March 28, 2012

What makes cricketers superstitious?

In a game where so many variables are outside a player's control, the value of superstition as a crutch cannot be overestimated
  shares 41

Sixteen years ago - almost exactly - I made my first-class debut. I was 18, and the memories of that day are so clear that it could be yesterday. I bought a can of Lucozade and a copy of the Times from the shop across the road in Cambridge, then cycled the mile or so to Fenner's, the famous old ground where the Cambridge University "Blues" play against the inevitably much stronger county teams. I sat in a corner of the dressing room before opening the batting, collecting my thoughts; I walked out to bat to the left-hand side of my opening partner; I didn't take strike, so I was No. 2 on the scorecard; I grounded my bat in the batting crease at the end of every over - even if there had been a boundary.

What I didn't know, on that very first morning of my career, was that my footsteps - so utterly humdrum and banal - would become fixed in stone by my own chronic addiction to superstition. I got a hundred against Glamorgan in that first innings, a blessing in many ways. But I was so superstitious that I couldn't change the routine I had stumbled upon entirely by accident - the Lucozade, the Times, the same corner of the dressing room, the left pad on first, the velcro straps adjusted just the right number of times, the bats lined up on the table, bat-faces staring out into the room.

I try to be a rational person, and I knew, of course, that it was absolutely ridiculous to think there was any correlation between my choice of soft drink and the number of runs I scored. But the rituals became fixed. I was learning the tip of a hard lesson: batting drives everyone a little bit mad, however sane and well-adjusted you start out.

At least I was in good company. Neil McKenzie, the South African batsman, went though a spell of attaching his cricket bats to the ceiling of the dressing room before he went out to bat. Obviously, I can sympathise with the sentiment. But how did he stumble upon the routine in the first place? Was he tinkering around with a bit of interior decorating - would my bat look good dangling here? - immediately before he scored one of his hundreds?

That is how superstitions arise: you have some success and search for explanations in the recent past. Don't be fooled into thinking that superstition only affects the weak-willed. Steve Waugh was the archetypal Aussie battler, but he carried a small red rag in his pocket when he was batting. "It started at the Leeds Test match in 1993, when I was in the 60s," he explained. "I brought it out as a sweat gatherer and I went on to score a hundred." He kept it for the rest of his career.

Superstition doesn't respect rank or stature. Sir Frank Worrell was one of cricket's great statesmen. But when he was out for a first ball duck against Australia in 1951, Worrell changed every stitch of clothing, fitting himself out in a completely new gear. "He walked to the wicket hoping that by discarding his old clothes he would change his luck," we learn from Sir Learie Constantine's obituary of Worrell on ESPNcricinfo. "Not a bit of it! He was out for another first baller!"

Superstition affects great athletes in other sports, of course. You'd expect that most sportsmen would be able to find time to meet the Queen. But the usually unfailingly courteous Rafael Nadal had to skip his royal appointment during Wimbledon because he hadn't met the Queen the day before. He couldn't face interfering with a winning pattern of behaviour. Given the choice between the Queen and his winning routine, routine won in straight sets.

If you really mess up and miss the middle of the bat by a foot, then the ball travels safely through to the wicketkeeper. But if you only mess up by a small amount, and miss the middle of the bat by half the width of the bat face, then the ball catches the edge and you trudge back to the pavilion

But cricket, surely, remains the most superstitious of all sports. Why? Partly because there is more time to observe - well, invent - correlations between patterns of behaviour and runs scored. The Indian psychologist Ashis Nandy has a different theory: superstition is built into the structure of the game because there is such a high degree of luck. Nandy explores the theory in his left-field book The Tao of Cricket: "It is a game of chance and skill which has to be played as if it is wholly a game of skill… Cricket is nearly impossible to predict, control or prognosticate. There are too many variables and many of the relationships among the variables are determined by chance."

