Today’s Scenario: Mithali Raj Lifts the 2017 Cricket World Cup
In our segment Just Imagine, we explore how a specific moment in cricket could have lasting ripple effects. Going back in time, we ask a simple question: What Would Happened if…? and reflect on its consequences.
Since the Women T20 Challenge is in full flow among the teams—Trailblazers, Velocity, and the Supernovas, we imagine what would have happened if India had not collapsed against England in the 2017 Cricket World Cup Final?
The 2017 Cricket World Cup was a watershed moment in several ways for women’s cricket. It was widely broadcasted and viewed, the matches were highly competitive, several remarkable individual performances were on show, and to cap it off—an intense final.
The hosts were favorite to win the trophy, while India captured the imagination of the world during the tournament.
In the group stages, India had won 5/7 games while brushing Australia aside in the semi-finals thanks to Harmanpreet Kaur’s magnificent 171*—maybe the best world cup innings by an Indian in a semi-final, certainly in the last decade. On the other hand, England squeaked past the Proteas with 2 balls to spare. Their only defeat in the tournament coming at the hand of India via Smriti Mandana’s elegant 90.
The final was a classic low-scoring thriller. Ebbs and flows throughout.
England scored 228/7. In response, Mandana and Raj fell cheaply before Punam Raut and Kaur stabilized and registered 50s.
Chasing 229, India are sitting comfortably at 191-3.
38 needed off 44 balls. Punam Raut 86* (114), Veda Krishnamurthy 28* (28). Then, next ball, there is an appeal for LBW…
What Actually Happened:
42. 5 Shrubsole to Raut OUT:
Punam has asked for a review but the umpire says sorry, you took too long.Do England have wink of an opportunity? This was the wrong shot. Length ball sliding in from wide of the crease, Punam plays all around the delivery. Looked to work it square when he could’ve played in down the ground. Hit on the knee roll. That would’ve gone on to hit the stumps. Has she done enough though?
If Punam Raut had straight batted the shot, or if the DRS review was called in time, and the decision (magically) overturned, what would have happened?
Punam Raut hits an unbeaten century in the final. Veda seals the deal with an exquisite six.
Jhulam Goswami, the star with 3 wickets on the final, and captain Mithali Raj retire as World Cup winners. The 2017 squad return as legends. Their stories now etched in stone along with the 1983 and 2011.
The BCCI want to capitalize as usual.
They have a template—2007 T20 World Cup and the 2008 IPL. Upon the Indian men’s victory, the experiment of IPL turned into an unprecedented success, changing the global cricket game forever.
They have an opportunity again.
The Women’s IPL launches in 2018. All the world cup heroes are in their prime. Raj captains the Chennai Super Kings, Harmanpreet the marquee player for Kings XI Punjab, and Mandhana starring for the Mumbai Indians. With foreign players such as Heather Knight, Nat Sciver, and the world’s greatest Ellyse Perry, the WIPL is a financial and global success.
This T20 experience gained helps Indian women win the 2020 T20 World Cup defeating Australia in their background in front of a 86,174 crowd at the MCG.
Reflection – Inaction Trumps Imagination
Well, things did not turn out that way, did it?
Winning and losing is part and parcel of the game. Yes, one moment can change histories, but sometimes if action is taken in the right time, it could pay dividends as well.
India’s performance had already delighted audiences around the world and Goswami-Mithali-Harmanpreet-Mandana were household names.
Why then, has the WIPL not been put into action?
It did not need to be an 8 team tournament. A 5-6 team tournament would be wonderful as well. In 3 years, teams would have stabilized, rivalries and fanbase would have fostered, and ultimately, women’s cricket would have benefitted.
Instead, we are watching the 3rd T20 Women’s challenge as an afterthought of a 56 match exhausting Men’s IPL, just taking a break before the Playoffs. Meanwhile, most of the foreign players like Heather Knight, Alyssa Healy, and Ellyse Perry are employing their trade at the WBBL, and we are just waiting for the Hundredfor a competitive world T20 women’s league.
