A dressing room environment is always paramount to a team’s success. The camaraderie behind the scenes defines the team’s spirit. A safe, secure dressing room goes a long way in easing different sets of players. The vibes that a dressing room shares go a long way in deciding the brand of cricket the team plays. Cricketers often stress the belief that the dressing room shares. It is the place that drives the entire team in unison. Here is 5 Interesting Dressing Room Secrets In Cricket History.
There is a famous adage associated with dressing room stories. It says, “What happens in the dressing room, stays in the dressing room.”
5 Interesting Dressing Room Secrets In Cricket History
#5 Seniors schooling Parthiv Patel for sledging Steve Waugh
Steve Waugh in his last hurrah played a match-saving inning of 80 against India at Sydney. He was seemingly taking the game away from Indians. Parthiv Patel, the then wicket-keeper tried to sledge Waugh. He was quoted saying, “Come on Steve, just one more of your popular slog-sweeps before you quit.” Waugh retorted, “look, buddy, show a bit of respect, you were in nappies when I debuted eighteen years ago.” The seniors in the Indian team then schooled Patel for sledging a legend like Waugh in his farewell game.
#4 Wasim Akram’s escape after sledging Sir Viv Richards
Wasim Akram had just made his international debut in the mid-80s. Sir Viv Richards was already an icon. In 1987 in a heated game, Akram bowled a difficult spell to Richards.
Recalling that incident, Akram was quoted saying, “Since I was bowling well to Viv Richards, I was pumped up. I went on to exchange few words with Viv. That certainly didn’t go well with him”. Akram went on to add, “He would have hit me a lot in 1988. He was a muscular guy and I was very skinny. It was the last over of the match and I was bowling at a good pace. I had realised by then that I have become fast. Viv Richards realised I was a difficult bowler and thought I have a quick-arm action. I bowled a bouncer at him and his cap fell down. Someone like Viv Richards dropping his cap was a big deal.”
Akram’s bouncer barrage:
He later said, “There used to be no match referee back then and I went up to him and sledged in him in my broken English. He spat after staring at me and said, ‘don’t do this man’. I understood nothing but just the man’s word. I said, ‘ok, no worries’ and went to my captain Imran Khan and told him that Richards is asking me not to abuse him, or else he’ll beat me up. Imran told me not to worry and bowl him, bouncers. I bowled him a bouncer and abused him after he ducked. On the last ball of the day, I bowled an in-swinger and he was bowled. I even went up to him and gave him a good send-off, shouting things like ‘go back and all’”.
Wasim Akram post the day’s play was taking off his shoes. He was asked by a guy to come out, and here’s what Wasim Akram faced. “When I went out I saw Viv Richards standing without his shirt. He was sweating and having his bat in his hand, he also had his pads on. I got scared and ran back to Imran Khan. I told him that Viv Richards was waiting for me with a bat in his hand. Imran Khan told ‘what should I do. It’s your fight, go and handle it’. I went out and told him sorry. I told him that nothing of this sort will happen again and he said you better not, I will kill you. My street smartness worked for me then.”
#3 Yuvraj Singh’s prank on Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli started playing cricket owing to Sachin Tendulkar. Tendulkar was such a big inspiration for Kohli. The few seniors in the team knew about this. Yuvraj Singh, the quintessential prankster asked Kohli to touch Sachin’s feet in the dressing room. He said that this is a practice that all newcomers have to follow. Kohli obliged and went on to touch Tendulkar’s feet. Sachin visibly amused asked Kohli what is he doing? Kohli replied that I have been asked to do so. Tendulkar then assured Kohli that there is no such practice and these guys have pulled a prank on you.
#2 Dawood Ibrahim’s visit to the Indian dressing room
During the 80s and 90s, the influence of the underworld on bookies and match-fixing was quite prevalent in Sharjah. Dawood Ibrahim, one of the most wanted men quite calmly walked into the Indian dressing room in 1987. He told the Indian team that if they manage to win the Sharjah cup involving 3 other teams he will gift every player with a Toyota car. The Indian team shoved Ibrahim out from the dressing room with Kapil Dev leading the charge.
#1 Sourav Ganguly pranked on April fools’ day
Sourav Ganguly was instrumental in transforming Indian cricket. He provided the youngsters a platform to express themselves freely. The young bunch were so free that they ended up pranking Ganguly himself. The trio of Yuvraj, Harbhajan, and Sehwag carried out a fake printout of a newspaper that highlighted an imaginary interview of Ganguly. In that piece, Ganguly was highly critical of his players. However, with Ganguly then giving it a careful read, the skipper immediately tried to clarify that nothing as such was said by him in any of the interviews.
Ganguly even pleaded his innocence on several occasions, the youngsters and the other team members didn’t back off. This made Ganguly ponder upon giving up captaincy. But Rahul Dravid couldn’t control his laughter and an outburst of laughs eventually revealed the entire situation as a prank on the skipper.