 70*, 64, 73*, 51*, 54, 62*, 71)
  • Joint Most 90s (5)
  • Most Matches as ODI Captain (143)
  • 2nd Most Innings Without Duck (74)
  • 4th Most Catches (58)
  • 5th Highest Career Batting Average (51.32)


  • 2nd Fastest to 2000 Runs
  • 3rd Highest Average (37.52)
  • 2nd Most consecutive 50s (4 – 62, 73*, 54*, 76*)
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Mithali Raj Awards

  • 2003 – Arjuna Award
  • 2005-2021 – ICC #1 ODI Batter (9 times in 15 Years)
  • 2015 – Padma Shri
  • 2017 – Wisden Leading Women Cricket in the World
  • 2017 – BBC 100 Women
  • 2021 – Khel Ratna

Jhulan Goswami Stats

MatchesWicketsBestAverageEconomy5W (Test)/
4 W (ODI/T20I)
10 W (Test)/
5 W (ODI/T20I)
Tests12445/25 (Innings)
10/78 (Match)
Jhulan Goswami Career Statistics

Jhulan Goswami Records


  • Youngest player to take a 10-wicket haul in a women’s Test (23 years)
  • Most Wickets Taken LBW (18)


  • Most Wickets (240)
  • Most Balls bowled in career (9387* and counting)
  • Highest Number of Days As #1 Bowler
  • 2nd Longest ODI career (debut 6 January, 2002)
  • Most Wickets Taken LBW (53)
  • 3rd – Most 4 wickets in an innings (9)
  • One of 10 players with 100+ wickets/1000+ Runs
  • 2nd Most Catches
  • Most ducks (17 – Ouch)


  • 3rd Most maidens

Jhulan Goswami Awards

  • 2007 – ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year
  • 2010 – Arjuna Award
  • 2012 – Padma Sri
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International Success

Mithali Raj became a core member in the early 2000s. Two of her most prominent innings in this phase was the 214 against England in Taunton and 91* vs New Zealand in the 2005 World Cup semi-final.

Jhulan Goswami’s best days came between 2006 & 2008. Her all-round form (3-46 & 2-62, 69 at #3, 5-33 & 5-45) helped India win a Test series in England on her way to become the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year.

World Cup Dream

Although Raj & Goswami have accomplished almost everything in the sport, there is one elusive achievement they have yet to realize—the World Cup dream.

Bright Promises

Mithali Raj has played in 5 ODI World Cups, dating back to the 2000 Women’s Cricket World Cup in New Zealand, when India made the semi-finals. Next time in 2005, both Jhulan & captain made the team. It would be India’s first run to the World Cup final, losing to Australia. Raj was India’s highest scorer with 199 runs (5th overall), and Jhulan was at #3 in the wickets (13 wickets).

Then followed two World Cups of relative disappointments.

Rock Bottom of 2009 & 2013

In 2009, India did not make it past the Super Six stage, but Raj made it into the Team of the tournament (247 runs, 2 – 50s, best of 75*). Goswami, who did not have a great time with the ball, was India’s captain during the tournament.

The 2013 Cricket World Cup, however, was arguably the lowest moment as India failed to get out of the qualifying stage. This time captaincy was back with Mithali Raj while Jhulan had a decent tournament with 9 wickets in just 4 games. Raj did score a 103* against Pakistan for the 7th Place Playoffs.

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Around this time, Jhulan & Raj graduated to become the seniors in the Indian national setup. In the 2010 T20 World Cup, Goswami recalls a conversation with Raj,

“I think we should take women’s cricket to such a platform where the young girls can get inspired…People won’t recognize women’s cricket until we do something at the World Cup.”

2017 World Cup and the Broken Dream

The moment came in the form of the 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup, which was the watershed moment for world cricket and eventually lead to the grand success of the 2020 T20 World Cup final.

Post-2017, media coverage, funding, and women’s cricket grew in leaps and bounds. Mithali Raj herself reflects that she had more interviews after 2017 then in the first 18 years of her career.

India’s successful march to the finals was another great storyline of the tournament. By this time, a good core had formed around Raj & Goswami with Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur, Veda Krishnamurthy, Deepti Sharma, Shikha Pandey, Poonam Yadav, and Punam Raut all contributing with match -winning performances.

Raj followed up her consistent scores of 71, 45, 53, 69 with a 109-run knock against New Zealand. She ended up as the second highest run getter of the tournament with 409 runs (1 run behind Tammy Beaumont). Goswami had a decent run herself, taking 10 wickets overall with the best of 3/23 and providing India with miserly opening sells.

Despite the golden run, it was not to be as Anya Shrubsole’s magic deprived India of the World Cup victory.