With the likes of Shefali Verma, Deepti Sharma, and Jemimah Rodrigues, India’s future is still bright, but by the time WIPL commences, India women’s stars would have already retired.
How about classic commentary highlights? Well, today we will discuss exactly that!
Last week, we created a Fantasy team of Commentators XI. Harsha Bhogle was our team captain, Gaurav Kapur the opener, and the dynamic duo of Simon Doull and Pommie Mbangwa as the fast bowlers.
So naturally we asked our Twitter audience to respond with #BestCommentary for:
Best #IPL2020 Commentary Highlights
Most Favorite Iconic Cricket Commentary Memory
Commentators come in all shapes and sizes—a few serious, others insightful, and some extremely hilarious.
Who is your favorite commentator? Bill Lawry, Michael Holding, Tony Greig, Ian Bishop, Richie Benaud, Ravi Shashtri? COMMENT BELOW AND LET US KNOW!
Anyway, here are their twitter responses! So, sit back, relax, and watch some of the best cricket commentary videos!
There are lots of videos. Like a lot. Watch till the end for all the good ones.
The Tweets – Commentary Highlights
Here are the favorite IPL and cricketing memories from the fans in their own words. We have categorized the commentary in categories—The Jaw Drop, The Heartbreak, and The Critical, and then, some more.
The Jaw Drop feat Ravi Shastri
Here are some of the jaw dropping moments in recent cricketing history captured by iconic commentators.
My Fav. #BestCommentary will be Ravi Shastri commentating on Yuvraj Singh Six sixes in an over to Stuart Broad in first T20 World Cup. And best #IPLT20 will be First time I saw sunny sir doing Hindi Commentary that was really an awesome moment for me
Yes Really It was very nice especially I was watching this match Live… So still remember those exciting sixes and commentary by Ravi Shastri.
What a great day for cricket. One just imagines what would have happened had Flintoff kept his cool to Yuvi that day?
IPL comms just wash over me a bit. Sunny Gavaskar is the master of the box as much as he was at the crease, especially when he’s annoyed. KP’s ‘Pingo Pongo’ moments are fun. Best ever is Fazeer Mohammed “Why did he do that?!” to Gabriel’s brainfade against Yasir #BestCommentary
Try #RCBvSRH on 21 September as I checked and mentioned it that day. Also you’ve got to have Richie Benaud from Botham Headingley 1981 – “It went in to the confectionery stall and out again…”
For me, #BestCommentary All-Time – by Ravi Shastri Sir on India WC 2011 wining moment (Dhoni’s 6) ~ ” Dhoni finishes off in style..A magnificent strike into the crowd…India wins after 28 years…& it’s the Indian capt who’s been absolutely magnificent in the night of the final
The Ian Bishop
Ian Bishop recently celebrated his 53rd birthday at the IPL. With Harsha Bhogle, Mark Nicholas, and JP Duminy, the banter among the group was hilarious!
He has had so many iconic moments in recent times, that he deserves a category by himself.
My fav in #IPL2020 Bish, Danny M, Mark Nicholas, Sanga . All time Nasser H. Favorite moment :normally love all the 3rd man and Masterclass segments(Nasser and Murali) in sky sports. But generally I think it’s Bishop calling brathwaite and Ravi S in natwest series #bestcommentary
Mine from ipl is AB v steyn(SRH one) 2014.. Simon doull & ramiz raja in comm… All time fav.. Bit biased, will select two: 1) Ravi shastri calling Dhoni’s six, wc 2011 final 2) Bish in manchester 2019 wc “Surely the hopes have been ignited enough for them to be extinguished!”
“Can he? Can he really?” “The dream has diminished for CB, here in manchesterrr..”