It's not all about luck, of course. You need a lot of skill to make a hundred. But you almost certainly need luck as well. After all, how many hundreds are reached without a single play-and-miss? Not many. And yet, as we all know, a play-and-miss is a worse shot than an edge to the slips. Not a worse outcome. But worse in terms of the degree of distance from the batsman's intention (which is hitting the ball with the middle of the bat) and the end result (an air shot). In cricket, if you really mess up and miss the middle of the bat by a foot, then the ball travels safely through to the wicketkeeper. But if you only mess up by a small amount, and miss the middle of the bat by half the width of the bat face, then the ball catches the edge and you trudge back to the pavilion. Go figure.

No wonder cricketers lean on superstition as a crutch. They cannot accept the awful truth - that the game is governed by erratic umpiring decisions, random tosses and unpredictable seam movement - so they invent a coping strategy to persuade themselves they are in control. The umpire won't give me out because I've got my red rag; I'll win the toss because it's my father's lucky coin; I'll make runs today because I've taped my spare bats to the ceiling.

Nandy's thesis goes further. He believes cricket's metaphysics is uniquely well adapted to the superstitious tendencies of the most cricket-mad of all nations: India. As he writes in the famous first line of The Tao of Cricket: "Cricket is an Indian game accidentally discovered by the English."

I'll raise a can of Lucozade to that.

Former England, Kent and Middlesex batsman Ed Smith's new book, Luck - What It Means and Why It Matters, is published in March 2012. His Twitter feed is here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • S305 on March 30, 2012, 1:54 GMT

    Superstitions make for unnecessary thought processes......... that take away the concentration that is needed for a player to focus on the ball that's being bowled. I cannot see a point in entertaining a distracting thought like a superstition and can't see how it helps................. unless superstitions ease the ensuing anxiety within...............

  • vkkossery on March 29, 2012, 19:18 GMT

    Why only players? The spectators are also very superstitious. During the last period of the test series with Australia I sat on the floor leaning against the sofas and watched cricket on TV and when Virat Kohli scored a century.Now My mom asks me to sit on the floor every time India does badly so that the luck would change!

  • smgarge on March 29, 2012, 11:58 GMT

    No one mentioned Tendulkar so I thought I would do so.

  • kurups on March 29, 2012, 11:08 GMT

    and yet how many times do we (me included!) curse or blame a batsman for getting out at a critical time..in a game with so many uncertainities just imagine there would have been so many things that are not in the player's control. one other thing Ed brought out well is batsmen getting out edging. I used to hear Sachin in his early days getting out a lot more behind the wicket which only happened because he is technically a great player and gets in line and closer to the ball more often than others, just as most good batsmen do.

  • on March 29, 2012, 10:07 GMT

    What about superstitious Umpires? If umpire Shepherd was on duty in the current SriLanka vs England match, he would have had to stand one-legged for the whole night yesterday since England was stuck on Nelson (111/2) !

  • ToTellUTheTruth on March 29, 2012, 1:56 GMT

    Nothing can beat the superstition of the ONE-AND-ONLY....Tiger Woods. Always in Red and black on sunday. He did confess to this besides saying his mind is his greatest strength.

  • vertical on March 29, 2012, 1:54 GMT

    @Natesan333,right on buddy.Not to mention Sachin looking up the sky(heaven) remembering his dad. Now Virat Kohli is a naturalist(philosophy) after his century!!

  • McGorium on March 29, 2012, 0:55 GMT

    In many ways, this states the obvious. In fact, one could extend this (correct) logic to life. The reason we find solace in a divine entity is fundamentally the same: the vagaries of life are tough, and so its easier to go through life believe someone is watching out for you. There are too many parameters out of your control, and so you throw some of it up to a higher power. Life must have meaning, so we have an afterlife. Whether it's demonstrably true is of no relevance. Ultimately, we need emotional crutches to live our lives: even atheists believe in something... it might be something as simple as optimism. The superstitions of cricketers are just extensions of that basic need to create an illusion of control.

  • Natesan333 on March 28, 2012, 22:07 GMT

    @newnomi sorry pal, just because it is o.k in your religion doesn't make it not superstitious. The defenition of superstition is, "a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance." So it doesn't matter, when you practice the act or for what purpose. People saying thanks to god before a meal, or saying thanks after a century or carrying a picture of a god during a game, guess what they are all superstions.

