20 Must-Follow Twitter Accounts for Cricket Fans

Alex Telfer@@troyspeerFeatured ColumnistAugust 17, 2014

20 Must-Follow Twitter Accounts for Cricket Fans

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    M.LAKSHMAN/Associated Press

    On its relentless path to world domination, Twitter has even become part of cricket's fabric, culminating in the remarkable recent event of Geoffrey Boycott opening an account.

    Although some still question the purpose of the social networking service, it has brought the lines of communication between players, fans and the media closer than ever.

    So, covering players, ex-players and members of the media, here are the 20 must-follow Twitter accounts for cricket fans loosely ranked in ascending order of interest—both good and bad.

    *Please note, apart from Opta Jim, I have used individuals rather than organisations and companies i.e; espncricinfo.

20. Opta Jim

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    Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

    Followers: 42.7K

    What to expect: Sangakkara has scored 457 runs off the bowling of Saeed Ajmal, at an average of 152.3.

    Don't expect: This is me at the Playboy mansion with Britney and Candy.

    Many cricket fans are statistics geeks at heart, but for those rare moments when life gets in the way of you trawling through your Playfair Annual, OptaJim does all the work for you.

    The official Twitter page for Opta's cricket department provides regular incredible statistical snippets that will make you the life of any party, as long as the rest of the guests are Wisden subscribers.

    7 - MS Dhoni scored 55.4% of India's runs, the seventh most by a captain in a completed Test innings. Example.

    — OptaJim (@OptaJim) August 15, 2014

19. George Dobell

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    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Followers: 14.6K

    Expect: Here are five ways we could improve English cricket in the future.

    Don't expect: This one goes out to all the haters out there.

    Journalist George Dobell is the senior cricket correspondent at espncricinfo, and, like his articles, his thoughtful and often thought-provoking tweets are well worth a read.

    Authoritative without being overbearing, Dobell is equally comfortable discussing the peaks of international cricket alongside the "depths" of the English domestic scene.

    Always enjoy that line about 'no pace in the county game.' Yup, Mills, Finn, Rankin, Dunn, Meaker, Plunkett, Overton etc don't exist...

    — George Dobell (@GeorgeDobell1) August 12, 2014

18. Harsha Bhogle

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    Gareth Copley/Getty Images

    Followers: 1.36 million

    Expect: Great knock by MS Dhoni today. Shame about the rest of the side.

    Don't expect: India have comfortably survived the first few hours on this green top in overcast conditions.

    A go-to source for all things regarding Indian cricket, legendary commentator Harsha Bhogle is the Jonathan Agnew of the subcontinent.

    First getting behind the microphone as a 19-year-old, Bhogle works for a multitude of media organisations these days, and his opinions are normally fair, unbiased and concise.

    3 weeks ago exactly the same things were being said of england as are being said about india now. will there be another turnaround?

    — Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) August 14, 2014

17. Andrew Flintoff

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    LEFTERIS PITARAKIS/Associated Press

    Followers: 1.51 million

    Expect: Jacamo have got a great sale on this week.

    Don't expect: I'm going to take it easy next year and not make any TV programmes.

    Despite retiring from cricket (until his recent comeback for Lancashire anyway) England legend Andrew Flintoff always seems to be in the news, or on TV, or on the radio or all three.

    Freddie is also prolific on social media and tweets constantly about his general day-to-day existence interspersed with some interesting cricketing opinions. 

    @kippax78: @flintoff11 @RobbieSavage8 Together at last and both for a quid....... pic.twitter.com/P8vklTim3K” I've hit rock bottom ! Goodnight

    — andrew flintoff (@flintoff11) July 31, 2014

16. Ian Botham

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    Gareth Copley/Getty Images

    Followers: 309K

    Expect: I predict an England whitewash.

    Don't expect: I think I'll give this bottle of Chateau Margaux to Ian Chappell.

    A legend on and off the pitch, England's legendary all-rounder Ian Botham boasts opinions in abundance—and will quite happily do a complete 180-degree turn a few days later.

    On Twitter, Beefy spends most of his time talking about food, wine and golf but still occasionally makes needlessly emphatic statements.

    Enough is enough we have to change things & move on simply not good enough (same as my school reports ) Captain cannot go on he's scrambled!

    — Ian Botham (@BeefyBotham) July 21, 2014

15. Phil Tufnell

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    Stu Forster/Getty Images

    Followers: 291K

    Expect: In my day, this would have been a win toss, bat first, wake me up at 6 p.m.

    Don't expect: Cricketers were much fitter and more athletic back in my day.

    Post playing career, the eccentric Phil Tufnell has forged a wide-ranging career for himself presenting and starring in numerous TV and radio shows.

    And his light-hearted idiosyncratic ways come over well on Twitter too with a nice mix of cricket and nonsense.

