Top 10 Lesser Known Facts About Nasser Hussain

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He is the man who is often credited with the resurgence of English cricket in this new millennium by virtue of his strong leadership and aggressive approach on the field. You might have watched England winning that unforgettable Ashes in 2005 with a team that was brimming with talent but the foundations for that team was laid by Nasser Hussain- the captain who took over when English cricket had reached its lowest point after being eliminated from the first round of the 1999 World Cup in England. This article looks at some of the aspects of his life which have not been discussed much and it will be presented to you by way of a ranking, which will surely make it more enjoyable.

10. He Is a Part of an Award Winning Commentary Team

The final rank goes to Hussain’s life after cricket and you would agree that he has carved a niche for himself as a commentator of rare quality- outspoken, analytical and erudite. Over the years Sky Sports has been regarded as one of the best global broadcasters of cricket and now they have in their ranks the who’s who of world cricket in David Gower, Ian Botham, Bob Willis, Michael Holding, David Lloyd and Hussain himself. In 2011 the commentary team got an award as one of the best commentary team of the world because of their entertaining and insightful brand of commentary.

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9. He Still Maintains that Murali Chucks

The former England captain has always been known as a man with strong beliefs and on top of that has the tendency of speaking his mind and the entry at number 9 is a prime example of that. Due to the gag order on cricketers he could never say in public what he thought of Sri Lankan spin ace Muttiah Muralitharan’s bowling action but everyone knew that he considered his bowling actions as suspect. So, when he retired he made his views clear and maintains that Murali’s action was always a suspect one and the ICC simply accommodated him in order to pacify the Asian block.

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8. His Autobiography Was a Major Hit

Many cricketers have written autobiographies after they finish their careers but not many of them are as captivating a read as the Nasser Hussain’s autobiography Playing with Fire. The book was feted at the 2005 at the British Sports Book Awards as the best autobiography of the year and if you read the book you will realise it is not a run of the mill autobiography which simply tries to convey to the reader the niceties of the game of cricket; it is more than that. Hussain has bared his very soul in that book and it is a book that would surely be a great for anyone interested in the life of a high profile cricketer.

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7. His Favourite Drink is Rum

A deserved entry at number 7 is Nasser Hussain’s favourite tipple and it might surprise you that it is not Scotch Whisky or beer but the good old ‘strongman’s drink’ Rum. It is a drink that usually you would associate with the West Indian cricketers whose love for Rum is well known but for Hussain it has been Rum all along as well. However, unlike most he does not like to go drinking to pubs because he does not like the noisy and dark atmosphere; he is most often found in a cocktail bar if he ever decides to go for a drink or two.

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6. He Has a University Degree in Science

One of the traditions of English cricket-albeit not always maintained- is that the captain of the team should be someone who has been to university. Nasser Hussain will always come across as the quintessential British gentleman who can hold a discussion on any topic and that owes a lot to his education. Hussain studied geo chemistry at the University of Durham and was considered a good student, but his ambition at the time was to play for England. Later on he was to say that if he had not been a cricketer he would most probably have become a teacher.

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5. Michael Atherton is One of His Best Friends

At number 5 is one of the most famous friendships in English cricket in recent years which might surprise you a bit since both men were in the running for the England captaincy for most of their careers. However, the friendship goes back well beyond the mere dynamics of English captaincy politics as  both Atherton and Hussain are of the same age and played with each other as schoolboy cricketers during their formative years. Their privileged backgrounds also serve as natural glue and even now they are colleagues in the commentary box for Sky Sports which has only strengthened the bond that was created many years ago.

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4. He Studied At One of the Best Schools in England

A good education is a solid foundation for any endeavour in life and so it was for Nasser Hussain, who went one of the best schools in the country. Nasser Hussain attended Forest School which boasts of a 175 year history and has churned out leaders in every field from among its alumni. The school is also known for promoting sports quite enthusiastically and many present and past English first class cricketers have been produced from the cricket field of the Forest School.

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3. He Was Primarily a Bowler When He Started Off

It would really come as a surprise and a shock for you when you consider the fact that one of the best English batsmen of the last 20 years made his mark in cricket as a leg spin bowler. During his days as an under-14 cricketer Hussain used to be a leg spinner of repute who used to bucket load of wicket but after a few years he lost the zip and the turn which made him such a good bowler. He knew that his career was over but his father Jawad coaxed him into taking up batting more seriously and as  cricket history shows he has not done badly at all.

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2. His Father Played For Tamil Nadu

It is often believed that an aptitude towards sports is a hereditary trait in individuals and it must be true in case of Nasser Hussain, whose father played first class cricket. However, what most people do not know is that Hussain’s father Jawad played first class cricket before the family migrated to England and that too for one of the leading cricket playing states in the country- Tamil Nadu. So, you can surely understand why this grabs the second spot in these rankings for being one of the least known facts from the life of Nasser Hussain.

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1. He First Started Playing Cricket at Chepauk

Most people know that Nasser Hussain was born in Chennai, India but what most do not know is that he took his first baby steps in cricket at the hallowed Chepauk stadium in the city. The reason it comes in at the top spot is that it not only displays Hussain’s liking for the game as a child but the very fact that he started sampling the joys of cricket at an international stadium when he was still a child. During those days Hussain used to run around in the stadium and bowl throw downs at his elder brother who would later go on to play first class cricket.

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CONCLUSION

There might have been other facts that might have been a part of it but the 10 that have been listed here are perhaps the least known facts from the life of one of the best captains in modern cricket. However, do feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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