So close, yet so far. Broken Cricket Dream.

T20 World Cups

India has not had the rub of the green in the T20 World Cups in T20 World Cups either. After qualifying for the semi-finals in 2009 & 2010, they crashed out in the group stages in 2012.

They did not get far in 2014 & 2016 either except that Mithali Raj was the 3rd highest run getter with 208 runs in 2014.

In 2018, India had a bright run with 4 wins in 4 matches in the group stage before crashing out in the semi-finals again. Mithali had retired by the time 2020 T20 World Cup came around and Jhulan did not play in a T20 World Cup since 2016.

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Captaincy & Controversies

Jhulan Goswami was India’s captain briefly from 2008 to 2011, captaining India in 25 ODIs (W: 12, L: 13).

Mithali Raj, on the other hand, has had a couple of captaincy stints. First was around the 2005 ODI Women’s World Cup, the second stint during the 2013 World Cup, and the final one around the 2017 Women’s World Cup. In all, she captained India in 8 Tests (W:3, D: 4, L: 1) and 143 ODIs (W: 85, L: 55), the most by any Indian captain.

The Captaincy-Controversy Complex

These days India’s captaincy is synonymous with controversy. The same applies here as well.

Although Ramesh Powar is back as India’s head coach now and the relationship has reconciled, in 2018, a public battle of words between Raj & coach Ramesh Power took place. There was discussion on Raj’s strike rate and batting position during the 2018 T20 World Cup and she was eventually dropped from the 2018 semifinals, which India lost.

Eventually, Mithali Raj retired from the T20Is in 2019 and Harmanpreet Kaur replaced Mithali as captain.

Women’s IPL Without Goswami & Raj Already a Failure for BCCI

Women’s IPL or the lack of has been a hot topic of discussion lately.

However, it has already failed before it began. In order to cultivate a strong fan base, Mithali Raj & Jhulan Goswami would have been wonderful ambassadors as players. I am sure they will still be invovled in some way or the other, but without creating a team around them, the BCCI has already lost a golden opportunity.

They have given everything for Indian cricket. They deserve one final farewell, preferably in front of their home crowd.

What Can We Learn from Mithali Raj & Jhulan Goswami?

Just like the 1997 World Cup moment inspired her, Jhulan herself has inspired numerous other cricketers like Pakistan’s Kainat Imtiaz (who was a ball picker when India toured Pakistan in 2005).

The legacies of Mithali Raj & Jhulan Goswami are far beyond the numbers. They have not only changed cricket but have also changed the perception of fans towards women’s cricket.

When they debuted, Indian women’s cricket was not at a great place. BCCI had not taken over women’s cricket yet, lots of the early tours required self-sponsoring, practices were on turf wickets, and the facilities/physios were not as prominent back then.

The fact that India has reached so many semi-finals & finals and a trophy seems to be right around the corner is credit to their work over the years. Mithali Raj & Jhulan Goswami have not only contributed by their own skills but have also mentored and brought others along the way.

Life Lessons

Longevity & consistency, coming back from disappointments, breaking barriers, mentoring others, staying focused on your goals, and always, always daring to dreamThis is what Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami teach me.

I hope their magnificent careers and lives teaches you some valuable life lessons as well.

Quotes on Mithali Raj & Jhulan Goswami

Here is some advice in their own words.

“Young boys and young girls saying – We saw your match, we want to play cricket, where can we go, and enroll ourselves? So that’s a success for me, because getting the girls to watch cricket is a big thing.’

– Mithali Raj on Breakfast with Champions

“”Be committed and persistent in what [you] do. Channel your energy and be consistent”

– Mithali Raj advice to young girls in DRS With Ash

“But winning the World Cup was a dream. You chase that dream. You wake up every day and think about lifting that trophy…But that blot will remain unless you win the World Cup. Irrespective of me being in the team or not.”

-Jhulan Goswami on the World Cup dream

“I live with this dream. I live with this passion and want to do something for women’s cricket.”

-Jhulan Goswami on Women’s Cricket

“You have been a trendsetter…an inspiration…and a role model.”

– R Ashwin on Mithali Raj

Final Hurrah for the Iconic Duo?

Raj & Goswami are still fit and raring to go as we saw against Australia series this year. Goswami redeemed herself from a high pressure last over no-ball with a match winning shot in the very next game. They still have it in them.

On March 5th, 2022, India begins its journey to the 2022 Women’s ODI World Cup against Pakistan. Who knows, these might be the final 7 games that we might see of these legends.

We all hope that they can go two steps forward and achieve their World Cup dream. But even if they do not, it has been two delightful careers sandwiched in one that have mesmerized the fans for two decades.