    Well that hearing was a waste of time, both cleared by the ICC.Would it not have been easier to shake hands move on/act like adults about it

    — Phil Tufnell (@philtufnell) August 1, 2014

14. Jonathan Agnew

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    Tom Hevezi/Associated Press

    Followers: 280K

    Expect: Warning to listeners, Geoffrey is in a very bad mood today.

    Don't expect: Just listening to the new Dizzee Rascal tune on my new 5G phone.

    The Test Match Special frontman, Jonathan Agnew, is a genuine voice of authority in the world of cricket and, as a BBC journalist, normally at the forefront for reaction to breaking news in the sport.

    Away from the game, his slightly out-of-touch and incredibly uncool observations on modern life and technology can be amusing also.

    Now decision time… Wear day-old shirt with extra squirt of anti-perspirant, or early morning shop? This doesn’t seem to be a shopping area?

    — Jonathan Agnew (@Aggerscricket) August 16, 2014

13. Shahid Afridi

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    K.M. Chaudary/Associated Press

    Followers: 227K

    Expect: Boom boom, let me hear you say wayo, wayo!

    Don't expect: I've decided to change my approach to playing cricket.

    Although he comes across as a fairly volatile player on the field of play, off the pitch, Shahid Afridi seems to be a regular, down-to-earth guy.

    Tweeting about his training and his family, the Pakistani ace enables his legions of fans to get an interesting insight into how "Boom Boom" operates out of the limelight.

    After a long day of practice & hard training ... Now relaxing and playing pool 😊 pic.twitter.com/E2mjrKKoOq

    — Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) August 4, 2014

12. Michael Clarke

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    Shaun Roy/Associated Press

    Followers: 860K

    Expect: A retweet of a motivational or cod philosophical quote.

    Don't expect: I'd just like to say hello to Jimmy Anderson, a great friend of mine.

    Michael Clarke may seem a little bland when compared with some of his more outgoing countrymen, but Twitter gives the Aussie skipper a bit more chance to express himself.

    And the 33-year-old provides some interesting insights into the daily responsibilities of one of cricket's toughest jobs.

    We are blessed in this country to have so many great sporting events.. Sport is in our blood. #longmayitcontinue

    — Michael Clarke (@MClarke23) May 28, 2014

11. Kumar Sangakkara

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    Eranga Jayawardena/Associated Press

    Followers: 126K

    Expect: Great performance today from the Sri Lankan lads.

    Don't expect: That Jayawardene chap doesn't half hog the strike.

    One of cricket's classiest performers, when he's not piling on the runs, Kumar Sangakkara can be found talking eloquently about cricket and Sri Lanka for the MCC and Twitter. 

    Scorer of 37 Test centuries, Sanga is a modern great and, as per his recent double ton against Sri Lanka, shows no signs of slowing down. 

    apologies guys for being quiet. Best away tour ever. Great result. Angie the difference between the two sides. Hats off to our bowlers.class

    — Kumar Sangakkara (@KumarSanga2) July 1, 2014

10. MS Dhoni

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    Jon Super/Associated Press

    Followers: 2.98 million

    Expect: This is my pride and joy—see attached photograph of a motorbike.

    Don't expect: Much/any mention of cricket.

    MS Dhoni takes the pressure of one of cricket's most stressful jobs in his stride despite the scrutiny of a cricket-mad country watching and analysing his every move.

    Probably one of the reasons that Dhoni tends to comment on anything but cricket on Twitter. Although his somewhat relaxed style is still instantly recognisable.

    Still raining here.seems there wont be any practice tomorrow.looking at the positives more time to play playstation

    — Mahendra Singh Dhoni (@msdhoni) November 22, 2013

9. Michael Vaughan

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    Gareth Copley/Getty Images

    Followers: 630K

    Expect: What better way to start the day than a classic fry up and a lovely cuppa of Yorkshire Tea.

    Don't expect: I have to say, the Australian fans are thoroughly intelligent folk.

    Although he can come over as a little smug and opinionated at times, Michael Vaughan's achievements demand respect, and more often than not he gets proved correct anyway—on cricket issues that is.

    Away from the game, regular talk of British institutions such as tea consumption, TV programs and football abound. Word of advice: Don't follow his terrible gambling tips.

    Vaughan Five fold... Man Utd,Everton,Stoke, Arsenal and Cardiff all to win #Kerching #NoBrainer #Keepthefaith

    — Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) August 16, 2014

8. Chris Gayle

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    Scott Barbour/Getty Images

    Followers: 1.65 million

    Expect: Time for a strong rum punch in the VIP lounge.

    Don't expect: Been training really hard to try and improve my fitness.

    Chris Gayle often gets tagged with the Caribbean stereotype of being laid back and taking life very easy, and his Twitter account does nothing to refute this.

    The Twenty20 maestro seems to spend most of his time eating, tweeting photos of himself and hanging out in various Caribbean nightclubs. Although normally underpinned with a sense of humour.

