Superstitions In Cricket

Ankit MunjalCorrespondent IMarch 10, 2009

Superstitions in cricket, I doubt there are as many superstitions in any other sport as there are in Cricket. As the cricketing season winds down in Australia, my team has made it to the preliminary finals on the basis of winning our must win last four games, two more wins and we will have won the TCL championships in Northern Tasmania.

Interestingly more to do with the article, I haven't washed my whites during the run of these games. Not a great thought is it, but it so happens that ever since i did or didnt we started on our winning streak and I don't want to change that now do I. So this prompted me to look into some of the supertitions that people involved with our game tend to follow, and some of the things that i have found make for an interesting read or so I hope.

Well most of us would know about the dreaded score 111 or in cricketing term Nelson, from which there's the double Nelson 222 and the triple Nelson 333 and so on and so forth that exist today. We all blindly follow the Nelson without may be knowing exactly why it is considered and inauspicious number, at least I had no idea what the reason behind it was till I decided to look into it. The term was invented in the belief that Lord Nelson was unlucky enough to have had only one eye, eye hand and one leg hence the 111. The superstition is that "bad things happen on that score". Interestingly though Lord Nelson wasn't quite that unfortunate as he actually had two legs, but the cricket term has survived all attempts by historians to correct it.The figure Nelson famously prompts Umpire David Shepherd to keep one leg off the ground as the bowler runs in to bowl when scorecard reads 111.

On the theme of superstitious or dreaded numbers we have 87 for Australians. Considered to be the Devils number, 13 shy of 100. 

Let's come to famous superstitions held by the cricketers themselves.

  • Sanath Jayasuriya clearly pats his pad and adjusts his helmet after every ball he faces.
  • Mahela Jayawardena always kisses his bat after every stroke.
  • Sachin Always wears his left pad first, and still uses the old buckle type pads.
  • Steve Waugh always carried a handkerchief given to him by his late grandfather.
  • Jimmy Ammarnath also carried a Red handkerchief in his pocket while fielding.
  • Ganguly always carries a photo of Guruji while batting.
  • Atherton would never give an interview if he was 'not out' overnight.

Well those are some superstitions I came across. Another really interesting incident occured during Kumble's famous 10 for bowling effort against Pakistan. In that match as a superstition Sachin would take Kumbles sweater and hat from him before every over he bowled and hand it to the Umpire as part of a superstition. 

All these efforts seem have worked for the above mentioned people, would love to know of any other cricketers with such beliefs or if any of you have your own superstitions whether in cricket or any other sport, as for how my little non washing works out ask me in a week or two.