Top 10 Most Shocking Celebrations in Cricket

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Sportsmen always show some sort of emotion after achieving something on the field of play and it is no different when it comes to cricketers. However there are times when the celebration goes so much overboard that it ends up shocking the on looking spectators, as well as the ones watching on television. This article looks at 10 of those famous/infamous celebrations which would always have a lasting impression on the minds of those who witnessed it.

10. Harbhajan Singh at Sydney v Australia, 2008

The feisty Indian off spinner had always had a bit of a tiff with the Aussies right from the time he first started playing and during the acrimonious series down under in 2007-08 Harbhajan added yet another chapter to that saga with a celebration that was shocking as well as funny. In the now infamous second Test match at Sydney, Harbhajan Singh dismissed Australian captain yet again and then went on a sprint toward the point boundary and eventually rolled in the ground thrice like a football player to the utter shock of the people who were present in the ground. You can find several videos of that celebration on YouTube and surely your first reaction would be to laugh out loud.

Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh (L) celebrates the wicket of New Zealand's captain Daniel Vettori with Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on the second day of the second Test match at Rajiv Gandhi International cricket stadium in Hyderabad on November 13, 2010. New Zealand continues to bat at score of 317 runs and loss of 7 wickets. AFP PHOTO/Prakash SINGH (Photo credit should read PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)

9. Nasser Hussain at Lord’s v India, 2002

The 9th spot goes to England captain Nasser Hussain’s unbelievable gesture towards the press box after scoring a century in the same match in which Sourav Ganguly covered himself in glory with his post match shirt waving act. Hussain was having a torrid time with the bat at the time and most commentators (led by Ian Botham and Bob Willis) and journalists were critical of his decision to bat at number 3. However, in that match Hussain rediscovered his form to score a century and once he brought up his century he pointed aggressively towards the press box and turned his back to point at the number on his jersey, which incidentally was 3 as well. If you watch the video you will find how prolonged the celebration was and how shocking it must have looked for the spectators at Lord’s to watch an England captain behave that way towards his detractors.

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8. Virat Kohli at Mirpur v Pakistan, 2012

You might say that a battle with the old foes brings out the inner warrior in most Indian and Pakistani cricketers and if it is Virat Kohli, then it would always be a bit over the top. Virat’s penchant for shocking the watching public with his celebrations makes him a distinguished member of this list with 2 entries. Last year India were chasing 323 in a crucial league phase game in the Asia Cup when Virat Kohli responded with an imperious 183 to win the game for India but when he reached the three figure landmark he exploded with an extraordinary verbal rant that must have made the hardened Pakistani cricketers go red in their faces. Virat’s celebrations after scoring a century are surely going to be the stuff of legends in the years to come.

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7. Andre Nel at Johannesburg v West Indies, 2003

He has been described by his captain Greame Smith as being someone who has a ‘screw loose’ and Andre Nel has more often than not lived up to that reputation with his on field antics. However, among many of his on field melt downs the one against Chris Gayle was the most famous, which is why it deservedly occupies the 7th rank. In that Test match, Chris Gayle had smashed the South African bowlers all to all corners of the Wanderers when the match seemed a lost cause and going in for an expansive drive off Nel’s bowling he was caught behind. As soon as the umpire raised the finger, Nel charged at Gayle and then ran past him with his tongue sticking out of his mouth. If you watch the video you would surely agree that it was an obnoxious celebration and deserved the penalty that was meted out to him by the match referee.

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6. Rahul Dravid at Eden Gardens v Australia, 2001

You will find it surprising that a thorough gentleman like Rahul Dravid is a part of these rankings but if you watch his celebration after scoring that famous century against Australia at the Eden Gardens in Calcutta, you will surely notice a never before seen aggressive edge in it. It must have been because of the battering India received in the first Test and also because of his own patchy form during the first Test. After he scored the century, Rahul Dravid went on an uncharacteristic bat and helmet waving jig that must have shocked viewers no end. The innings as well as the celebration will surely stay in the minds of everyone who watched the game that day.

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5. Dinesh Ramdin at Edgbaston v England, 2012 

Next up at number 5 is the shocker from West Indian wicket keeper batsman Dinesh Ramdin, who had a go at the great Viv Richards after he scored a century at Edgbaston last year versus England. After Ramdin scored his century, he unfurled a piece of paper which carried the rather disrespectful message- ‘Yeah, Viv, talk nah!”. It was not only shocking but also took the sheen off a well compiled century by the troubled wicketkeeper who was woefully short of form before he scored that century. He claimed that he displayed that message to get back at Viv Richards, who had correctly pointed out that he was short on batting form. As you might expect, Ramdin apologised later on and was also deducted a part of his match fees.

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4. Shane Watson at Perth v West Indies, 2009

It’s always a great sigh of relief for any bowler to get Chris Gayle’s wicket off the first ball but the way Australian all rounder celebrated after he got the wicket of the big Jamaican in Perth in 2009; it forced the powers that be to deduct 15% of his match fees. Shane Watson claims that Gayle had a go at him when he went in to bowl as a result when he got his wicket cheaply he charged towards the batsman, stood inches away from his face and kept stamping his feet which could be mistaken for a tribal war dance. You will be able to find this video on YouTube under the apt title – ‘Shane Watson ridiculous celebration’.

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3. Virat Kohli at Adelaide v Australia, 2012

At number 3 is the now famous celebration by Virat Kohli after he scored a century against the Australians at Adelaide last year. You would hardly ever see a Delhi boy taking a backward step in a verbal duel and young Indian batsman Virat Kohli is no exception. After he was repeatedly sledged by the Aussies en route to his century Kohli let it fly once he reached the milestone. He took off his helmet and went on an expletive laden rant that would have shocked and silenced every Aussie on the field. The celebration was pilloried all over the world but it had the desired effect on the opposition for sure.

Virat Kohli at Adelaide v Australia, 2012

2. Sreesanth at Johannesburg v South Africa, 2006

If you have watched it live then you will be left in no doubt as to why it is being ranked as the second most shocking celebration of all time. Indian fast bowler S. Sreesanth has always been a bit of a clown on the field under the guise of being aggressive but when he came up against his opposite number in the South African team- Andre Nel (more on him later) sparks flew straight away. The South African fast bowler constantly goaded Sreesanth to try and hit him rather than chickening out. The wind up operation worked but only in Sreesanth’s favour when he hit a good length straight over Nel’s head for six. What followed will go down in the annals of cricket history as one of the most bizarre and funny celebrations as Sreesanth waved his bat in front of Nel’s face and performed a sort of war dance. For those of you who haven’t watched it must watch it for a round of side splitting laughter.

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1. Sourav Ganguly at Lord’s v England, 2002

There is more than one reason why the bare bodied shirt waving act by the Prince of Calcutta at the Lord’s balcony, after India won the NatWest Trophy in 2002 grabs the top spot on shock quotient. First of all it was done at Lord’s where the atmosphere is always formal and on top of that it was a celebration that was simply unexpected to say the least considering Sourav Ganguly was the captain of the side at that time. Secondly, it was done as a rebuttal to the same act done by Andrew Flintoff in Mumbai earlier in the year. So, when India won the final against England at Lord’s Sourav Ganguly decided to dish it out to the Englishmen. Do check out the video on YouTube to catch a rare glimpse of Sourav Ganguly with his guard down.

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CONCLUSION

There ends the list of the bad, the ugly and the downright ludicrous celebrations that many cricketers have participated in over the years and surely there would be more in years to come. If you have any other episode in mind then please feel free to discuss them in the comments section below.

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