Crazy cricketers and their fans | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 18, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 18, 2019

Crazy cricketers and their fans

Cricket, a gentleman’s game? Undoubtedly so.

Flip the coin, and there are instances of those gentlemen turning into crazed cricketers to tickle your funny bone. The craziness of the cricketers and their fans put the final nail in the coffin of the age-old notion of cricket being considered a game of the stiff-necked English, or a fancy sport only for gentlemen.

Over the years, there have been several instances of players doing something unusual on the field, which leaves the fans, even the commentators, divided. Today, one hardly recognises a game as a game if it does not leave its fans in craze. Fans enjoy the comical side of the sport no less than the game itself.

There are numerous such occasions, without which, enjoying a cricket match seems unimaginable. In the age of the internet, such hilarious moments quickly become the butt of jokes, and social media get flooded with memes on the topic in a matter of minutes.

One such instance was when the Bangladesh team performed the ‘Nagin dance’ as a part of their victory celebration, one of the craziest ways of celebrating in the history of cricket. Bangladesh’s record chase against Sri Lanka in ‘Nidahas Trophy’ was marked by this wild celebration.

The serpent dance had taken social media by storm, and meme makers from far and wide, as well as trolls had a great time with it. Even during the final match, joining the bandwagon was none other than respected TV commentator and cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar himself.

If craziness in cricket could be personified, it would be none other than the West Indies’ players. They just cannot stop themselves from celebrating each moment — on and off the field — the epitome of crazy cricket celebrations.

Chris Gayle is one such character. Whether he is belting sixes at will, celebrating a wicket, or doing the Gangnam dance, or making funny gestures behind a player interviewed on television, Gayle is the heartthrob of the cricketing world. He likes to fancy himself as “Universe Boss.” And why not!

Then there is Marlon Samuels, the tall bowler from West Indies, famous for his salute send-offs. After taking a wicket, he marches down the pitch resembling a soldier and salutes the batsman — sending him off the ground.

The salute rally was joined by none other than our number one all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan. No sooner the stumps fell to the ground, Shakib, in celebration, first ran off to the mid-off area like an off-leash horse, then came to a stop, and saluted Ben Stokes.

The country’s social media just could not have enough of the celebratory move. Pictures of random people saluting started flooding the timelines and it even led to the US ambassador of Bangladesh to join in.

And who could forget the ‘Champion’ dance and song by ‘DJ’ Dwayne Bravo, one of the finest all-rounders and entertainers of the world. His ‘Champion’ song, ahead of the World T20, still buzzes in the ears and gives us nostalgia. The entire West Indies team was seen dancing to the tunes of the song during the World T20.

While the West Indians had ‘Champion,’ we, on the other side, had ‘Oporadhi,’  a song by Arman Alif, which went viral on YouTube with over 100 million views. The cricketers caught onto the craze of the song as well when the Tigers were found singing along to the tune of the song in the dressing room.

Shakib Al Hasan was seen using a pair of sticks to carry out the role of a drummer and led in the impromptu cover of ‘Oporadhi’ by the national cricket team.

It’s the fans who make the game what it is. Millions of people and their emotions are associated with this game, and stand as the backbone of success of this sport. It is them who cheer their side all the way, irrespective of the weather or what it may say on the scoreboard.

One of the craziest cricket fans of Bangladesh is Shoaib Ali Bukhari. A motor mechanic by profession, his real identity is that of a die-hard Bangladeshi fan that has been cheering his side for nine long years.

“Shoaib Ali Bukhari is the Bangladesh fan who paints his body like a tiger, attends most home matches and screams all day from the grandstand of the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur. He has travelled to India, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe over the last nine years following the Bangladesh team,” reports ESPNcricinfo.

One of the craziest fan moments caught on camera was during the Bangladesh versus Afghanistan final ODI, when a fan invaded the pitch to meet Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, the captain of Bangladesh cricket team. The fan managed to evade the on-field security and ran towards Mashrafe who was fielding at mid-on.

The on-ground security officials soon caught up with the invader, but the national skipper kept the security personnel at bay and all the while protected the fan. Even after he was being whisked away, Mashrafe kept an eye on him and gestured the security to deal with it.

Cricket is a sport when one day you are made a hero and put on a pedestal, and forsaken and forgotten the next. So many cricketers have come and gone, but the adulation for sportsmen has never waned.

Photo: Collected

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