XI: Picking a Team of Cricket's Fattest Players
Cricket is slightly unique as a sport in that players of the more rotund variety are still able to make it at the international level, and to celebrate this fact, we have decided to select an XI comprising some of the bigger players the game has ever seen.
So, let us know your thoughts about this lineup of oversized and XXL cricketers that we have selected.
The moustachioed Victorian fast bowler with the savage tongue always had problems trying to keep his weight down during his career with Australia. In truth, the extra pounds never really seemed to impact Merv Hughes' bowling, while at the same time also playing a big part in his larger-than-life character.
The former England captain will forever be associated with being on the receiving end of Shane Warne’s “Ball of the Century,” although the joke always goes that had the Australian leg-spinner bowled Mike Gatting a pork pie, then he would have hit it for six!
Dwayne Leverock, affectionately known as Sluggo, came to prominence during the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean when weighing in at a whopping 20 stone. The Bermudian spinner turned policeman made an absolutely stunning one-handed catch that dismissed Sri Lanka’s Robin Uthappa in what was undoubtedly one of the highlights of the tournament.
Darren Lehmann was some batsman during his playing days, although with nicknames of both Boof and Shrek, one can probably get a fair idea of just what type of physique the 43-year-old Australian coach possesses.
Jesse Ryder is a big-hitting, New Zealand all-rounder who has endured a fair few off-the-pitch struggles of late. However, when his mind is uncluttered, the left-handed opener really can give the ball a good old smack.
Inzamam-ul-Haq, the ex-Pakistan skipper who hated having to run between the wickets or even field, come to think of it, always positioned himself in the slips, not that he was any good there though!
Of course, it's best to avoid commenting on the run machine’s figure after one fan in Toronto was attacked by the bat-wielding Pakistani for repeatedly calling him a “fat potato!”
Shane Warne, the greatest—and vainest—spin bowler the world has ever seen, struggled throughout his career with his ballooning weight. The leggie was even sent home in disgrace on the eve of the 2003 World Cup after testing positive for a banned substance that turned out to be slimming pills given to him by his mum.
Arjuna Ranatunga, the rotund, one-time captain of Sri Lanka, had the habit of somehow managing to get up the noses of most of his opponents, usually to the Lankans' ultimate advantage. Although for such a large man at the crease, the batsman possessed the most of delicate of touches.
Ian Botham, or Beefy, as the great all-rounder was known throughout his illustrious career—and not because of his interest in Beefeaters either, by the way—got bigger throughout his playing days. At the same time, the paceman’s run-up got smaller to compensate for his ever-expanding waistline.
Remarkably, though, it somehow did not seem to stop Botham picking up wickets.
Similar to compatriot and team-mate Hughes, David Boon, the No. 3 batsman, had a memorable moustache and a girth that was equally as eye-catching. That's why Australian skipper Allan Border used to make the Tasmanian field at short leg throughout his career, and in fairness, very little got past the big man.
There is no denying that Eddo Brandes, the chicken farmer from Zimbabwe, was a big boy. However, the paceman put all of his weight behind his bowling—and to good effect, too—during an impressive international career, although it was never a good idea to draw attention to his size, as Glenn McGrath infamously once found out.