Indian cricketers have never had the reputation of being funny individuals or with a particularly vibrant sense of humour but over the years there have been certain incidents (both on and off the field) that would live on forever for being inordinately funny. In this article we present 5 of them.
B. S. Chandrashekhar Stumps the Umpire
In the 1970s the umpires in New Zealand were notorious for being biased towards the home team and almost all team complained about it whenever they toured the country. It was India’s turn to experience it when they toured New Zealand in 1976 and since India used to depend a lot on their spinners, it became harder as most close in catches or lbw decisions went against them. The bowlers were pretty much exasperated at the treatment and so when India’s premier bowler B S Chandrashekhar wrapped up the New Zealand innings in the second Test by getting the batsman clean bowled, he did something that triggers a laugh even now among those who were present there. After the last batsman was clean bowled Chandra, as he used to be called, appealed vociferously for the dismissal. The dumbfounded umpire then asked him why on earth he was appealing as the batsman was clean bowled; that is when Chandra asked a question that summed up the level of umpiring quite admirably. He asked the umpire- “I know he is bowled but is he out?”
Farokh Engineer Makes a Fool of Himself
Farokh Engineer and Sunil Gavaskar were selected to play for the Rest of the World when a hastily combined team was sent to Australia in 1971. The two Indian cricketers opened the innings in the Boxing Day Test at Melbourne and as they were walking out to bat Engineer told Gavaskar (who had recently debuted for India)- ‘Don’t get out for a duck as the walk back to the pavilion is the longest you will ever experience here in Melbourne.’ Gavaskar duly noted that but it was actually Engineer who was dismissed for a duck in the first over and made the long walk back to the dressing room. Gavaskar must have been chuckling to himself.
Ravi Shastri teaches the Aussies a Thing or Two about Sledging
Ravi Shastri was a rarity among Indian cricketers who gave it back as good as he got on the field when it came to on field banter and sledging. During the 1991-92 trour of Australia, Shastri was batting in an ODI versus the hosts when the 12th man Mike Whitney told him- “If you leave the crease I’ll break your f*****g head”. Shastri was however unfazed by it all and coolly walked out of the crease and told Whitney with a smile on his face, “If you could bat as well as you can talk you wouldn’t be the f*****g 12th man.” Even the Australian fielders couldn’t stifle a few laughs.
Anil Kumble Takes a Desperate Measure
This particular incident would never have come into light had former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly not shared it in one of the game shows he hosts for a Bengali entertainment channel. It happened during a practice match during India’s tour of Australia in 1999-00. Now, as everyone knows the cricket grounds in Australia are enormous and it is quite possible for batsmen to run four or even more if the ball goes far enough. Anil Kumble is often regarded as one of the fiercest competitors on the cricket field and although he was not the fastest mover in the field he tried hard to save as many runs for his team as he possibly could. So, during this game a batsman hit the ball past him and in his pursuit he realised that the batsmen might end up running four although the ball might not reach the boundary. However, to his horror he saw that the batsmen had actually run 4 by the time he was about to pick up the ball and were actually gearing up to run 5. In an unprecedented act of desperation Kumble kicked the ball to the boundary to give the home team 4 runs rather than the 5 that they could have actually gained.
A Prank on the Captain
Sourav Ganguly has a dry sense of humour of his own but he must not have expected the sort of prank that Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh pulled on him on an April Fool’s day. The two cricketers created a fake news report which quoted Ganguly to have said that Yuvraj and Harbhajan did not have a good attitude and were a nuisance in the dressing room. Once they were armed with the document they ‘confronted’ Ganguly in his room in the presence of vice captain Rahul Dravid; Ganguly was understandably shocked as he had not given any such interview and tried his best to convince the two cricketers regarding his innocence. However, the game was up when Rahul Dravid started laughing since he was aware of the prank.
So, there go the 5 most funny incidents (imho) from the annals of Indian cricket. We hope you enjoyed it and if you have a few more to share, feel free to let us know in the comments section.