    I know I said I was going to bed, but I'm the DJ right now!! Oops. pic.twitter.com/vI9w4h5ve2

    — Chris Gayle (@henrygayle) August 8, 2014

7. David Lloyd

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    Gareth Copley/Getty Images

    Followers: 291K

    Expect: Another great day in South Central LA (Lower Accrington).

    Don't expect: We bloody murdered 'em!

    What you hear on the TV screens is exactly the same as what comes across on Twitter with television commentator David Lloyd.

    The eccentric Lancastrian offers a unique viewpoint on the game and many of life's trivialities. Also, he is partial to a drop of real ale.

    That Branson chap needs to sort his wifi out on the rattler instead of swanning round the world ...somebody have a word ...

    — David 'Bumble' Lloyd (@BumbleCricket) August 14, 2014

6. Geoffrey Boycott

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    CLAUDE PARIS/Associated Press

    Followers: 44K

    Expect: Fred Trueman wouldn't have got anywhere near today's England side.

    Don't expect: I've been reading a book of contemporary poetry and I'd like to recite some now if I may.

    Geoffrey Boycott was letting balls go outside off stump when dinosaurs were still around, and given his old-fashioned views, it is something of a surprise to find the legendary Yorkshireman on Twitter.

    It is still early days in Boycott's social media career, but if he picks up a head of steam, his account could be worth the price of admission alone.

    Terrific performance by England. India were awful, as bad as I've ever seen. Embarrassing rubbish- no fight.

    — Geoffrey Boycott (@GeoffreyBoycott) August 9, 2014

5. Virat Kohli

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    Matt Dunham/Associated Press

    Followers: 3.67 million

    Expect: Happy birthday Sachin, a true legend of the game.

    Don't expect: This T20 cricket is good but does it lack a bit of depth?

    Virat Kohli is the most popular cricketer on Twitter with a staggering 3.67 million followers tuning in for their daily dose of the superstar's thoughts and actions.

    The golden boy of India cricket, many have tipped him to be a future captain of his country, but the current tour of England represents the 24-year-old's first set back.

    Off to England soon. Every trip feels like my first match for India! Proud, awesome, amazing. Goosebumps! Words can't describe the feeling.

    — Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) June 21, 2014

4. Graeme Swann

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    Gareth Copley/Getty Images

    Followers: 660K

    Expect: It sure is a shame that Stuart Broad has broken his nose and lost his looks.

    Don't expect: Let's take a detailed analysis of that forward defensive stroke

    Graeme Swann has transferred effortlessly into the media after his cricket career came to a sudden end on England's nightmarish tour Down Under in the winter.

    And on Twitter, the spinner is in his element with the medium, proving perfect for his self-depreciating style and comedic ways, where he comes over like one of your friends down the pub. 

3. David Warner

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    Morne de Klerk/Getty Images

    Followers: 560K

    Expect: This is me and my special lady friend having a bonza evening at the footy.

    Don't expect: I think Joe Root is a thoroughly decent chap as are the rest of the England team. 

    The Joey Barton of cricket, David Warner tweets like he bats: aggressively and without taking prisoners, as per when he savaged a couple of journalists via social media a few years ago.

    Away from his own professional sport, the Australian opener posts plenty of rugby, golf and horse racing commentary interspersed with the odd selfie and a few in-jokes with his mates.

    Good to see skip @MClarke23 and VC Hadds not too good for economy but @stevesmith49 sitting in business. #keepyourfeetonthegroundkid

    — David Warner (@davidwarner31) August 8, 2014

2. Shane Warne

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    Jon Super/Associated Press

    Followers: 1.66 million

    Expect: Look at me and Liz Hurley/mystery blonde chilling in St. Tropez.

    Don't expect: In terms of tactics Cook is the man, he's even better than me.

    On and off the field, legendary spin bowler Shane Warne is never far from the centre of attention, and his Twitter account ensures that will continue.

    Whether publicly courting Liz Hurley, slamming England skipper Alastair Cook or firing broadsides at almost everyone else who dares to cross his path.

    .@MClarke23 All good mate. Making some notes on the Poms for the 2015 #ashes series hahaha.... 👍

    — Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) August 8, 2014

1. Kevin Pietersen

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    Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

    Followers: 1.9 million

    Expect: A selfie on a sun-kissed beach ending with #boom.

    Don't Expect: A pledge to score enough runs in county cricket to force his way back into the England side.

    Although it's like watching a slow-moving car crash at times, Kevin Pietersen's Twitter account offers an insight into the enigmatic runmaker's personality.

    While his regular retweets of people praising him, the look-at-me photos and cringe-worthy exchanges with detested TV presenter Piers Morgan are nauseating, the most annoying thing about KP's account is his relentless use of the word "boom".

    #Drogba to @chelseafc #boom

    — Kevin Pietersen (@KP24) July 25, 2014