Watching late at night.. Was preparing for the exams..but couldn’t take my eyes off.. Even after the fall of 7th wkt.. For some reason didn’t switch it off… Treated with a phenomenal & memorable game.. The heart sank but was a special knock from brathwaitte..
#BestCommentary for me is certainly by Ian Smith from CWC 2019 Final written below:-
“This is the moment – it’s Archer to Guptill. Two to win. Guptill’s got to push for two, they’ve gotta go! The throw’s gotta go to the keeper’s end. He’s got it! England have won the World Cup – by the barest of margins. By the barest of all margins.”#BestCommentary Chilling!
Cricbuzz Live Panel: Gaurav Kapur, Ajay Jadeja, Gautam Bhimani, Joy Bhattacharjya, Shaun Pollock, Michael Vaughan, Arjun Pandit, Manoj Tiwary, Virender Sehwag
Cricinfo Panel: Raunak Kapoor, Tom Moody, Alexis Nunes, Sanjay Manjrekar
*Star Sports Dugout: Graeme Swann, Brett Lee, Brian Lara, Scott Styris, Dean Jones
*I did not choose from this list because did not have enough sample size of listening to Star Sports commentary, but you are free to do so.
So from this list, who makes it in YOUR COMMENTATORS XI? COMMENT BELOW AND LET US KNOW! Do check out our other World XI with Twists Articles here, follow our social media pages, and share the article ahead!
“Is there any player you do not like?” asked a friend.
The question stumped me.
I have always remembered loving the game and enjoyed watching cricket on TV, no matter what team or player was playing. One of my fondest childhood cricketing memories was even playing a Bangladesh vs. Zimbabwe Test Series with a friend although we were not from either country. We would memorize every players’ names, imitate each bowling action, and change our batting styles accordingly.
This got me thinking. Why not create A World XI with favorite players from every major cricketing nation?
Today’s Twist – Unity in Diversity:
Create a World XI squad consisting of exactly 1 player from each country. Here are the rules:
Pick a player from each of the 12 Test playing nations
Pick one more player from an Associate Nation for a total of 13 players.
The team should be able to field in an actual match – at least one wicketkeeper and 5 bowlingoptions are necessary
The team should be diverse enough to represent any format – Test, ODI, and T20. Alastair Cook and Shivnarine Chanderpaul are two of my favorite players. Although they would be ideal candidates for an All-Time Test XI, they may struggle in the T20 era.
Who are your favorite players from each country? Comment below with your XI!
The choice for the Associate player would be interesting to see. Maybe it is from a Netherlands team that surprised England in the 2009 T20 World Cup or from the classic Kenya team from 2003? Steve Tikolo, the Obuyas, and Odoyo, remember?
Without further ado, here is my All-Time Favorite XI.
I love underdog stories and love discussing cricket at every opportunity.
Whether it is the IPL or a hard fought day of test cricket, The Ashes or the India-Pakistan rivalry, a World Cup Final or the group stage of a qualifying tournament, women’s or men’s cricket, be assured, I will be following.
Diversity is such a beautiful thing. It is completely okay to be a fan of various different players from different countries. As long as the on-field battle is competitive, the game is fair, sportsmanship moments are abundant, and cricket continues to grow, that is all we need.
LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS ON CRICKET, COMMENT Below on your All-Time Favorites, and SUBSCRIBE!
Apart for Faf du Plessis’s acrobatics and consistency at the top of the order and the revelation in Sam Curran, nothing is going right for the Chennai Super Kings. Even Ravindra Jadeja is dropping catches and missing direct hits.
Let us find out why.
After the 7th game, here are 7 Reasons Why CSK Are Struggling.
Botched chases have been common for CSK this year. Taking the game deep is no longer an option. Here is CSK’s score at the halfway stage (10 over mark) in each of their games:
70/2 chasing 163 vs. Mumbai Indians (Won)
82/4 chasing 217 vs. Rajasthan Royals (Lost)
47/3 chasing 176 vs. Delhi Capitals (Lost)
44/4 chasing 165 vs. Sunrisers Hyderabad (Lost)
101/0 chasing 179 vs. Kings XI Punjab (Won)
90/1 chasing 168 vs. Kolkata Knight Riders (Lost)
47/2 chasing 170 vs. Royal Challengers Bangalore (Lost)
Two phrases that have come up in every post-match analysis thus far?
