Okay, so the World Cup is nearing its end. Let’s take a look back at some very interesting and offbeat facts about the skippers who led their team valiantly irrespective of the outcome.
1. Mahendra Singh Dhoni (India)
There is no cricket fan who hasn’t heard of Captain Cool. He’s made the nation proud so many times it’s easy to lose count.
- There’s also a mischievous side to our skipper. Not many know Dhoni was employed as a Train Ticket Examiner (TTE) at Kharagpur Railway Station from 2001 to 2003. This is a story from those days.
- Once, while staying at the railway quarters, Dhoni and a couple of his friends covered themselves in white bedsheets and walked around in the complex late in the night. The night guards were fooled into believing that there were ghosts moving around in the complex. The story even made big news the next day.
- And our heartiest congratulations to Dhoni, who is now also a proud father of a daughter, whom his wife and he have named Ziva.
2. Brendon McCullum (New Zealand)
Dazzling sixes and spectacular catches.
- Had things turned out slightly differently, McCullum might well have been an All Blacks’ national rugby sensation.
- In 2000 he kept the world’s best flyhalf, Dan Carter, out of a local rep team.
- The Telegraph UK told a story that McCullum’s rugby talent was so worrying to New Zealand cricket that one day when desperately trying to borrow a pair of football boots, then selector Sir Richard Hadlee advised this then teenager’s friends not to lend him any.
3. Abraham Benjamin de Villiers (South Africa)
This guy may well be the Chuck Norris of the game.
- Having national records in badminton, rugby, golf, swimming and athletics in high school level, it seems we were lucky he opted cricket.
- But if you thought sports is all he’s good at, take a load of this. He received a national medal from Mandela for a science project in his school days.
- And that’s not all. In 2010, de Villiers in collaboration with Ampie Du Preez made their debut music album named “Maak Jou Drome Waar” (Make Your Dreams Come True).
4. Michael Clarke (Australia)
Carrying a legacy on his shoulders.
- He is a high school dropout.
- He helped his father fight, and beat cancer twice.
- Tied the knot with Kyly Clarke, the award-winning model and famous Australian presenter.
5. Misbah-ul-Haq (Pakistan)
Taking the blame for every fall, a truly inspiring leader.
- He has an MBA from the University of Management and Technology in Lahore, Punjab.
6. Jason Holder (West Indies)
- At 6 feet and 7 inches above ground level, he is one of the tallest cricketers in the game.
- This cricketer from Barbados had played only one first class game before he get his first international.
7. Angelo Mathews (Sri Lanka)
The all rounder that the Lankans deserved.
- He is nicknamed Superman by his teammates.
- Due to an injury sustained in the semis, Mathews missed the world cup final against India in 2011.
- In November 2010, Angelo Mathews was named ‘ Personality of the Year’ by Living magazine in Sri Lanka.
8. Mashrafe Mortaza (Bangladesh)
- His pace has gained him the nickname of the “Narail Express”.
- He is also immensely popular in his home town, leading to him being dubbed as their “Prince of Hearts”.
- At Govt. Victoria College, Narail, Mortaza met his soul mate Sumona Haque Shumi, whom he married in 2006. They now have a daughter Humaira Mortaza.
9. William Porterfield (Ireland)
Leading by example and excellence.
- Also an outstanding fielder, Porterfield holds the distinction of captaining Ireland in all forms and levels of the game since the under-13 level.
10. Eoin Morgan (England)
Explosive batsman. Exceptional fielder. Reliable skipper.
- He is originally Irish, and was born in Dublin.
- Morgan had captained the 2006 Under-19 world cup team for Ireland before joining the Three Lions.
- He is the only cricketer to score ODI centuries for both countries, England as well as Ireland.
- Hailing from a family of cricket lovers, his brother Gavin and sisters Laura and Gwen have also represented Ireland internationally.
11. Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan)
Inspiring a struggling nation with his game.
- Nabi’s is a story of struggle and bravery in a country where fear presides.
- Situations were grave when his father was kidnapped last year, while he was in Ireland and held to a ransom of $2 million. Fortunately, they later caught the kidnappers.
12. Preston Luke Mommsen (Scotland)
- This Scottish skipper was actually born in South Africa.
- He has also represented South Africa in rugby and cricket.
13. Elton Chigumbura(Zimbabwe)
- He is probably Zimbabwe’s best all rounder at the moment, and a fearsome hard hitter.
- A daredevil at just 16, he walked with a lion, side-by-side at Antilog Park in Gweru.
14. Mohammad Tauqir – United Arab Emirates
- At 43 years, he’s one of the oldest players in the game.
- Tauqir is also a qualified Asian Cricket Council level one coach.
- In the beginning of the world cup, many suggested that he was included in the side because he had an Emirati visa.