Memories to behold.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Jhulan Goswami Videos and Articles

  1. Jaffa To dismiss Meg Lanning
  2. 2017 ODI World Cup – Jhulan Goswami Feature
  3. Through The Gates to Alyssa Healy in a T20I
  4. Goswami’s Redemption in the 3rd ODI vs Australia
  5. Article by Niyantha Shekhar (ESPNCricinfo’s Cricket Monthly)

Mithali Raj Videos, Articles, Book, and Biopic

  1. Mithali Raj Sixes
  2. Chat With Ravichandran Ashwin in DRS With Ash
  3. Breakfast With Champions
  4. Article by Shashank Kishore (ESPNCricinfo’s Cricket Monthly)
  5. Interview With Annesa Ghosh (ESPNCricinfo’s Cricket Monthly)
  6. Unguarded (Autobiography)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Where Is Mithali Raj from?

Mithali Raj was born in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India but currently resides in Hyderabad.

When is Mithali Raj’s Birthday?

Mithali Raj was born on December 3, 1982.

Where is Jhulan Goswami from?

Goswami was born in Chakdaha, West Bengal, India.

When is Jhulan Goswami’s Birthday?

Jhulan Goswami was born on November 25, 1983.

What teams has Jhulan Goswami played for?

Goswami has played for India, India Green, Asia Women XI, Bengal, East Zone, and the Trailblazers.

Which teams has Mithali Raj played for?

Raj has played for India, India Blue, Asia Women XI, Railways, Air India, and Velocity.

Further Reading: Women’s Cricket

Further Reading: Cricketing Heroes

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© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, 2021. Originally published on 12/22/2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).

Netflix ‘Bad Sport’ Fallen Idol Review: Must Watch for All Cricket Fans – How Will History Judge Hansie Cronje?

On the 30th anniversary of South Africa’s first ODI since international readmission on 10th November 1991 against India, we review Netflix’s Fallen Idol episode of their seriesBad Sport.’

This is Hansie Cronje’s story & his fall from grace during the infamous match-fixing scandal. What was going in Cronje’s mind? How did his teammates and family feel? What about the South African public? And most importantly, what was the investigation like?

Table of Contents

  1. Fallen Idol Detail & Information
  2. Hansie Cronje Fallen Idol Summary and Review
  3. Verdict: To Watch or Not To Watch?
  4. How will History Judge Hansie Cronje and Life Lessons We All Can Learn From Him
  5. Who Was Hansie Cronje?
    1. Hansie Cronje Stats
  6. Other Features on South African Cricket

Fallen Idol Detail & Information

Episode Name: Fallen Idol

Netflix Summary: Hansie Cronje captivates South Africa as the nation’s charismatic cricket captain, but allegations of match fixing besmirch his sterling reputation

Protagonist: Hansie Cronje

Major Characters: Allan Donald, Herschelle Gibbs, Jonathan Agnew, Cronje’s brother, sister, and wife, and Marlon Aronstam, bookie that started it all.

Release Date: October 6, 2021

Length: 1 hour, 6 minutes

Rating: 4.5/5

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Other Episodes: Hoop Schemes (USA college basketball), Need for Weed (Auto Racing), Soccergate (Juventus scandal), Gold War (2002 Winter Olympics), Horse hitman (Show Horses)

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Hansie Cronje Fallen Idol Summary and Review

The episode begins by the dramatic introduction of Marlon Aronstam, the bookie himself, who admits that

“I should never have been able to get close to him.”

The addition of bookmaker, journalists, as well as Allan Donald & Herschelle Gibbs, Fallen Idol goes to the next level. With a series of interviews, we get to know who Hansie Cronje really was and the circumstances of that time.

The documentary traces it step back and walks us through the brief history of South African cricket circa 1992. Violence, apartheid, Nelson Mandela, and the reinstatement of South African cricket. Where did Cronje fit in this complex society?

Cronje’s character is painted as this prominent unifying figure of post-apartheid South Africa, whose stature is only next to the great Nelson Mandela.

Next, the series dives into the details of his rising captaincy & career. We swiftly get into the backdrop of India’s illegal betting environment along with Delhi police’s investigation into the matter of match-fixing.

Hansie Cronje’s untainted heroic figure comes crashing down as allegations surface. The film ends with his unfortunate death in a plane crash, but not before it all comes together at the end with the live jury video and Cronje’s confession.

“I cannot tell you the huge shame that it’s caused me, the great passion I have for my country, great passion have for my teammates, and the unfortunate love I have for money…Yes I accepted money from bookmakers. Yes, I was trying to feed them information. But I promise you every time I walked onto the field, I gave my all for South Africa.