Lack of urgency and lack of intent. On air, Kevin Pietersen was extremely critical of Ambati Rayudu’s absence of intensityand energy in running between the wickets in his innings of 42 (40) against RCB.
In each game lost, there has been similar innings’ from the middle order.
Dhoni 9(12) (before hitting 3 sixes to get to 29 (17) and the team to 200 vs RR)
Vijay’s 10 (15) and Watson’s 14 (16) vs DC
Dhoni and Jadeja pushing the required rate up. Needed 78 off 24 before accelerating vs. SRH
Kedar Jadhav’s 7 (12) vs. KKR
Rayudu’s 40 (42) vs. RCB
The lack of game time is causing each batsman to bide their time, which is hurting the team’s overall performance. Maybe Sam Curran and Ravindra Jadeja should be pushed up the order in the next few games.
You can play for the Net Run Rate as much as you want….but you need the points on the Points Table in the first place for all that to even matter.
Stephen Fleming and MS Dhoni are known to back people even when they are struggling. The most famous example is the team management persisting with Shane Watson. Watson repaid the faith in 2018 qualifiers/finals and almost took them home in 2019 as well.
Even this year Shane Watson came back with an unbeaten 83*(53) after struggling initially.
The downside of backing match-winners? Players of the quality of Imran Tahir, Lungi Ngidi, Josh Hazlewood, and Mitchell Santner are warming the bench and young Indian talent like Jagadeesan not getting many chances.
And of course, the older the squad, the lower the fielding standards.
Where Can CSK Go From Here?
Is there still hope? Yes. CSK fan’s are recalling the 2010 campaign, when they came back from a similar position to win their maiden IPL trophy.
The Chennai Super Kings can still win, but they need to up their intensity, correct their batting order, put faith in youngsters, utilize the mid-season transfer window wisely, and some magic.
My take? Every great team has its ebbs and flows. Even a once-in-a-generation Spain football (soccer) team of the 2010 FIFA World Cup glory had to bow out in the group stages after an unbeaten run.
Every good thing comes to an end.
Some people are calling Shane Watson to retire. Others have been calling for Dhoni’s. I think it is time that the entire CSK team just retire.
Stephen Fleming and MS Dhoni have led CSK to greatness consistently for over a decade. It is time the Chennai Super Kings start afresh again.
2020 has been a grim year. CSK not qualifying for the playoffs will just set that in stone.
In this world, nothing is certain except death, taxes, and South Africa failing to win a World Cup. Faf and ABD know this too well. South African fans know this too well. The 2015 semi-final still hurts (as if the 1999, 1992, 2007, and 2011 World Cups were not bad enough).
Just to rub salt in the wound, even England (and kind of New Zealand) won in 2019 while South Africa endured a dismal campaign.
This image still resonates. Dale Steyn on his knee, Grant Elliot in a moment of great sportsmanship. On the other side, captain AB de Villiers in tears and Morne Morkel—completely shattered.
Faf and ABD: Tale of Two Heroes
Fast forward to September 2020. The IPL is back. So are Faf and ABD.
Usually it is the West Indians who dominate T20 leagues, but this IPL has been South Africa’s so far. In IPL 2020, Anrich Nortje has been a revelation, while Kagiso Rabada and Quinton de Kock continue to show the world why they are South Africa’s torchbearers to the next generation.
Initially, I was going to write two separate articles about Abraham de Villiers and Francois du Plessis, but that is not possible. You just cannot separate them. They are like brothers from another mothers. If AB is the graceful artist, Faf is the resilient leader. Both are legends of South African cricket.
