For my own entertainment, and hopefully yours, I’ve picked a team of unlikeable cricketers.
In purely cricketing terms, it’s actually quite a good team. But in terms of being disliked, this side would be unbeatable. So here goes:
1. Shane Watson (c), Australia
Cricket is a team game played by individuals. Unfortunately for his mates, Shane don’t care, Shane don’t give a sh1t. Shane puts the ‘me’ in ‘team’ and the ‘I’ in ‘F*ck the rest of you.’
Shane Watson isn’t just the centre of his own world, he’s the centre of your world too. At least that’s how he sees it. Like that hilarious-in-hindsight homework spat in India.
To summarise: Watson didn’t complete an appraisal that the entire team was asked to do, he and three others were suspended for one game, so he went home. Because Shane’s No.1, Shane’s No.1!
Twatto is the first name on my team sheet and my first and only choice as captain.
2. Graeme Smith, South Africa
Smith has been captain of his country for more than 10 years, and he’s been disliked by his country for almost as long as that. Every tour, every tournament, almost every game there’s a call to have him sacked.
To his credit, Smith is disliked internationally as well. Nasser Hussain called him ‘what’s-his-name” and then ‘Greg’, KP called him a ‘muppet’, and his teammates call him ‘Biff’, which Urban Dictionary defines as ‘someone who requires little intelligence for their job’.
Plus he’s chubby, and there are turds that are prettier than the way he bats.
3. David Warner, Australia
As with Smith, Warner’s place in the unlikeable world is confirmed by his own fans and countrymen thinking he’s a piece of sh1t.
“It’s getting tiresome…’
‘The bloke’s an idiot.’
‘…acted like an oaf.’
His fellow Australians are reacting, of course, to the punch Warner aimed at Joe Root in a Walkabout in Birmingham. They probably also recall his Twitter rant from May, when he called a couple of journalists ‘pr1ck’ and ‘old fart’, before adding ‘crap’ and ‘talking sh1t’.
But it’s not just that the guy’s a hot-head, it’s also that he’s Australian. Plus he walks like an entitled little sh1t, bats like he doesn’t care, and claims to be a sincere, decent Australian bloke despite everything. No mate, we don’t like you, and it’s entirely your own fault.
4. Virat Kohli, India
Everything about Kohli smacks of bitterness and resentment. Like he’s been scorned, despite so obviously being the star of every single show. Maybe he’s just p1ssed off that nobody has given him a grand nickname yet.
Sachin Tendulkar is The Little Master, Saurav Ganguly is The Prince of Calcutta, Rahul Dravid is The Wall. Why doesn’t Kohli have a nickname when Kohli is clearly greater than all three of these chumps combined?!
5. Kevin Pietersen, England
KP picks himself in this unlikeable XI. Partly because he would actually pick himself, in any team, he’s that arrogant. His head and facial hair choices are reason enough to hate him, but this is one instance when the ridiculous cover pretty well describes the story inside.
The word “controversy” appears six times on KP’s Wikipedia page, describing everything from being a quota victim in South Africa to wanting to pick which games he plays for England.
There was also that time his county captain threw KP’s kit off the balcony, that time KP tried to get England coach Peter Moores sacked, and that time KP sent text messages to the opposition telling them how to beat England.
6. Brendon McCullum, New Zealand
McCullum is taking legal action against former Kiwi batsman John Parker (me neither) for some mean things he said, so I’ll pick my words carefully. But basically, I can’t think of anyone in international cricket who more accurately fits the description of ‘trailer trash’.
His involvement in Ross Taylor-gate hasn’t won him many fans around the world either. I’m legally obliged to admit I don’t know any facts, but it looks like the school bully (McCullum) and his oafish friend (Mike Hesson) stole the polite nerd’s (Ross Taylor’s) lunch money.
7. Denesh Ramdin, West Indies
The world probably didn’t have much of a problem with Denesh Ramdin until he did a couple of silly things in 2012 and 2013.
2012: Sir Vivian Richards is one of the great players and men of cricket. Of all time. It’s pretty stupid and unlikeable, therefore, to challenge him like Ramdin did – with a hand-written note, on a piece of paper, pulled from his pocket in the middle of the pitch.
2013: I dont know how Ramdin thought he’d get away with claiming a catch that he had obviously dropped. Not just grounded, but actually dropped and had to pick up again. And despite what’s been written since about contradictory and hypocritical views on the spirit of the game, blatant cheating is bad every time.
8. Harbhajan Singh, India
I understand that it helps to be competitive to be a successful international sportsman, but you don’t need to be an assh0le about it. Yes you, Harbhajan.
But the Turbanator doesn’t make the team just because I don’t like him, he’s been a naughty boy more than once in his career. There was that time he got fined and banned (later overturned) for a racial slur against Andrew Symonds, and then again when he slapped Sreesanth after an IPL game.
Or maybe it’s just the fact that he’s scored two Test centuries without ever playing an attractive or even real cricket shot. It might just be that.
9. Stuart Broad, England
Stuart Broad plays cricket like the whole thing is his birthday party, and he didn’t want to invite everybody else, but mummy and daddy made him. And now the other boys are playing with his toys and using up all his DRS reviews. Wah wah wah! His arrogance is matched only by his petulance. And his whining. And by how much he reminds me of a cry baby.
His character is the main stumbling block in likeability terms, but his surly, girly looks don’t help. I’ve heard and seen him likened to Ellysse Perry (which is true, but a crying shame), a Barbie doll, and Tinkerbell’s vag1na.
10. Kyle Mills, New Zealand
At 6 ft 4, you’d think Kyle Mills was too tall to have a little man complex, but that’s exactly how he comes across. Maybe it comes from playing for New Zealand, or maybe it’s just because he’s not a very good cricketer, but he’s resentful about something. All the time.
Among various verbal tirades aimed at opposition batsmen, his attack on Faf du Plessis at the 2011 World Cup stands out – Mills wasn’t even playing, he ran on as 12th man to harrass du Plessis. It was disgraceful behaviour, and unlikeable to boot.
11. Jade Dernbach, England
Jade Dernbach hasn’t really been around long enough to prove his unlikeability, but I’m picking him on the potential he’s shown in his short career so far.
The tattoos are a big part of it, especially when combined with the styled hipster hair that flops about while he tries to take sport seriously. The mad celebrations don’t help either. He just looks like a bit of an simpleton, and a lot of an idiotic kn0b, and that’s enough for me.
How did I do?
Did I miss anyone out, or treat anybody too harshly? Let me know and I’ll be happy to drop any of these for a more unlikeable replacement.