When we see cricket matches, we expect to see some trademarks of our favourite cricketers on display. Trademarks are those things with which we associate certain players. Say for example, if you are a Sachin fan, you would love to see a straight drive from his bat or if you are a Kallis’ fan you would like to see a cover drive played on the up or if you are a Lara admirer you would love to see him leaning into the cover drive or you would find a pull shot played on one leg by him worth watching. These are something which we are used see in cricketers as their unique qualities. But, other than these, there are a few other things which we are used to see from not only the cricketers but also from the on field umpires and this article precisely deals with those aspects.
Through this article, I have tried to list out those unique mannerisms of the players and umpires which we have repeatedly seen in the cricket field and also have tried rating them according to my likings.
1. Nathan Astle:
This aggressive Kiwi batsman, whenever he left the field after getting out, used to do something which always had caught my attention more than his square drives and pulls. Whenever he had been in the crease he used to dictate the bowling attacks at will but whenever he had got out, as he prepared to take a march back to the dressing room, so comical it used to be seeing him catching the knot of the helmet by his mouth and leaving like a school kid who was about to face the wrath of his father for failing in the exams.
2. Kris Srikkanth:
This former Indian batsman from Southern part of India had never been an atheist definitely. He never failed to pay his obeisance to God and infact before facing every ball used to walk away from his leg stump and pay his respects to Sun God religiously without fail by looking up to the sky. May be his prayers were heard as he was the highest scorer in the finals of the world cup which India won in 1983.
3. David Shepherd:
No need to give clues to any cricketing lovers as to what I am about to say when I refer the name of the veteran umpire, the late David Shepherd. Whenever the score board was read as 111 or 222 or 333, this man had always swung into action. To negate the misfortunes of such numbers, he used to dance along standing on one leg till the score gets added to the nelson. A fat chap like Shepherd doing aerobics of such a sort had always been a great spectacle.
4. Steve Bucknor
When this umpire from Carribean was seen officiating a match, you would not know what was coming. When a bowler had appealed for a leg before decision, one should see his face as well as his right hand. You might have been a great face reader but still you would not be able to conclude what his hands were going to do. Whether he was in the mood of giving a batsman out or not out his face hardly had given us any symptoms. The next one minute would be as good as a climax scene from a movie which had been a suspense thriller. A broad smile would follow and slowly his hand would start to move and if you were lucky as a batsman his hands would go to his pocket and if not his finger would rise almost in a slow motion.
5. Billy Bowden:
This Newzealand umpire has earned fans not because of his accurate decisions or something. Infact his decisions have always been topsy-turvy, in the sense – some would have been correct and some would not have been. But still he is loved by many fans purely because of the way he has been entertaining the audience. The raise of his crooked finger indicating the dismissal of the batsmen, usage of hands with the action of sweeping a floor with the broom indicating a boundary and lifting of hands as though a water flowing from the fountain indicating a six are some of the things which had never been heard or seen before he invented them in cricket.
6. Shoaib Akhtar:
When it comes to entertaining the viewers, no one does it better than this express from Rawalpindi. Akthar, most of the time, when he takes wickets, runs and infact I should properly says he flies. Like an eagle which extends its wings he stretches his hands and displays a flying motion and run all over the pitch only to reach almost the 30 yards circle. It is one thing which shows that the fast bowler is in full song and is craving for more number of wickets.
When you look for a gardener for planting plants or may be someone to plough the field, you can probably look up to this West indies middle order batsman. Chanderpaul, whenever he first arrives at the crease, it has almost become customary for him to take a bail off from the stumps and dig it at the ground by constantly hitting the tip of it with the bat. This he does as a process of taking the guard and the way he does it is something very new and unique to the game.
Well, these are certain mannerisms with some comical values which you can feel while seeing the game. There may be many more peculiar gestures which I might have left out. The readers are free to express their views on this and if they could add furthermore interesting mannerisms of cricketers they are welcome.