– Hansie Cronje
Embed from Getty Images

Verdict: To Watch or Not To Watch?

Without a doubt, this is a must watch documentary episode on one of cricket’s most polarizing figures.

Think of this as extended YouTube highlights meshed into a professionally made documentary. There are highlight packages for the casual cricket fan to enjoy – SA vs Australia (Cronje’s captaincy debut), England vs SA (The infamous double forfeited Test feat Nasser Hussain), and SA’s tour of India.

What makes this a beautiful heartfelt documentary is the first hand experience of those closest to Cronje. How did they feel during the investigation and when he confessed? The fans and administrators were crushed for sure, but what is so revealing in the documentary is how his trusted friends and family felt.

I even had a couple of teardrops at the end. Keep a tissue nearby while watching this. Emotions Galore.

How will History Judge Hansie Cronje and Life Lessons We All Can Learn From Him

We can now reflect on South Africa’s readmission to cricket. 30 years on, wounds have not healed. They may have even become exacerbated. With Quinton de Kock & the knee affair in the T20 World Cup, the quota system, and racist allegations within the team surfacing in recent hearings, the fabric of South African cricket society is unraveling. The documentary hints that even though Cronje was a symbol of unity, he did pressure Herschelle Gibbs & Henry Williams, players of mixed and colored origin.

When the match-fixing saga happened, I was too little to remember anything. Later when I grew up, I always had a negative image of Cronje.

Objectively, Cronje damaged international cricket’s credibility and hurt fans all around the world.

However, what this documentary revealed to me is that there are several layers to consider before making a naive judgment. Hansie Cronje (and for that matter, Mohammad Azharuddin) were influential cultural icons of their time, beyond cricket.

Hansie Cronje was human. Humans have flaws. He confessed that he always gave it his all for the country, but money got the better of him. And that was his Achilles’ heel.

His brother mentioned towards the end that although South Africans have been through a lot, they are a forgiving society especially in context of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Politicians with criminal background have been forgiven and are now parliamentary members.

Forgiveness is an important life lesson in all of this. At the end of the day, we can only come together and live peacefully, both internally and externally, if we forgive.

Will history forgive Hansie Cronje? Will you?

I will leave you all with this quote.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

– Martin luther king jr.

Who Was Hansie Cronje?

Hansie Cronje was without doubt one of the greatest captains in cricket, especially for South Africa. You probably remember the semi-final drama that ended South Africa’s WC dreams under his captaincy, but he was much more than that. Here are some stats and figures.

Born: 25 September, 1969

Died: 1 January, 2002 (32 years old)

Hansie Cronje Stats

Tests: 68 matches, 3714 runs, best of 135, 36.41 average, 100s/50s – 6/23, 43 wickets, Best Inn – 3/14, Best Match – 5/34

Captained: 53 Tests, Won 27, Lost 11

ODIs: 188 matches, 5565 runs, best of 112, 38.64 average, 100s/50s – 2/39, 114 wickets, Best – 5/32

Captained: 138 ODIs, 99 Wins, 1 Tie

  • Most consecutive matches as captain of an ODI Team (130 ODIs – and you guessed it right, the 2nd on this list is none other than Mohammad Azharuddin)
  • Test series win in India
  • Test series victory against all countries not named Australia
Embed from Getty Images

Other Features on South African Cricket

Also Read: 200th Article Special: 5 Things I have Learned From My Journey of Cricket Writing

© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, 2021. Originally published on 11/11/2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).

Image Courtesy: Ghaith baazaoui, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Dinesh Karthik and the Art of Self Correction

Hamming Code

Imagine it is the 1940s. You are working at Bell Labs, one of the world’s premier research laboratories, an abode of inventions. Computers are at the beginning of their evolution, and programming still occurs on punched cards.

You work day and night in the week, and guess what? One error in the code and the program stops. Hard work down the drain. On the bright side, the machine detects and warns you that there is an error.

So as a brilliant scientist who has been a part of the Manhattan Project, what do you do? You work nights & weekends and develop an algorithm so that the machine can itself correct the errors, without the need for human intervention.

The year is 1950. You have published this paper and revolutionized computer science & information theory.

Your name is Hamming, Richard Hamming. (For more on Hamming codes, watch this beautiful video).

