Known as the gentleman’s game, cricket started as a form of entertainment for the British colonizers who wanted to get some recreation for themselves in the middle of their daily monotonous schedule of disseminating imperial dominance across the face of the planet. However, other nations shortly picked up the game and started proliferating in it, surpassing the likes of the trailblazers.
From being a one-nation dominated sport, cricket has now been labelled under the categories of the most diversely played games across the face of the planet. This has also led to the emergence of athletes from remote corners of the world which were listed as uncharted territories even three decades back.
Now the names in cricket have also started changing from straight-forward conventional monikers to fascinatingly elongated ones which mainly comes wrapped in the veil of shortened appellations which would be much more spectator-friendly. However, for once let’s delve into the mysterious world of these seven names that we were oblivious of despite them being our favourite cricketers.
- V.V. S Laxman
One of the finest Test cricketers to have ever graced the game in Indian colours, people are hardly aware of what his initials stand for. Though given his several match-defining knocks for India under challenging circumstances, people dotingly calls him very very special Laxman.
However, reality does have a full form to those initials, which does make VVS the special man he is. His full name is Vangipurapu Venkata Sai Laxman. The elegant cricketer from the heart of Hyderabad, smashing those exquisite cover drives and those picture-perfect pulls, he indeed is very very special in Indian cricket.
- Lala Amarnath
A man who exploits in the field got amplified by the grit of his sons and his career as an analyst on radio commentary preceded everyone in the business, Lala Amarnath was never the real name of one of India’s early greats. Amarnath, in fact, was just his middle name. His full name was Nanik Amarnath Bharadwaj.
- Ross Taylor
Fans of this extreme hard-hitter hailing all the way from New Zealand are frequently under the misconception that Ross Taylor stems from a Maori community. His origin traces back to half-Samoan. Ross is only the English sounding name apart from his family name Taylor. His initials are LRPL which when expanded stands for Luteru Ross Poutoa Lote. Quite a singular name for the cricketer who smashed the bowlers out of the park with consummate ease!
- Tony Greig
Known as the voice of the cricket for the 90’s kid, he was probably one of the feistiest cricketers to have ever played the sport. A man who could conjure magic with his words on the pitch and behind the mic, Greig hailed from another planet. He was born in South Africa, captained England and dwelt in Australia. His booming voice over the mic ensured that the spectators on TV were compelled to turn on the volume.
His full name though is a mystery to 90 per cent of the cricketing fans. He went by the sumptuous moniker of Anthony William Greig.
- Hansie Cronje
Erstwhile South African skipper, who met a tragic demise in the end after his plane crashed in the Alps, Hansie Cronje was one of South Africa’s fallen heroes.
His prowess as a skipper was indeed laudable unless his career was tarnished with ill-repute of getting involved with bookers. However, it is a rarely known fact that Hansie Cronje was simply a pet name for the man who experienced an overwhelming influx of all possible emotions in cricket. He was of a non-speaking Afrikaner populace, whose full name was Wessel Johannes Hansie Cronje.
- Chaminda Vaas
One of Sri Lanka’s finest fast bowlers of all time, Chaminda Vaas was simply an abbreviation of what seemed to be one of the longest names of the sport. Known for his stellar bowling figures which still remain the best in One Day cricket that reads 8-3-19-8, he was one of the most reliable all-rounders for the Islanders.
His initials on the scorecards read WPUJC Vaas which when expanded stands for Warnakulasuriya Patabendige Ushantha Joseph Chaminda Vaas. David Lloyd was the solitary commentator until date who could pronounce the name at will without stuttering or stammering for a single time.
- Muttiah Muralitharan
Sri Lanka’s elite off-break spinner who left an indelible mark in the history of cricket with the highest number of international wickets, disseminated across all formats of the sport, Muttiah Muralitharan is just an abbreviation of his full name. The man who left the batsmen bamboozled with his extraordinary spin bowling also left his fans in the dark with his full name.
Hailing from Kandy, he goes by the full name of Deshabandhu Muttiah Muralitharan, the man whom the world couldn’t crack.