Despite multiple international matches being played across the world, cricket is under the shadow of The Olympics. Last time cricket’s popularity in the subcontinent was overhauled by Olympics was in 1980, when the Indian hockey team last won a gold. Here we take a look at some cricketing stars who could make a good fist of their new roles in the boxing ring.
1) Andrew Flintoff (England)
Andrew Flintoff started boxing after retirement from cricket. In front of 5000 spectators at Manchester Arena, he defeated Richard Dawson 39-38 to become a lifelong member of the English Club of Boxers (ECB), and has was recently hired by them to teach Joe Root basic boxing defence techniques against Australians. Flintoff’s weakness lies in his weight, and his weak knees, making him a sitting duck against shorter opponents, also making him the global ambassador of an arthritis oil company called Turmoil.
2) David Warner (Australia)
Warner entered the WBA rankings after hooking a certain Joe Root out of the pub in a brawl in England during the Ashes in 2013. Warner is known to pack a mean punch at the top of the order, irrespective of the bowling attack or the format. In boxing terms, he is a southpaw, but he possesses a special move that makes him switch his stance and becomes a right-hander, leaving the opposition in surprise, and sometimes, a bruised eye.
3) Barinder Sran (India)
Member of the Bhiwani Boxing Club, a Punjab-based establishment and the former training arena of Vijender Singh, the star of the Bollywood film, Fugly. Oh yes, Vijender is also an Olympic bronze medal winner. Sran, a former wrestler like many of his brothers and friends in Punjab, got fascinated by the game when he saw the video song of Kings XI Punjab.
4) Jason Holder (West Indies)
Captain of the West Indies Test team, Holder is a surprise entrant to this list. Tall and unassuming, he has installed a punching bag inside the dressing room to ease out his pent-up frustration of seeing Marlon Samuels fail innings after innings. This is the sixth such bag, one for each innings of this series. Having almost the same height as Tyson Fury, the lesser known Tyson in boxing circles, Jason Holder is the holder of many records in his domestic competition, the Barbadian Boxers League (BBL). He intends to play the real BBL.
5) Shoaib Akhtar (Pakistan)
Sehwag’s nemesis on the cricket field, and on a popular social media platform, Akhtar has biceps equivalent to Scott Steiner, but an economy similar to Scott Styris. Akhtar’s entry in the ring is accompanied by an 80-m run-up from inside the green room, followed by an uppercut on the opponent, a punch he famously learned from Sachin Tendulkar in 2003. Critics have argued that he is all about speed, and sometimes errs in his line, taking down the referee in the process. Always accompanying him to the ring is a legendary Pakistani keeper, who squeaks out “Shabhash Shoaib Bhai” from the sidelines.