They say cricket is a gentleman’s game and we have had some finest gentlemen to have ever graced the sport with some incredible grace and impeccable cricketing flair. Taking the world by storm, they were not only known for their brilliance in the 22 yards but unparalleled elegance, kindness and definitely burning acts of sportsmanship.
We will look at an all-time squad of eleven gentlest cricketers to have embraced the game with the utmost spirit of the sport, leaving behind an indelible legacy of the most exemplary behaviour in cricket.
Openers: Adam Gilchrist (wk) and Sachin Tendulkar
Gilchrist was the sportiest character of them all who blazed the trail of leaving the pitch if he felt that he was dismissed even without the umpire signalling him to walk towards the pavilion.
Sachin, on the contrary, was an extremely deferential figure throughout his glittering career and was even said to be shy to sledge an opponent for a single time. Ganguly claimed that Sachin would ask the fielder next to him to sledge, such was his aura of chivalry.
- Rahul Dravid
A very famous post which has been circulating across social media says that only if you ask Dravid to walk on broken glass for his nation, Dravid would simply say for how long. I wouldn’t have been astonished if I would have actually seen this happening. The wall of Indian cricket was always a very reticent character who showcased resilience of the highest order and always kept shut to sledging and spoke with his bat.
- Kumara Sangakkara
The erstwhile Sri Lankan captain and legend was known for his sportsmanship alongside his incredible batting and keeping prowess. Sangakkara showcased sportsmanship of the highest order not only for his own squad but also for his counterparts on the field.
- Abraham Benjamin De Villiers ©
Known for an extremely contagious smile even in the worst of all situations, De Villiers did not just win hearts through his batting pyrotechnics, but his cavalier attitude towards others on the field made him an absolute crowd-favourite. Always ready to help his opponents in a gesture of conviviality, De Villiers was also a leader of sportsmanship.
- Brian Charles Lara
The West Indian stalwart, Lara was known all over the world for his exceptional batting prowess in all formats of the game. With a carefree stance that gave him fluidity with the bat. Lara used to score for fun after a certain point in time. However, the best thing about his man was his affable nature that always acted as the northern star for young cricketers and also a friend for his contemporaries.
- Kapil Dev
Now comes the heavy artillery of the team, as the World Cup-winning captain of India who changed the course of Indian history, Kapil Dev is another cricketer who can make the bitterest enemy of all forget all the bad blood with his legendary smile.
With his all-round skill up for display that played a pivotal role in winning several matches for India, Dev used to be a torch-bearer for sportsmanship in Indian colours.
- Ian Botham
One of England’s finest cricketers of all time, Ian Botham is probably the best all-rounder the sport has ever seen. Ruling the roost in national colours for almost 18 years, Ian Botham spearheaded the English squad in countless high-octane encounters.
He was also known for his lively spirit across the 22-yards that always egged his team on to pursue further heights.
- Wasim Akram
Known as the king of reverse-swing, Wasim Akram was a fine leader in the echelons of Pakistan. A very sober cricketer, disseminating exemplary positive vibes through his command over the team and also his contagious flickering smile to win over his opponents, Akram blended aggression and sportsmanship in the most perfect proportions.
- Javagal Srinath
This man’s name needs no further introduction when it comes to being gentle on the field. An extremely reticent cricketer who became the first Indian bowler to consistently clock at 145 plus kays, always used to retort with the ball in his hand. In fact, he was also an imperative batsman towards the end of the innings. Sporting a very gracious smile, Srinath won a zillion hearts.
- Anil Kumble
Hailing from the same state as that of Srinath, Kumble was one of the finest spinners that India has ever produced. Mainly a specialist in Test cricket, Kumble played an extremely crucial role in One Dayers too. Another smiling character, Kumble, who always believed in a very positive set of cricket, went on to set high standards for himself through some exemplary bowling and his characteristic sportsmanship.