Sport is all about bringing people together. Over the years, some of the fiercest rivals from the cricket field have come to become the best of friends off it. In cricket, there are some friendships that melt your heart and go make you ‘aww’.
Sir Ian Botham – Sir Vivian Richards
Two of the greatest legends of the game, Botham and Richards shared a house during their county stint with Somerset during their early days in county cricket. This was the first step towards a great bond that is still going strong. Sir Ian Botham was recently seen celebrating Sir Viv’s birthday in Antigua. Infact, the former English all-rounder, had gone on to state that Vivian Richards is like his brother. According to Ian Botham, Vivian was his best friend during his early cricketing days and he has been present on all important occasions of his life. The former swashbuckling West Indies batsman has termed Botham special as far as their friendship is concerned.
Sachin Tendulkar- Shane Warne
This is arguably the greatest on-field rivalry in the game of cricket. The Master Blaster vs The King of Spin was always an enthralling battle which every cricket lover loved watching. Yet the two have remained the best of friends and have gone on record many times about their mutual respect and admiration.
“We had a lot of battles on the field and generally he won. I got him out three times in 12 Tests and most of the time it felt like his testimonial whenever he played against Australia because he would just make another hundred.“ – Warne.
” It was always a challenge to play him. Even if he was not having a good day and bowling the last over, you knew Warnie was up to something… Warnie just won’t let you bat peacefully.” – Sachin.
Sachin Tendulkar- Brian Lara
Two of the greatest batsmen to have ever played the game of cricket, Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara have always remained very good friends on and off the field. The two have many times acknowledged their personal bond and have tried to be present for each other’s personal milestones as well. For his own son, Lara wished that he could bat like Tendulkar one day.
“The only batsman I would love to see by paying for the tickets and sitting in the stand just to watch him is none other than Sachin Tendulkar.” – Lara (on Tendulkar)
Steve Waugh- Rahul Dravid
When you think of Steve Waugh and Rahul Dravid, the qualities that come to your mind immediately are grit, mental-strength, integrity and the ability to remain calm and composed under pressure. According to Steve Waugh, it was in Bangalore during a ODI tournament in 1998 that the two started bonding for the first time and found “that connection” and have remained good friends ever since.
“Rahul wanted the extra edge that would elevate his game to the next level,and at the Adelaide Oval he completed the journey.” – Waugh
“He is someone who valued his wicket… Steve appeared to relish the big occasion, seemed to thrive in such situations.” – Dravid
Yuvraj Singh- Kevin Pietersen
Yuvi and KP’s friendship started with the famous “pie-chucker” comments have gone on to become quite a strong one off the field between two of the most cleanest stroke-makers in world cricket. Two similar types of men, who express themselves flamboyantly on and off the field and have won innumerable matches for their respective countries.
“He tried to get under my skin in the last game and it brought the best out in me. I tried the same and I think it brought out the best in him, so there is good competition on the field.. It’s a mixed bag of feelings inside, but it’s all in the middle. Me and KP are good friends off the field but on it I’m not there to make friends. We’re playing for our countries so there’s a battle going on.” – Yuvraj
“He’s a strong bloke. In the past he’s fought back into the Test team after being dropped. He was the hero of the 2011 World Cup. The man’s a fighter; and he’s one of the most talented cricketers that India has produced. I look forward to renewing my friendship on the field with him in the not-too-distant future. I’m in touch with him regularly. He’ll be okay.” – Pietersen