Table of Contents

  1. Hamming Code
  2. Dinesh Karthik
  3. Dinesh Karthik’s Initialization
    1. Under-19 Days
    2. International Debut
  4. When One Door Closes, Another Opens
  5. Error Correction Part I: Karthik’s Golden Year in Test Cricket
  6. Too Many Bugs To Fix
  7. Error Correction Part II: Dinesh Karthik, Journey To The Center Again
  8. Self-Calibration feat Abhishek Nayar
    1. A Nervous Bundle of Energy
  9. Errors Correction III – Consistency in Domestic Cricket
  10. Accuracy Improvement – Dinesh Karthik, The Finisher
  11. Nidahas Trophy & the Internet Superstar
    1. The Night of the Final
  12. The Comeback Ends & The 2019 Cricket World Cup
  13. Is There Another Comeback On The Horizon?
  14. Commentary Stint and The T-Shirt Collection
  15. Karthik’s Legacy: Did he underachieve or overachieve?
  16. The Road Less Traveled By
  17. What Can We Learn From Dinesh Karthik?
  18. The Stats
    1. IPL & Dinesh Karthik’s Career In a Nutshell
  19. Cricket Heroes

Dinesh Karthik

Now fast forward to the 2004. You are playing for the Indian national cricket team, one of the world’s premier cricketing nations, an abode of talent. Wicketkeeper batters are at the beginning of their evolution, and finishing limited over games is still at its infancy.

You work day and night on tours, and guess what? One poor series, and the selectors drop you. Hard work down the drain. On the bright side, selectors warn you that you have to play a different role in order to come back.

So as a budding young cricketer who has been a part of the 2004 U-19 World Cup, what do you do? You practice day in and day out, improve your technical faults, and comeback as a successful opener in swinging conditions to help India win a series in England in 2007.

A few months go by. Inconsistency creeps in. Dropped.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

The year is 2021. You have claimed your fame to glory in that Nidahas Trophy final and revolutionized the role of a finisher.

Your name is Karthik, Dinesh Karthik.

Dinesh Karthik’s story is not in the career averages or amount of runs scored. Neither is it in number of comebacks. It is in the way the comebacks were constructed. Over the years, inconsistency has decreased, reassurance has increased, and in his own words, he has managed to stay ‘relevant.’

In simple terms, he has perfected the art of self-correction.

Dinesh Karthik’s Initialization

Algorithms have improved vastly since the Hamming code days. Yet, there are three main components of a self-correcting algorithm: Initialization, self-calibration, and error correction.

Under-19 Days

On the back of good domestic form, Dinesh Karthik was selected for the 2004 U-19 World Cup. This team included future Indian nationals in Robin Uthappa, Suresh Raina, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, and RP Singh. Following a decent domestic and India A season, he found himself in the national reckoning alongside Parthiv Patel as India were trying to find a permanent replacement to makeshift keeper in Rahul Dravid.

International Debut

On September 4, 2004, he made an immediate impact as a keeper in his ODI debut, inflicting a fabulous diving stumping to Michael Vaughan, being part of the famous Mohammad Kaif run-out, and taking a catch.

He would not bat in an ODI for another two years, but was picked for Tests against Australia, South Africa, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe. After having a top score of only 46 in his first six Tests, he finally made a mark scoring 93 in the second innings against Pakistan. However, a loss of form and Dhoni’s memorable 148 at #3 in that Pakistan ODI series meant Karthik was briefly dropped from the Test side and traveled only as a reserve keeper for the next year.

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When One Door Closes, Another Opens

One of the interesting traits of Karthik’s unusual career has been that when he is dropped in Tests, he finds a place in ODIs and vice versa. Later in his career, he was recalled in ODI & Test cricket based on his T20 form.

Case and point is 2006. Karthik enjoyed a good run in the limited overs although he was out of the Test side.

Did you know he was India’s first T20I player of the match winner? Against South Africa, he marshalled the chase with a 31* not take India home in a low scoring chase of 127. Soon after, an ODI player of the performance against West Indies meant that he found a place in both the 2007 ODI and T20I World Cups.

Although he would not get a game in the ODI World Cup, he played as a pure batter in the inaugural T20 World Cup with Dhoni behind the stumps. Low scores followed in the T20 World Cup, but he provided India with a bit of magic in the semi-final—a one handed diving catch to dismiss Graeme Smith.

Nasser Hussain on commentary summed up Dinesh Karthik’s entire career accurately in one sentence

“They say Dinesh Karthik is the two extremes—he drops dollies and he takes some spectacular catches.”

Here are some of his other catches: IPL 2019 running catch, IPL 2020 Ben Stokes flying catch.

Error Correction Part I: Karthik’s Golden Year in Test Cricket

The year 2007 was DK’s best time in Test cricket.

By this time, it was clear that he could not make the XI based on his keeping skills alone. The Fab 4’s presence meant that the middle order was crowded. However, Sehwag & Gambhir had been dropped, which meant there was a slight opening.