Today we will talk their careers, their friendship, the heartbreak, what could have been, and what could still be.
While AB De Villiers has retired from international cricket (for the time being), Faf continues on. Can Faf fulfill the broken dream of ABD and win South Africa a trophy?
*as of 19 November 2021, AB De Villiers has retired from all cricket because “the flame no longer burns.” Faf Du Plessis himself was ignored from South Africa’s team for the 2021 T20 World Cup and has retired from Tests.
*Please subscribe to never miss an article! Comment below on your favorite memories of ABD and Faf, and share ahead!
AB de Villers and Faf Du Plessis have been competing on and off the cricket field since middle school. They both went to the same school and university – Afrikaans High School (Affies) and University of Pretoria respectively. Over the years, their friendship has evolved with AB becoming Faf’s best man in his wedding.
Although their personal lives carried smoothly, their careers took vastly different routes.
The South African team under Graeme Smith was the only team that could challenge Australia at their home and would rise to the No.1 Test rankings. With the great Jacques Kallis, Boucher, Ntini, and Pollock, breaking into this team was not an easy task. AB was recognized early as a prospect and was tracked into the national team in 2004. In a couple of years’ time, he had established himself and by 2008, the Perth special guaranteed his journey into greatness.
On the other hand, Faf had to toil his way through domestic cricket, season after season. He even temporarily played in England with a Kolpak deal. Although Faf was becoming disillusioned, AB encouraged him to keep the hope alive with the imminent retirements of Smith and Kallis.
7 years after AB, finally Faf’s day came. It started with an epic.
Faf du Plessis had to wait for his turn in international cricket. When he did get his turn, he took his chance and followed a first innings 78 with a valiant fourth innings match-saving century against Australiain Adelaide.
Ab De Villiers will go down as one of the All-Time greatest ODI players. Not only is his statistics out of the world – an average above 50 and strike rate above 100, it is the manner in which he changed the game. Hewas an innovator with his unconventional shots and created the idea of a “360 degree player.” A versatile cricketer, he could adapt to any format, situation, or challenge at hand. He could score 149*(44) or defend 43(354) in a blockathon. Apart from his batting, he can keep wickets, field in any position, and captain.
Can also play hockey, football, rugby, badminton, swim, win science competitions, sing, and has written an autobiography.
Faf is one of the most underrated batsman in the current era. He is known for his strong character through his ability to counter tough situations. Like AB, he easily adapts between formats, from blockathons and saving Test matches to becoming a successful T20 batsman with shots like the scoop. Although he is a dependable batsman, he is known for his captaincy – the ability to guide South Africa through tough rebuilding phases as well as the reformation time. And of course, his fielding.
Records: Centuries in all formats as a captain, first player to score century in a day-night Test
Test: 65 matches, 3901 runs, average 39.80, best of 137, 9-100s/21-50s
ODI: 143 matches, 5507 runs, average 47.47, 88.60 strike rate, best of 185, 12-100s/35-50s
T20I: 47 matches, 1407 runs, average 34.31, 134.12 strike rate, best of 119, 1-100/8-50s
The Match That Broke South Africa
24 March, 2015. New Zealand vs. South Africa at Auckland. The Proteas were arguably the favorites. Since South Africa were in the semi-finals, there had to be the obligatory rain and net run-rate calculations.
South Africa posted an excellent total with Faf, ABD, and Miller finishing the innings well. In response, McCullum blazed away against Dale Steyn, briefly collapsed, and recovered with the Grant Elliot-Corey Anderson steady partnership. Five needed in two, and Elliot hit Dale Steyn over long on for the victory.
The great South African generation broke down, both mentally and physically. It was a slow degeneration over the next four years.
Kyle Abbott picked the Kolpak route as a direct result of being dropped for Vernon Philander on the eve of the match due to political pressure and the quota system. Other talents like Rilee Rossouw, Simon Harmer, and Duanne Olivier would follow.
