Cricketers are a superstitious lot. As if their skills with bat and ball are not enough, they have some very specific superstitions that they believe help them win matches. Those beliefs might not be true but, hey, if that helps them focus and win games, we’re not going to complain, are we?
Here are 18 famous cricketers and their superstitions:
1. Sachin Tendulkar and his left pad first charm
Despite all his talent, even the Master Blaster believes that putting on his left pad before the right one brings him luck. He also got his lucky bat repaired before the 2011 World Cup as that was the one tournament he has always wanted to win.
2. Virat Kohli and his favourite pair of gloves
The Tendulkar of our generation also believed in being superstitious once! He used to keep wearing the same pair of gloves with which he wore when he started scoring well. But after a point of time, he probably realised that his talent and commitment was all he needed to succeed. No one knows where that pair is now!
3. Yuvraj Singh and his birthday number on his jersey
Yuvraj Singh’s birthday falls on 12th December and he believes that to be his lucky number. He also sports a kalava, which is a black thread that he wears on his wrist.
4. R Ashwin with his lucky bag during the 2011 World Cup
R Ashwin carried a bag which he believed was not only lucky for him, but for the entire Indian team as well. Even though he only played two games during the World Cup, he carried it for all the matches which India ended up winning.
5. Sourav Ganguly and the photo of his Guruji in his pocket
They call him the God of the Offside thanks to his grace and he believed in pocketing his luck. He always made sure his guru’s photo was in his pocket whenever on the field. He also wore rings and maalas which he believed were lucky.
6. Virendra Sehwag and his numberless jersey
He used to wear the number 44 jersey but that wasn’t turning out to be too lucky for him. So after consulting a numerologist, he decided to wear a numberless shirt and since then, the bowlers rarely got to see the back of that jersey.
7. MS Dhoni with his lucky number on the back
Mahi has surely been an amazing captain and if luck has played its part, then he surely has the number 7 to thank. He was born on 7th July and hence sports that number on his jersey.
8. Zaheer Khan’s lucky handkerchief
The left-arm Indian paceman made it a point to carry a lucky yellow handkerchief during every crucial match. He has come through for India with some amazing spells and has had a successful career as well. All thanks to that handkerchief!
9. Anil Kumble’s 10-wicket haul totka
Playing against Pakistan, Anil Kumble once equalled the world record of taking all 10 wickets in an innings. During that match, he picked up a wicket every time he handed over his cap and sweater to Sachin when he went to bowl.
10. Mohinder Amarnath and his lucky ‘fielding’ handkerchief
Amarnath is an undisputed cricket legend of India. Throughout his career, he ensured that his lucky red handkerchief was in his pocket when he was on the field. He performed brilliantly in the 1983 World Cup and took the final wicket which got India the trophy.
11. Mohammad Azharuddin and his black tabeez
A ball hurled towards his legs usually ended up at the fence. He was brilliant in the field as well and always wore his black tabeez. However, whenever he was batting, he let it hang out of his jersey to bring him better luck.
12. Rahul Dravid and his right thigh pad first rule
The Wall is one of the most technical batsmen cricket has ever seen. But the key to his unbreakable defence was that before going to bat, he always wore his right thigh pad first and never tried out a new bat ahead of a series.
13. Sunil Gavaskar and Kris Srikkanth’s walk on the right side
Kris Srikkanth was known for his prolific scoring. He made sure he walked to the right of his partner while coming in to bat. During the 1986-87 Test series final against Pakistan, India were struggling. It was his last match and Gavaskar asked Srikkanth if he could walk out on the right side while going in to bat. India did not win but Gavaskar produced one of his best innings.
14. Kapil Dev’s glorious World Cup century supported by ‘statued’ Indian Players
India were down in the dumps at 17/5 against Zimbabwe in the 1983 World Cup quarterfinal when the captain stepped up and started playing with confidence. It was at that point that Team India Manager Man Singh asked the players no to move from their seats. Yes, not even for a loo break. Kapil ended up with 175 not out, a score that eventually helped India win the match.
15. Sanath Jayasuriya with his checking his kit before each ball
He is known for scoring one of the fastest fifties and hundreds in cricketing history. It was he who started slogging bowlers left, right and centre during the first 15 overs. Even with his talent, he used to check both his pads, gloves, helmet and pockets before facing every ball.
16. Micheal Clarke and his music obsession
The Aussie genius has played many knocks that brought him under the spotlight. He believes in listening to loud music before going out to bat, saying that it is lucky for him and also helps him concentrate better.
17. Mahela Jayawardene and his favourite bat
One of the best batsmen that Sri Lanka has ever produced, he too has rescued his team and singlehandedly won many matches for the Lankans. His superstition lies in his bat as he is known to kiss it at regular intervals when he’s batting.
18. Steve Waugh’s lucky red handkerchief
He is one of the best captains in the history of the sport and is considered to be a true gentleman. As a player and as captain, he has come through many times for his team. He always carried a red handkerchief in his pocket that was given to him by his grandmother. He believes it’s lucky for him!