Enter Dinesh Karthik 2.0—the opener. With Wasim Jaffer, he formed a brief yet formidable partnership.

In the third Test at Cape Town, the Jaffer-Karthik experiment paid dividend with a 153-opening partnership in the first innings. Karthik scored 63 as an opener and followed it up with 38* at #7.

In the tour of Bangladesh, he was given a permanent opening spot and returned with scores of 56, 22, and 129, his only Test century. Then, came India’s tour of England. Despite not scoring a hundred, scores of 60, 77, & 91 meant that he ended up as India’s highest Test scorer—263 runs, 3 fifties, 518 balls faced to go along Jaffer’s 409 balls, which helped India successfully dent the new ball.

Once again, a commentator did justice to Karthik’s second phase of his career.

“It’s good story Dinesh Karthik. He began life as a dashing middle order batsman and wicketkeeper, and he has been transformed really into an opening batsman of substance.”

India historically won 1-0, India’s first victory on English soil in 21 years (a decade of horror shows the significance of that series victory).

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Too Many Bugs To Fix

Pushed back to the middle order after just 2 more Tests, he could only muster 157 runs in 11 innings with a best of 52 against Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and New Zealand. He would get another opportunity in Tests in 2010 before being dropped for another eight years.

On his come back against Afghanistan’s inaugural Test in 2018, he himself said in a press conference that in his earlier stint in Test cricket,

“I guess I wasn’t good enough before… I was not consistent enough.”

When he was out of favor in Tests in 2008, he did receive several opportunities in ODIs, scoring a few middling scores and featuring in India’s 2009 Champions Trophy squad. His best ODI innings of 79 runs came in 2010 with a 196-run partnership with Sachin Tendulkar during his historic double century.

14 innings later, with only 1 50+ score & 2 ducks, he was dropped—this time for three years.

Error Correction Part II: Dinesh Karthik, Journey To The Center Again

More competition, more errors, longer time to fix. Enter Dinesh Karthik 3.0—the middle order batter.

It took a 3-year hiatus before Karthik stormed back. In IPL 2013 as the #3 batter for Mumbai Indians, he amassed 510 runs, only behind Rohit Sharma for MI. The innings where his highest score that season of 86 was possibly his best IPL innings (so far).

This performance earned him a ticket on the 2013 Champions Trophy and his best ‘List A’ moment came in the warm-up games, when he scored two back to back centuries, scoring 106* & 146* batting at #6. This tournament is fondly remembered for the beginning of the Shikhar Dhawan-Rohit Sharma opening partnership, which meant Karthik did not get much of a chance with 51* against West Indies his best knock.

A few months later, India failed to qualify for the Asia Cup finals and Karthik’s 21* vs Afghanistan would be his final innings for yet another 3 years.

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Self-Calibration feat Abhishek Nayar

Let us take a slight detour like his career took around 2014.

What is your favorite part about watching Dinesh Karthik? For me, it has always been his unconventional demeanor, starting from his batting routine. The moment he arrives at the crease, it is pure theater. Walking in with urgency, rolling the gloves around, dancing from side to side, taking guard, moving his helmet, meditating on the side. Excitement and apprehension at the same time.

As a keeper he is always chirping and speaking to the bowler, most famously with his partnership in KKR with Varun Chakravarthy or with R Ashwin in Team India.

But surely, so much energy must definitely be a burden. A volcano ready to erupt if the energy is not channeled properly.

A Nervous Bundle of Energy

In order to come back to the Indian national side, DK needed to recalibrate.

In a Breakfast With Champions interview with Gaurav Kapur, he described the time with Abhishek Nayar as a ‘mental bootcamp.’ 40-lap swimming, 45-minute uphill runs, sweeping the house, visualizing match scenarios, and extreme fitness training pushed DK out of his comfort zone. He reflected that

“When you push yourself out of your comfort zone when nobody is watching you and there is no glory attached to it and you just do it quietly because somewhere in life you want to achieve something, overall in time it does help you.”

This experience added an extra dimension to DK’s wide array of skills. He was always a good player of spin, but once he was in a good head space post-Nayar, he literally reinvented his batting—the sweeps, laps, reverse sweeps, and swivel across the crease came with increased frequency.

Errors Correction III – Consistency in Domestic Cricket

While his 2013 comeback was largely on the backs of the IPL, the 2017 comeback was due to the weight of runs in domestic trophy. He was among the runs in Ranji Trophy and has been consistent in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy for the past five years.

At the peak of his batting powers, DK was hitting the ball as nicely as anybody at that time. Sanjay Manjrekar stated that at that time, Dinesh Karthik and Hardik Pandya were the only two Indian batters who could time the ball from ball one.