Vernon Philander himself would wane off in a couple of years. Dale Steyn, a fast bowler who was rarely injured for over a decade began picking up freak injuries. Morne retired from international cricket early for Kolpak while ABD retired early to manage T20 leagues loads, a year before the 2019 World Cup.
2019 was a disaster. Numerous injuries, media reports, and the end of illustrious careers of Hashim Amla, JP Duminy, and Imran Tahir.
Faf symbolizes resilience and commitment. After the crushing 2019 campaign, Faf had the choice to hang up his boots but he decided to give back to South African cricket.
The rest of the golden era had retired. What did Faf do? He remained in the game and stayed as captain to absorb all the pressure and criticism. He worked extremely hard, transitioned towards a new team, and inspired the youngsters around him. All with a smile.
Since Faf had to wait seven more years for a South African cap, he cherished every moment as a South African cricketer and realized the struggle of others that have to wait in the wings or are thinking about going to England.
AB De Villiers was the catalyst to South Africa’s fortunes and changed cricket forever with his inventive batting. His premature retirement and the controversies around picking and choosing gained a lot of traction among critics and fans alike, but he had a point. More than anything, he was a victim of an overkill of cricket—it does take a physical and mental toll on you. He gave 14 years to South Africa, playing all formats continuously, and we should appreciate that.
What Can We Learn?
Cricket is unpredictable, a dropped catch or run-out can change the game. Similarly, life is unpredictable. Sometimes the best do not end up victorious, but how an individual responds to tough situations is important.
Faf just never gave up. Whether saving a test match, dealing with ball-tampering allegations, or managing captaincy issues, he just never gave up. Even if the ball is traveling with speed and is seemingly going for a six, just keep your nerve and hang on. You never know, you may pull off a catch.
What does ABD teaches us? Never stop learning and improving. He was regarded as the future of South Africa pretty early on, and he put in everything for them. He kept wickets despite back injuries, opened the batting, finished innings, and captained tough situations, and learned to evolve with time.
Your only competition is with you. Even when AB was at his best, he continued to reinvent self. Your best can always get better.
They both did it differently, but Faf and AB have been inspirational in their own rights. When they batted together, you realized that South Africa was in good hands. They were just a delight to watch, and we hope the very best to them and South Africa in the future.
Where can the Proteas go from here?
Although domestic talent is continuously drained into the Kolpak system, the quota system has been controversial, and systemic discrimination has to be dealt with, all is not lost.
This IPL has shown that Faf is ever dependable, ABD still has some magic, and de Kock is ready to take more responsibility. With stars in Kagiso Rabada, Nortje, and Chris Morris, who knows, 2021 T20 World Cup is where South Africa bounces back.
For South Africa to succeed in 2021, Faf needs ABD, and ABD needs Faf. South Africa and cricket fans around the world— we want them both together, one final time.
Comment below on your thoughts about the article or your favorite memories of AB De Villiers and Faf Du Plessis.
Devdutt Padikkal, Ravi Bishnoi, Shubman Gill, Mavi and Nagarkoti repaying KKR’s faith, and today Priyam Garg and Abhishek Sharma with SRH. Several like Yashashvi Jaiswal and Tom Banton yet to fire, but we will definitely be watching.
For every match of the IPL, we start with leading question or highlight of the day.
What was YOUR highlight of the day or do you have a response to the question?
COMMENT BELOW On YOUR THOUGHTS AND BROKEN DREAMS from IPL 2020 so far!
Well anyway, here is my take on the first two weeks of the IPL through tweets!
Broken Cricket Dreams of the Day – IPL Edition Week 1
Day 1 – The IPL is back!!! The fitness is not (except for Faf, of course)
Day 2 – Super Over Loss for KXIP. Can Punjab bounce back?
Day 3 – Unfortunate Run-out, injuries to Marsh, Rashid concussion…
Day 4 – Come on CSK…Go for the win not just the net-run rate.
