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XI: Picking a Team of Cricket's Biggest Dummies

Richard MorganContributor IDecember 13, 2013

XI: Picking a Team of Cricket's Biggest Dummies

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    Smiles better: former England spinner and all-round joker Phil Tufnell
    Smiles better: former England spinner and all-round joker Phil TufnellMichael Steele/Getty Images

    Cricketers are generally supposed to have a reputation for being smarter than your average sportsperson. However, as is the case with all stereotypes, not everyone always conforms to the rule.

    In fact, here are 11 examples of the some of the game’s not so sharp individuals who make our team of cricket’s biggest dummies...

Tino Best (West Indies)

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    Fast bowlers, unlike their batting colleagues, have always carried a reputation of being—how shall we phrase this?—not exactly the brightest of individuals, with the Bajan paceman proving a case in point during his country’s tour of England back in 2004.

    The tourists were heading for a heavy defeat at the home of cricket in the opening Test when Tino came out to bat, with the West Indian then made to look rather foolish by England’s Andrew Flintoff.

    The big Lancastrian was caught on the stump microphone at Lord’s baiting Best to hit spinner Ashley Giles for a maximum, saying in jest: "Mind the windows, Tino!"

    However, instead of ignoring Freddie’s jibes and concentrating on trying to save the Test, Best just could not resist, only to be promptly stumped for three.

    Not clever cricket...

Kevin Pietersen (England)

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    Gareth Copley/Getty Images

    The South Africa-born batsman was alleged by a national newspaper to have texted his compatriots in the opposition dressing-room with derogatory remarks about his own captain Andrew Strauss during the middle of a tense series between his adopted country and the land of his birth in 2012.

    Now, that is not really the smartest thing to do really, is it, when you are still trying to get fully accepted by your new countrymen?

Shaun Pollock (South Africa)

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    Gallo Images/Getty Images

    The Proteas skipper was obviously not very good at maths at school after the statistical howler he made that saw South Africa eliminated from the 2003 World Cup on home soil via the Duckworth-Lewis method.

    Needing to beat Sri Lanka in Durban to gain a place in the Super Sixes, the ginger-haired seamer got all confused when the heavens opened, believing the host nation had already qualified with the score on 229 and so he called his players into the changing rooms.

    But the home side then got the shock of their lives when they were told that, in actual fact, 229 was the par score and they needed 230 to win the game. It meant the match ended as a tie, with both sides being handed one point each and South Africa were on their way out of the competition.

    Wow, what a mistake to make on the biggest stage of all!

     

Monty Panesar (England)

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    Gareth Copley/Getty Images

    The Sussex left-arm spinner was out enjoying himself with friends and team-mates at the Shooshh club in Brighton last summer after England had retained the Ashes.

    However, the problem was that Monty was enjoying himself just a little too much, if what then proceeded to happen is anything to go by as the tweaker soon found himself arrested after allegedly "urinating on a bouncer."

    Not the best thing to do on a night out, is it?

Chris Lewis (England)

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    Getty Images/Getty Images

    The former England all-rounder was memorably labelled the "prat without a hat" by one British tabloid after he was forced to miss a match for his country due to sunstroke.

    However, the really silly part of the whole affair during England’s tour of the West Indies in 1994 was that after Lewis had had his head shaven by fellow paceman Devon Malcolm, he then, for some unknown reason, proceeded to field all day in the outfield without even a hat or any protective cream under a blazing Caribbean sun.

    I mean, really, how idiotic is that?

Mohammad Asif (Pakistan)

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    Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

    It is generally not a good idea to be carrying illegal drugs on you via a country that has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to such substances, as the Pakistani swing bowler was accused of doing by the authorities in the United Arab Emirates back in 2008.

    And while the charges against Asif were subsequently dropped because the public prosecutor in Dubai decided that the case was not significant enough to pursue, Mohammad al-Nuaimi had initially told the Gulf News that Asif had been caught "red-handed" with 0.24 grams of opium on him.

David Warner (Australia)

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    Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

    The big-hitting Aussie opener hit the headlines back in June after allegedly punching England batsman Joe Root in the Walkabout Bar in Birmingham following a cocktail of Jagerbombs and vodka and Red Bull.

    And even former England all-rounder Sir Ian Botham claimed, while commentating on the second Ashes Test in Adelaide, that the New South Wales batsman "is not exactly the sharpest tool in the box" after his unnecessary subsequent verbal attack on England batsman Jonathan Trott.

Ian Bell (England)

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    The silky smooth Warwickshire batsman can often appear lost in his own thoughts while at the crease, and never more so than in 2011 when the Englishman simply marched off for the tea break seemingly with an unbeaten ton to his name in a Test against India at Trent Bridge.

    The problem was, however, that rather than the final ball of the afternoon session going for four, as Bell had assumed, it had actually been stopped just short of the boundary rope by an opposition fielder.

    And as Bell confidently strode off to the pavilion for his sandwiches and scones, India instead broke the wicket and ran him out, with the batter only allowed to continue his innings after high-level peace talks between the two teams at tea!

    What a dozy so-and-so!

Shane Warne (Australia)

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    Jack Atley/Getty Images

    Any player who is so vain that he is willing to put his participation at the biggest tournament in the world at stake simply to try and shed a few excess pounds, as the great Aussie leg spinner so famously did on the eve of the 2003 World Cup, really cannot be that smart.

    To make matters worse for Warne, the dieting pills that his mum had given him then turned out to be banned substances, with the greatest bowler the game has ever seen being forced to miss what would have been his last-ever World Cup after being thrown out of the competition.

Phil Tufnell (England)

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    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Poor old Tuffers once asked his skipper Mike Atherton not to promote him from No. 11 to No. 10 in the batting order because he said he liked always to walk back to the pavilion with a mate at the end of an innings.

    And the Middlesex tweaker was so renowned for not being the smartest of cricketers that a banner at the Melbourne Cricket Ground during England’s 1990/91 tour of Australia once famously read: "Hey Tuffers, lend us your brain, we are building an idiot!"

Andrew Symonds (Australia)

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    Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images

    According to Australian newspaper, The Age, the big-hitting all-rounder was once horrified to discover that there were "disabled adult movies" available to watch in his hotel room while on tour with his country.

    However, when Symonds raised the issue, he was quickly informed that, contrary to what he had initially thought, this actually referred to denying youngsters access to such movies, as opposed to some new X-rated adult category.

    Wow!

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