By this time, the pattern was set. Another Champions Trophy, yet another come back. Although he did not make the XI, in the next few matches after the trophy he scored 50*, 48, 37, 64* in consecutive games across ODIs & T20Is. It was a signal that he had added consistency to his arsenal.

Accuracy Improvement – Dinesh Karthik, The Finisher

After grinding it out in domestic cricket and becoming a much more calm and mature individual, it was time for Dinesh Karthik 4.0 to enter—Dinesh Karthik, the finisher.

From after the 2017 Champions to before the 2019 Cricket World Cup, DK slowly grew into the finisher role, remaining not-out 20 times out of the 35 ODIs or T20Is he played in.

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Nidahas Trophy & the Internet Superstar

After 14 years of sharpening his skills, beast mode was finally unlocked in the Nidahas Trophy in Sri Lanka.

Short & sweet contributions in every game: 13* (6), 2* (2), 39* (25), 2* (2), and 29* (8). He could not be dismissed throughout the series.

The final was a night to remember. With Mustafizur’s wicket maiden in the 18th and a struggling Vijay Shankar at the other end, hope was all but lost.

The Night of the Final

Then comes in Dinesh Karthik. Rubel Hossain steams in and attempts a yorker. DK sits back and hits it over a long on for six. There is still life left in the game. Then came a heave for four and another one for six! Colombo crowd is going wild.

Couple of balls later, Karthik moves around crease and scoops it over fine leg—22 run over.

Final over, DK off strike, India need 12.

Wide, dot, 1,1, 4 (Shankar), Out. Five runs, one ball, one man. Over pitched delivery outside the off stump, DK times it with a full follow through. FLAT SIX. INDIA WIN! Captain Rohit Sharma said that DK was a bit upset being moved to #7, but he managed to channel the anger into good effect.

Given that India have not won a major ICC trophy since 2013, this memorable win stands at a high place for Indian fans. With 120 million and 211 million views for the 19th and 20th over respectively, this is easily the most watched cricket video (and possibly any sports video). Relive those moments below.

The Comeback Ends & The 2019 Cricket World Cup

He continued his Nidahas Trophy form in IPL 2018 with the Kolkata Knight Riders franchise, scoring 498 runs at 49.80 with a strike rate of 147.77.

However selection across formats would come back to haunt him. He would make another comeback in Test cricket, but scores of 4, 0, 20, 1, 0 would be the end of his Test career. He would be in and out of the limited overs side, sometimes batting at #4 in Asia Cup ODIS, and sometimes almost finishing T20Is in New Zealand.

A score of 97* in IPL 2019 followed as he narrowly made the cut in the World Cup squad.

The Russian Roulette selection among Dinesh Karthik, Kedhar Jadhav, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant, Vijay Shankar, and most infamously, Ambati Rayudu probably hurt all five and India in the 2019 Cricket World Cup semi-final. Surprisingly promoted to No. 5, he tried to stem the fall of wickets before Jimmy Neesham’s brilliant catch ended his ODI career.

Is There Another Comeback On The Horizon?

He was one of the casualties of India’s post-tournament analysis, even dropped from the T20I side, where he had reasonable success.

Post-COVID, he had a tough time at the 2020 IPL, averaging only 14.08, his second worst season. Although he took KKR to a playoff spot in 2018, he would relieve captaincy duties to Eoin Morgan for the remainder of 2020 and 2021.

Since then, he has been vocal about fighting for a place in one of the T20 World Cups in the next two years purely as a finisher. Still the best finisher in India alongside Ravindra Jadeja & Hardik Pandya, the real question is, will we see DK 5.0?

Commentary Stint and The T-Shirt Collection

Even though we do not know his cricketing career will pan out, there is already a brief glimpse into the future.

He has become a social media celebrity with his Sky Sports stint providing apt analysis, providing daily weather updates, and most famously, showing the world his enviable T-shirt collection.

Here are his interviews with Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Jasprit Bumrah.

Karthik’s Legacy: Did he underachieve or overachieve?

Representing your nation in one international tournament is is an honor. In a topsy-turvy career, Karthik has somehow managed to be a part of the 2007 ODI World Cup, 2007 T20 World Cup, 2009 Champions Trophy, 2013 Champions Trophy, 2017 Champions Trophy, and the 2019 ODI World Cup. Sprinkle a couple of Asia Cups in there as well.

There are two school of thoughts on Dinesh Karthik’s career. Did he fulfill his potential? Maybe. Maybe not.