Reflections of Passion by Yanni, what a beautiful composition. One of my all-time favorite pieces.
It evokes a variety of emotions, all at the same time. The music is playful, yet somber. Soothing, yet powerful. Beneath the passion and the joy, lies a subtle dose of grief and tension.
What is passion in the first place? According to Dictionary.com, passion is a
Strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything.
Passion comes in all shapes and forms—it could be romantic, could be ambition to be the best and break barriers, or just a willingness to improve and prove to yourself that you are worth it.
Wait, wait, wait. You would be thinking, where or why is the cricket gone? Why am I talking about music and philosophy all of a sudden? Isn’t this IPL season?
Well, lately I have been reflecting about the relationship between a fan and the professional. Cricket is a game filled with passion – the fans, the players, and the administrators alike. The vision of a fan differs vastly from how the sportsperson plays his or her game.
Now, the idea of my own last article perturbed me a bit.
According to a fan’s point of view, we would like to have seen the journey of a few cricketers longer than they lasted, but do they see themselves as unlucky? I am not so sure.
We all want to be part of something greater than we are. Hence, we invest ourselves in the sport. Although the fans are part of the crowd, we want to be in the game, and we live our dreams through the players themselves. If our own favorite player does not play well, we feel bad ourselves deep down inside, as if we had failed.
So are we not being harsh on the player when calling them unlucky or criticizing them?
Anyway, the philosophy can wait for a little while. Stay tuned for the What Can We Learn? from these so-called unlucky cricketers section at the end of the article below.
Audience Poll Results – Top 3 Unluckiest
Before we jump into the moral of the story, here are the actual results of the poll we did on who our viewers thought were the unluckiest cricketers of the last few decades.
Honorable Mentions : Mohammad Ashraful, Shane Bond, Brad Hogg
Others: Alex Hales, Lendl Simmons, James Taylor, Hansie Cronje, Sreesanth
2. Test: Washed Out XI
Honorable Mention: Adam Voges
Others: Marcus Trescothick, Mark Ramprakash, Fawad Alam, Prasanna Jayawardene, Simon Harmer, Duanne Olivier, Stuart MacGill, Lasith Malinga
3. Twitter Poll
Where Are They Now?
While Fawad Alam finally made a hard fought comeback and players like Alex Hales, Mohammad Amir, and Lendl Simmons are still fighting for a spot in their national squads, we look back at how some of the former international cricketers are inspiring the next generation.
I. Marcus Trescothick and James Taylor
Marcus Trescothick was on track to be one of the all-time greatest openers and the best English batsman ever produced before he had to stop playing international cricket due to mental illness during the prime of his career.
What he did after his international career is itself awe-inspiring. He continued playing first class cricket for Somerset till the age of 43 and has been open in talking about his struggles, most prominently with his autobiography, Coming Back to Me. Lately, several cricketers like Jonathan Trott and Glenn Maxwell have come out in public with mental struggle of an international career, but it may not have been possible had Trescothick not paved the way.
James Tayor has also had a similar story. Talented young English cricketer but had to retire at the age of 26 because of a serious heart condition.
Did this stop Taylor from doing what he loves most? No, instead he carried on and stayed close to the game with the goal of giving back to English cricket. He is now a full-time selector and is frequently seen in the stands supporting the England cricket team. He also wrote an inspirational auto-biography, Cut Short.
II. Shane Bond, Mohammad Kaif, and Prasanna Jayawardene
Although Shane Bond’s career halted because of recurring injuries, he is having as much impact as a bowling coach now as he did when he was a fast-bowler for New Zealand. Most prominently, he was the bowling coach of NZ between 2012-2015, the period that saw the growth of this team especially mentoring Trent Boult and Tim Southee.Has also coached Mumbai Indians and Sydney Thunder.
