Funny Incidents in Cricket
Robert Mugabe once said – “Cricket civilises people and creates gentlemen. I want everyone in Zimbabwe to play cricket; I want ours to be a nation of gentlemen.”
Well articulated. Cricket can be associated with the image of a man, well built and lordly, coming to the pitch in large, majestic strides, with a great wooden bat in his firm grip. And of course, painted in the vivid colours of his nation. Then again, who said the gentleman’s game couldn’t have its share of wonders and bloopers? Indeed, there have been incidents in the game which have left players gaping incredulously and fans guffawing uncontrollably. And those are the moments that will always remain happily etched in cricket history. Here are a few incidents in cricket that are worth chuckling over.
I shall begin with the infamous double run-out attempt in the India – Bangladesh match in 2004. Sachin Tendulkar was on strike, with Anil Kumble on the other end. Sachin had hit the ball and he and Kumble took an easy run. However, they decided to go for a second, and due to a mix up they both ended up running to the striker’s end. The wicket keeper dislodged the wickets just as Sachin made his way in. By the time everyone realized what was happening, Kumble had made it to the other end and the bowler had dislodged those wickets as well. The verdict – neither batsman was out. It was, as the dubious commentator had put it, “an absolute circus!”
Another memorable incident is in the England – Australia match. Kevin Pietersen, who was on strike, had hit the ball over the pitch. The fielder at the deep did stop it from getting to the boundary, but kicked it away by mistake. There was another misfield, and by the time the ball was thrown back, the grinning batsmen had already taken four runs! The fielder’s expression was priceless.
Misfields, happy batsmen and then priceless expressions do seem to go hand in hand, don’t they? One of the best examples of such a sequence that I can recall is perhaps the match between the Deccan Chargers and Chennai Super Kings in the IPL 2009. CSK, the fielding team, missed three opportunities to get Graeme Smith out on the same ball! It all began when Smith hit the ball and tried taking a run, but due to miscommunication, ended up hovering by the non-striker’s end just as the ball approached the striker’s end. Due to an overthrow, though, the ball slipped out of the fielder’s hands. However, the ball was retrieved impressively fast, and Smith had still not reached his end. The excited fielder slipped as he threw the ball and missed the stumps by an inch. He still managed to reach for the ball and try yet again but this time he not only missed but sent the ball flying between another fielder’s legs – leaving no hope of immediate retrieval – just as Smith finally got to the line. And there it was – Smith’s incredulously happy face and the CSK captain MS Dhoni’s priceless expression.
Another incident that definitely qualifies as funny would be one in one of the Australia – South Africa matches. Australia was batting, and the batsman hit a sweeping shot to the boundary. The fielder at the deep, McKenzie, dove at the ball and slid across the grass even as the ball crossed the boundary. As he slid across the grass, however, his pants slid down as well. He realized this after he stopped, and he did the only thing he could – sheepishly pull his pants back up, give a flustered grin and get back into position.
While the fielders always seem to be the ones in a fix, the batsmen have quite a bit going on as well. This point was highlighted in one of the Sri Lanka – Australia matches. Australia was batting, and the embodiment of drama, Andrew Symonds, was on strike. He hit the ball, which went right to Michael Clarke at the other end and bounced off his bat. And to top this, it was caught by a fielder nearby. Symonds assumed he was out and walked back, grinning at the confused Clarke. And the commentator did have a point when he joked – “if the ball bounced off both bats, why aren’t both of them out?”
These are but a few samples of some funny incidents that have popped up in cricket. The gentleman’s game does have its moments as well. And it is these moments that light up all its viewers faces, bringing smiles and chuckles to all.
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