From a glass half empty perspective, one can observe that as a gifted batter and a giant in domestic cricket, he could not make most of his opportunities and cement a place in the Indian national team. On the other hand, he never got an extended run in one format at a time, constantly playing in different roles and formats. Hence, the fact that we are still talking about him after 17 years is still an achievement.

DK’s career consisted of memorable high peaks in a relatively plateau of a career. Opening in England, twin List A tons in Champions Trophy warm ups, winning an IPL Trophy with Mumbai Indians and T20I World Cup in 2007, stumpings and catches galore, and giving fans the Nidahas Trophy Final to cherish, he has made his mark.

In a press conference, Karthik himself says

“Even if I don’t get the opportunity to play sport at the highest level, I want to be content with the fact that I have given it everything I have had. Not only on the field, but off the field.”

The Road Less Traveled By

Robert Frost wrote in his famous poem The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

When India needed a wicketkeeper, Dinesh Karthik was a wicketkeeper. India needed an overseas opener, in came DK, the opener. When they needed a #4, he became a #4. Finally, when all the spots were filled, he became a specialist finisher.

Although he was an anomaly in the previous era, current Indian wicketkeepers might keep an eye on his career very carefully. It is likely that not all of KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson, Ishan Kishan, KS Bharat will get a constant run. So they should be prepared to be dropped and come back stronger, maybe with a different role.

Dinesh Karthik’s career might not have gone according to the original plan but his journey has been interesting nevertheless. He modified his approach, adapted to the circumstances, and always strived to improve his individual game.

What Can We Learn From Dinesh Karthik?

Numerous players were dropped at an early age and could never find a way to come back. Others could manage to comeback only briefly because they were pigeonholed to a single role. Karthik frequently took the road less traveled by, refined his old skills, while learning new ones at the go.

When he arrived in the international arena, he was a good player who had the potential to excel in three formats and don several roles. After years of repetitive self correction and recalibration, he has now developed his own unique niche—overs 16 to 20 as a T20 finisher, a position where he is the best. Power-hitters like Pollard, Russell, and Pandya might be better finishers in general but not many have the match awareness and can play the field as Karthik does in those end overs.

So what can we learn from Dinesh Karthik? Always be self-aware, prepare for the worst, focus on the process, wear nice shirts, be yourself, adapt to the surroundings, be ready for the opportunity, and provide energy to others around you.

I would love to finish this article with a bang, but what can I say—The finisher is not yet finished.

The Stats

Test: 26 matches, 1025 runs, 25.00 average, best of 129, 100s/50s – 1/7, 57 catches, 6 stumpings

ODI: 94 matches, 1752 runs, 30.20 average, best of 79, 50s-9, 64 catches, 7 stumpings

T20I: 32 matches, 399 runs, 33.25 average, 143.52 SR, best of 48, 14 catches, 5 stumpings

T20: 321 matches, 6221 runs, 27.40 average, 133.55 SR, best of 97*, 193 catches, 61 stumpings

IPL & Dinesh Karthik’s Career In a Nutshell

  • 2004: ODI, Test debuts
  • 2004-05: Tests only
  • 2006: T20I debut, ODIs only
  • 2007: ODI World Cup, Test opener, T20I World Cup (winner), Syed Mushtaq Ali winners (captain)
  • 2008: 1 T20I, 3 Tests only, Delhi Daredevils
  • 2009-2010: Mostly ODIs, some T20Is, 1 Test, Delhi Daredevils
  • 2011: Kings XI Punjab
  • 2012: Mumbai Indians
  • 2013: ODIs only, Champions Trophy winner, Mumbai Indians (winners)
  • 2014: ODIs only, Delhi Daredevils
  • 2015: Royal Challengers Bangalore
  • 2016: Gujarat Lions
  • 2017: Champions Trophy, ODIs, Gujarat Lions
  • 2018: T20Is, Nidahas Trophy, Test recall, ODI #4 battle, Kolkata Knight Riders (captain)
  • 2019: T20Is, ODIs, ODI World Cup, dropped, Kolkata Knight Riders (captain)
  • 2020: Kolkata Knight Riders (captain, 7 matches)
  • 2021: Syed Mushtaq Ali winners (captain), Kolkata Knight Riders

Although he has had good time with his IPL franchises, his wish is to end his career with CSK. With an interview with Harsha Bhogle, he said

“The lead up to the [2008 auctions], Dinesh Karthik the person was convinced the best player from Tamil Nadu, the biggest name from Tamil Nadu playing for the country…definitely CSK were going to pick me. The question was whether they were going to make me captain or not….It was the biggest dagger to my heart. It’s been 13 years and I am still waiting for that elusive call from CSK”

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© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, 2021. Originally published on 10/01/2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).