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Cricket Wit



The nature of cricket is such that it leaves ample spaces for life to ebb and flow. Wit and humour are its most obvious manifestations.

We’re collecting cricket stories from wherever we can, for entertainment and illumination alike. And we welcome any stories you can add to our kitty; we’ll acknowledge every contribution we get.



The day Pietersen got a school kid suspended

You may have found several Kevin Pietersen fans in the wake of the Ashes 2005 debauchery, but coming across fans of Kevin Pietersen's 'there's-a-skunk-on-my-head' hairstyle would be a little difficult. A 10 year old in England walked into his school after having gotten himself a Kevin Pietersen haircut. The school authorities promptly suspended him until he got his hair back in shape.We suspect they did so partly to penalize the indisciplined behaviour, but mostly because it was too ugly for them to tolerate.

A suspended kid is not usually happily received by his parents.But in this case, the next morning saw the kid and his irate mom land up at the school demanding an explanation from the authorities. As it turned out, she was a hair-designer and it was, in fact, she who had given him the new look.

When last heard, the issue was still undecided. Perhaps it may have helped if Pietersen stepped in himself. Or if England had retained the Ashes in Australia.


Shoaib vs Sehwag

         During India’s tour to Pakistan in March 2004, Sehwag was on his way to a record-breaking 309 in the first test. A frustrated Shoaib Akhtar was not being able to trouble him at all. So, he began to bowl short pitched balls, which Sehwag just ducked under. Exasperated, Shoaib began to exhort Sehwag to hook – with exaggerated hand motions. After his third such “suggestion”, Sehwag loudly asked Shoaib – “Tu bowling kar raha hai ya bheekh maang raha hai?” (“Are you bowling or begging?”)

The Pakistani fielders broke into laughter, and Shoaib did not offer any more advice.

Oblivious Captain  

Tom Goddard, of Gloucestershire, once bowled -- under heat wave conditions -- 42 consecutive overs. Finally, the guy was moved to complain of his unthinking captain. "Why the hell ! doesn't the bloody bugger take me off?" raved Goddard. At which point, it was gently pointed out, by amused team-mates, that skipper Basil Allen had left the field hours earlier. Allen had in fact asked a colleague to lead the side in his absence -- said colleague being Goddard himself!

Bitter halves

You may be a hero to the world, but to your wife you are just the bum she married. Ask the former Mrs Bhagwat Chandrasekhar. While the world raved about her husband's bowling prowess, she was least impressed. And when it came to his batting, she was even less so. Thus, the story is told of how, once, she called the ground while a match was in progress, and asked for her husband. "Sorry," said the factotum who answered the phone, "Chandra is just walking out to bat." "Oh, in that case," trilled Mrs Chandra, "no problem, I'll wait on the line!"

15 seconds of fame

The scene, Melbourne. The year, 1920-'21. A certain Mrs. Parks was sitting in the VIP enclosure, placidly knitting away. At one point, she fumbled and dropped her ball of wool. She bent, picked it up, dusted it off, and looked up. And realised that she had missed the entire international career of her husband, Roy Parks! The poor bloke, debuting in that game between England and Australia, was bowled by the only ball he ever faced in international cricket.


Doctor in the Clubhouse

W. G. Grace often had difficulty reconciling his love for cricket with his medical commitments. A patient once arrived at his office and asked an assistant whether the doctor was in. "Of course he's 'in'," the assistant replied, "he's been batting since Tuesday lunch time."



The downturned finger

Many Indians had the pleasure/ mortification of seeing this on live television in the 1990s. Vaas bowls to Jadeja in a one-dayer in India. There is an appeal for caught behind. The Umpire begins to raise his finger. Jadeja glares at the umpire and says something to him. The Umpire’s finger which has almost reached its apex, suddenly goes down and scratches his cap. A bemused Ranatunga walks up to him when he realizes the appeal has not really been upheld. Jadeja grins. Slow motion replays suggest that the Umpire changed his mind just before the conviction-challenged finger could give the verdict.

White coat, red face

Umpiring standards have come down in recent times. Or have they? Go back in time, 19 years, to the England versus India Test, held in Bombay, to celebrate the golden jubilee of the BCCI, a game famous for Ian Botham's rare double of a century and ten wickets in a match; and for wicket-keeper Bob Taylor's ten catches, another Test record.

What really made the spectators' day, though, was the officiating, by umpires J D Ghosh and S N Hanumantha Rao. Rao started the ball rolling when he gave Taylor out caught behind, only for Indian skipper Gundappa Vishwanath to confirm that the batsman hadn't got a touch. Then John Lever turned one off his pads for two, got back to his crease and discovered that he had knocked a bail off. He casually picked it up, placed it back on the stumps and carried right on batting, under the benign gaze of the umpires. The plum, though, belonged to Geoffrey Boycott. The England opener edged one, quite clearly, to Indian wicket-keeper Syed Kirmani. There was an appeal, and it was, quite correctly, upheld. Boycs, however, deliberately refrained from looking at the umpire, settled into his stance, and prepared to receive the next ball. The Indian fielders appealed again, rather hysterically. The umpire gave him not out!


Cricket Triumph

"King George of Greece was once bowled first ball in a cricket match at his private school. He never forgot the incident. It helped him, he said, to face the poverty-stricken years of his exile [during the German occupation] with more courage than he might otherwise have shown. It enabled him, he told friends, to treat the misfortune of his expulsion from Greece as a stepping stone to ultimate triumph."



The bowler's Holding, the batsman's Willey.

                  - Brian Johnston, BBCYorkshire 232 all out, Hutton ill - I'm sorry, Hutton 111.

                 - John Snagge, BBC News


Ray Illingworth has just relieved himself at the pavilion end.

