Cricket is a gentleman’s game and unlike in a game like football, there never used to be any arguments over an umpire’s decision nor was there any altercation between the players during the good old times. Even when a player was wrongly given out, he just walked and the players mostly used their bat or ball to do the talking.
Even the big, tall West Indies quicks of the 70s and 80s intimidated the batsmen with their bowling and very rarely used a stare, but they never uttered a word in anger. But the modern day cricketers are never shy of getting under the opposition’s skin and are never short of words.
The Australians started the tradition of sledging, and the other teams have now taken to it and have even started giving it back to them. The Indian cricketers were rarely involved in a duel with their opposition – except for a rare occasion such as the twirling of the t-shirt in the Lord’s balcony by Sourav Ganguly in response to Flintoff’s action – but the modern day players are always ready for a fight.
As was seen during the IPL, the young Indian cricketers get angry at the slightest of provocation and fight with their country mates or state mates or even with their friends.
But this column is not going to bash those cricketers or the IPL or the T20 for having inculcated this kind of behaviour into them. For a change we are going to look at the top hot-headed cricketers in today’s world.
After all it will not be much fun watching a cricket match where a bowler just walks back to his bowling crease and gets ready to deliver the next ball. It will be so mechanical. It is the eye-ball to eye-ball stare or a few words that make a cricket match enjoyable. These cricketers add spice to a cricket game and take it to a different level.
For having punched the child-faced Joe Root in the face in a bar at Birmingham, David Warner just walks into this list.
Having been dropped from the side after that incident, the pocket dynamo has since calmed down and even when the English crowd booed him during the Ashes Tests, he was seen cheering them on.
A match refree’s son would be least expected to feature in this list. But Broad has shown that he is always up for the fight, often getting under the skin of the batsmen. It is difficult to predict whether his aggressive behaviour helps his performance or not as he blows either too cold or too hot.
Having been called a cheat and with Lehmann egging the Aussie crowd to give it back to Broad, it will be interesting to see how Broad responds when he tour Australia later this year. It is going to be one hell of an Ashes series down-under.
It will be easier to find this guy in a bar at Christchurch than in a cricket ground.
He once missed a team meeting after a late-night drinking session and once whacked a chair in the dressing room out of frustration for getting out.
In 2012,Ryder took an indefinite break from international cricket and vowed to come back a better person. But a year later, he was assaulted in a duel outside a bar and was in coma.
Having failed a drug test, Ryder is now facing a six-months ban and this hot-headed cricketer has not shown signs of cooling down in the near future.
This young lad from Delhi has been in the news for his aggressiveness and some experts have suggested him toning down his aggression to become a better player.
But that has never affected his batting as he has shown throughout his career, becoming the mainstay of the Indian batting line-up across all three formats. He was seen in an altercation with his Delhi and India team-mate Gautham Gambhir during an IPL match.
But this hot-headed cricketer went a little over-board when he showed the middle finger to the Aussie crowd.
During a recent talk-show in a television channel, the stylish hunk has regretted having done that. With the tour of Australia coming up in just about a year, it will be worth watching how he responds when the Aussie crowd try getting under the skin.
Though he has been banned by the BCCI from playing cricket, this guy is an example of how indifferent behaviour could cost a career.
His antics, though over the top sometimes, have been fun to watch. Who can forget his dancing steps after hitting Andre Nel for a six or his celebration after taking the wicket of Mathew Hayden in the 2007 World T20 semi-final?
But the match-fixing was the final straw for the cricketer from Kerala and he was subsequently banned.