Different Styles of Celebration in Cricket
Some scenes in life are unforgettable.
The unforgettable moment when Pakistan’s Wasim Akram celebrated the wickets of England’s Allan Lamb and Chris Lewis with his arms raised and fists clenched as he rushed to the wicketkeeper in the 1992 world cup final at the MCG is one. That is one of those sights that the recently concluded World Cup must have made all and sundry miss. Let’s try and remember a few similar styles of celebration in Cricket after a wicket was bagged.
It’s rather unfair not to mention the passionate and emotional celebrations of Shoaib Akhtar. The famous wicket of Sachin Tendulkar as Akhtar clean-bowled the ‘Little Master’ in the renowned Kolkata test match is one especially worthy of mention. Afterall, the sight of a set of stumps taking a stroll is a glamorous view that fills the heart of a bowler and his admirers with comfort and passion.
Many would remember the reaction of Ambrose after taking a wicket. It’s no secret that the tall and lanky fast bowler was an interesting character. Even now as he coaches the West Indies’s bowling unit, it is a delight seeing the giant’s enthusiasm still ablaze. Ambrose had two unique styles of celebration when he got someone out. Perhaps, Ambrose is the only person who can do things like that in the world. For one, Ambrose would clench his fists and raise them high only to overlap them to the amusement of his fellows.
Another style of celebration by Ambrose is even funnier than the former, and one that many would have noticed Pakistan’s Mohammad Irfan try of late. After taking a wicket, Ambrose would raise his hand high and let one after another of his team mates leap for a high-five. Upon each successful clap, Ambrose used to nod his head in acknowledgement. The funniest segment of this particular cricket celebration would take place when the 5.6 feet tall West Indian wicket keeper, David Williams used to run up to Ambrose. There is no doubt that this was the time when the trend of celebrating wickets really began with full force. Prior to this, the styles of celebration from teams were rather subdued; they would merely gather around for a couple of minutes.
It is believed that South African fast bowler, Allan Donald started the trend of expressing happiness after a wicket by shouting out loud. The white sunscreen on Allan Donald’s face was also a notable attraction. At the start of his career, Shane Warne would also wear similar make up.
Arguably, the celebration style of Wasim Akram was the most charming and a treat to watch. He was good looking, stylish and an exceptional fast bowler who was usually ecstatic upon bagging a wicket. Akram continued following his celebration style of the 1992 Cricket world cup throughout his career. His trademark style of celebration was to raise one hand high in the air as he ran towards the wicket-keeper shouting out loud.
Pakistan’s Waqar Younis’s celebration style upon taking a crucial wicket was also quite emphatic. He would reciprocate the raised finger by the umpire with a fist pump and a momentary skip. The white band on his forehead was also an important part of his personality in the early years of his career.
Australia’s Glenn McGrath was known for mild celebrations. The fact that he would keep wearing a smile on his face for the most part made it seem as if he had already guessed that he would take a wicket.
Thus, cracking a smile after taking a wicket looked like a mere formality for him. He would slightly raise one arm as his team mates would rush in to congratulate him.
Murali was another character. The life of his bowling was in his eyes. His wide open eyes as he was still in his bowling stride were scary enough, but then his magical bowling that would feature a wide variety of deliveries used to hoodwink the greatest of batsmen. Wider opened eyes were a fitting send-off to the fallen batsman by Murali once that wicket tumbled.
Pakistan’s Shoaib Akhtar’s celebration style was famous because of the way it would make Akhtar seem like a plane. He would leap with joy, punch the air and run with his wings open wide as if he had been set free to fly. His style of celebration was just as aggressive as his pace bowling.
Brett Lee’s style of celebration was also impressive. He would bend one knee and used to repeatedly punch the air with his fist as though he was starting a chainsaw. South Africa’s Dale Steyn has practiced a similar style of celebration on several occasions.
West Indian players have been the most unique in their styles of celebration. Cory Collimore embraced a distinctive style; he used to bring both his hands together and swing them around as if cradling a baby. At several occasions, he would raise three fingers that symbolized a set of stumps he had just uprooted. Another West Indian left arm fast bowler, Sheldon Cottrell is famous for his military salute after taking a wicket. It wouldn’t be fair to not mention the celebration style of the entire West Indies team on winning the T20 World Cup 2012 as they danced to Gangnum Style which was led by none other than the charismatic, Chris Gayle.
Source: Saqib Maik