                  - Brian Johnston, BBC Radio


Welcome to Worcester where you've just missed seeing Barry

Richards hitting one of Basil D'Oliveira's balls clean out of the


                  - Brian Johnston, BBC Radio


He's usually a good puller - but he couldn't get it up that time.

                  - Richie Benaud, Channel 9


If you go in with two fast bowlers and one breaks down, you're

left two short.

                  - Bob Massie, ABC Radio


This game will be over any time from now.

                  - Alan McGilvray, ABC Radio


It is important for Pakistan to take wickets if they are going to

make big inroads into this Australian batting line-up.

                  - Max Walker, Channel 9


Glenn McGrath joins Craig McDermott and Paul Reiffel in a

three-ponged prace attack.

                  - Tim Gavel, ABC News


In the back of Hughes' mind must be the thought that he will

dance down the piss and mitch one.

                  - Tony Greig, Channel 9


It's been very slow and dull day, but it hasn't been boring. It's

been a good, entertaining day's cricket.

                  - Tony Benneworth, ABC Radio


It was close for Zaheer, Lawson threw his hands in the air and

Marsh threw his head in the air.

                  - Jack Potter, 3UZ

Laird has been brought in to stand in the corner of the circle.

                  - Richie Benaud, Channel 9


Chappell just stood on his feet and smashed it to the boundary.

                  - Jim Maxwell, ABC Radio


On the first day, Logie decided to chance his arm and it came


                  - Trevor Bailey, Radio 3


He didn't quite manage to get his leg over.

                  - Jonathan Agnew, after Botham had spun around

                     off balance and tried to step over the

                     wicket unsuccessfully, BBC


Lloyd's talking to his SLIPers.

                  - Channel 9 commentator.


Marshall's bowling with his head.

                  - ABC commentator.


The sight of Bright holds no fright for Wright.

                  - Jim Maxwell

and the riposte

That's right!

                  - Norm O'Neil


And Jajeda is dijappointed...Jadeja is ji..da..I'll come again,

Jajeda..okay Jadeja looks downcast.

Tony Greig on Channel 9.

"His throw went absolutely nowhere near where it was going"
- Richie Benaud

"Even Downton couldn’t get down high enough for that"
- Richie Benaud

"That slow motion doesn't show how fast the ball was traveling."
- Richie Benaud

"There were no scores below single figures"
- Richie Benaud

"Fast bowlers are quick. Just watch this -- admittedly it is in slow motion"
- Ian Chappell.

"It is now possible they can get the impossible score they first thought possible”
 - Christopher Martin-Jenkins.

"It would be unprintable on television"
- Geoff Boycott,

"If England lose now, they will be leaving the field with their heads between their legs!"
- Geoff Boycott

"That was a tremendous six. The ball was still in the air as it went over the boundary."
- Fred Trueman

"Then there was that dark horse with the golden arm, Mudassar Nazar."
- Trevor Bailey

"David Boon is now completely clean-shaven, except for his moustache."
- Graham Dawson
"The black cloud is coming from the direction the wind is blowing. Now the wind is coming from where the black cloud is!"

- Raymond Illingworth

"He is a very dangerous bowler. Innocuous, if you like."
- England coach David Lloyd discussing Chris Harris

"The Queen's Park Oval -- as its name suggests, absolutely round!"
- Tony Cozier

"His feet were a long way away from his body!"
- Ravi Shastri

"You rejoin us at a very appropriate time -- Ray Illingworth has just relieved himself at the pavilion end!"
- Brian Johnston

"The lights are shining quite darkly"
- Henry Blofeld

"It is a catch he would have held 99 times out of one thousand."
- Henry Blofeld

"It is a full house at the Eden Gardens. Today, Calcutta is celebrating the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi!"
- Henry Blofeld


Cricket is basically baseball on valium.

   Robin Williams, American actor


Cricket needs brightening up a bit. My solution is to let the

players drink at the beginning of the game, not after. It always

works in our picnic matches.

                  - Paul Hogan, Australian actor


I don't know what these fellows are doing, but whatever they are

doing, they sure are doing it well.

                  - Pete Sampras on watching Lara and Ambrose at Lord's.

Cricket is a game which the British, not being a spiritual people, had to invent in order to have some concept of eternity. -- Lord Maycroft

Many continentals think life is a game, the English think cricket is a game.
--George Mikes How to be an Alien

Personally, I have always looked upon cricket as organised loafing.
--William Temple. Archbishop of Canterbury 1926.


Q: Do you feel that the selectors and yourself have been

   vindicated by the result?

A: I don't think the press are vindictive. They can write what

   they want.

                  - Mike Gatting, ITV


I think we are all slightly down in the dumps after another loss.

We may be in the wrong sign...Venus may be in the wrong

juxtaposition with somewhere else.

                  - Ted Dexter, explaining away England's seventh

                     successive Test loss, to Australia at

                     Lord's, 1993


There was a slight interruption there for athletics.

                  - Richie Benaud, referring to a streaker at

                     Lord's, BBC TV



Say, when do they begin?

                  - Grouch Marx, watching a cricket match at



It's funny kind of month, October. For the really keen cricket

fan, it's when you realise that your wife left you in May.

                  - Denis Norden, British television writer and



Playing against a team with Ian Chappell as a captain turns

cricket match into gang warfare.

                  - Mike Brearley, 1980


Is there any sex in it?

                  - Peter Sellers, as a psychiatrist upon first

                     learning about cricket in What's New

                     Pussycat, 1965


Q: Darryl, who are your favourite actors?

Cullinan: Dustin Hoffman and some Aussie bowlers in the act of



Q: What's your favourite animal?

Steve Waugh: Merv Hughes.



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