Mohammad Kaif joined the Gujarat Lions assistant coach staff in 2017 (under coach Brad Hodge, another name on our list)and is now the assistant coach of Delhi Capitals under coach Ricky Ponting (they are doing quite well if you have not noticed). As one of the best fielders India produced, one of his areas of focus is to actively promote fitness.
Finally Prasanna Jayawardene, regarded as the best wicketkeeper of Sri Lanka, was recently hired by England as a wicket-keeping coach apart from coaching in Sri Lanka.
III. Brad Hogg and Robin Uthappa
Both Brad Hogg and Robin Uthappa have invested there post-cricketing careers in media and broadcasting like several other players. Although Uthappa is currently representing Rajasthan Royals in the IPL, he has already done a few shows at Cricbuzz. Another way Robin Uthappa has been contributing is mentoring and supporting school-age cricketers.
Brad Hogg is one of the more familiar faces in commentary recently with stints in the IPL, Big Bash, and all over the place. Just look at his Linkedin.
So, What Can We Learn?
This was just a small list we picked from. There are numerous such unsung heroes in our sport.
So looking back, were these cricketers really unlucky? Did they really disappoint? On the contrary, their journey has been just as valuable as someone who has played a 100 Tests.
They may be regarded as “unlucky” in their own cricketing careers for one reason or another, but they may become the source of inspiration, the hand of the support, the “lucky” person someone else needs.
We know the scientific axiom that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only be transformed. Similarly, passion never dies. The love of the game just transforms.
You can take a cricketer out of cricket, but can never take out cricket from a cricketer. Even if Kaif can inspire one person to live a more fit lifestyle or if Bond discovers the next fast bowler, they have still contributed to the game immensely.
Ups and Downs, success and failure will occur. That is just natural.
The important thing is to remain not-outand go to the next part of the journey.
So you should never give up and keep whatever you are doing. Just stay in the game.
The journey is more important than the destination. Regardless of what happens out there in the middle, the fact that they have given their all is what matters. I hope all these players keep on contributing to world of cricket in one form or the other and continue their journey.
They have all inspired me. Even if you inspire one person, it has been a journey worth living. After all is said and done, with all your shattered and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world out there.
Image Courtesy: Mark Ramprakash – Onewhohelps at English Wikipedia / via CC 3.0; Mohammad Ashraful – Nurunnaby Chowdhury (Hasive) / CC BY-SA 4.0; Stuart MacGill – paddynapper / CC BY-SA 2.0; Yanni / CC BY-SA 2.0; Alex Hales – Amal316 / CC BY-SA 4.0; Shane Bond – Benchill / CC BY-SA 3.0; Marcus Trescothick – SGGH at English Wikipedia / Public domain;
Let us continue the IPL Party with SRH All-Time XI!
Ever since Deccan Chargers became SRH, they have been ultra consistent. With the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, David Warner, and Kane Williamson, their top order has been in safe hands.
Their most unique characteristic, though, is their bowling. Regularly in slow Hyderabad pitches, they have defended scores between 140-150. Most Indian fast bowling internationals have been acquired by SRH at some point or another – Irfan Pathan, Ishant Sharma, Ashish Nehra, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar as well as the up and coming Siddharth Kaul, Barinder Sran, Khaleel Ahmed, and Basil Thampi.
With so many choices available, who makes it in YOUR SRH All-Time XI? VOTE BELOW AND SHARE YOUR XI WITH YOUR FRIENDS!
*Note: We are NOT including players from Deccan Chargers since SRH has been pretty successful since 2013 (even though players like Rohit Sharma, Andrew Symonds, Adam Gilchrist, and RP Singh were instrumental in their 2009 win).
As mentioned above, great top order, foreign players, and fast bowlers – but what about the Indian batsmen? Manish Pandey/Vijay Shankar/Yusuf Pathan maybe?
Warner, Williamson, Bairstow? Shakib, Nabi, Rashid Khan, and the Fizz? All great international players. Pick 4 now. The struggle SRH still faces—the problem of plenty.