  • HyderabadiFlick on March 28, 2012, 21:15 GMT

    On the eve of India-B'desh match of WC2011 I ate food at the B'desh restaurant in NYC and India beat B'desh the next day. Then until the final of the WC2011 I did not realize that and before the final I ate at a Sri Lankan restaurant in NYC and India won the WC2011. So, I too played my part in my country's triumph. :) Jai Hind

  • S305 on March 30, 2012, 1:54 GMT

    Superstitions make for unnecessary thought processes......... that take away the concentration that is needed for a player to focus on the ball that's being bowled. I cannot see a point in entertaining a distracting thought like a superstition and can't see how it helps................. unless superstitions ease the ensuing anxiety within...............

  • vkkossery on March 29, 2012, 19:18 GMT

    Why only players? The spectators are also very superstitious. During the last period of the test series with Australia I sat on the floor leaning against the sofas and watched cricket on TV and when Virat Kohli scored a century.Now My mom asks me to sit on the floor every time India does badly so that the luck would change!

  • smgarge on March 29, 2012, 11:58 GMT

    No one mentioned Tendulkar so I thought I would do so.

  • kurups on March 29, 2012, 11:08 GMT

    and yet how many times do we (me included!) curse or blame a batsman for getting out at a critical time..in a game with so many uncertainities just imagine there would have been so many things that are not in the player's control. one other thing Ed brought out well is batsmen getting out edging. I used to hear Sachin in his early days getting out a lot more behind the wicket which only happened because he is technically a great player and gets in line and closer to the ball more often than others, just as most good batsmen do.

  • on March 29, 2012, 10:07 GMT

    What about superstitious Umpires? If umpire Shepherd was on duty in the current SriLanka vs England match, he would have had to stand one-legged for the whole night yesterday since England was stuck on Nelson (111/2) !

  • ToTellUTheTruth on March 29, 2012, 1:56 GMT

    Nothing can beat the superstition of the ONE-AND-ONLY....Tiger Woods. Always in Red and black on sunday. He did confess to this besides saying his mind is his greatest strength.

  • vertical on March 29, 2012, 1:54 GMT

    @Natesan333,right on buddy.Not to mention Sachin looking up the sky(heaven) remembering his dad. Now Virat Kohli is a naturalist(philosophy) after his century!!

  • McGorium on March 29, 2012, 0:55 GMT

    In many ways, this states the obvious. In fact, one could extend this (correct) logic to life. The reason we find solace in a divine entity is fundamentally the same: the vagaries of life are tough, and so its easier to go through life believe someone is watching out for you. There are too many parameters out of your control, and so you throw some of it up to a higher power. Life must have meaning, so we have an afterlife. Whether it's demonstrably true is of no relevance. Ultimately, we need emotional crutches to live our lives: even atheists believe in something... it might be something as simple as optimism. The superstitions of cricketers are just extensions of that basic need to create an illusion of control.

  • Natesan333 on March 28, 2012, 22:07 GMT

    @newnomi sorry pal, just because it is o.k in your religion doesn't make it not superstitious. The defenition of superstition is, "a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance." So it doesn't matter, when you practice the act or for what purpose. People saying thanks to god before a meal, or saying thanks after a century or carrying a picture of a god during a game, guess what they are all superstions.

  • HyderabadiFlick on March 28, 2012, 21:15 GMT

    On the eve of India-B'desh match of WC2011 I ate food at the B'desh restaurant in NYC and India beat B'desh the next day. Then until the final of the WC2011 I did not realize that and before the final I ate at a Sri Lankan restaurant in NYC and India won the WC2011. So, I too played my part in my country's triumph. :) Jai Hind

  • on March 28, 2012, 19:56 GMT

    LOL :) ... I'd like to think myself as a rational person but I have had crazy cricket superstitions ... like changing channels to hope for a wicket ... or last year when IND won the quarter final vs AUS I watched all the remaining matches with the same routine ... same seat, same channel, same home delivered chinese shezwan noodles with chilly chicken :) ... I have a friend who religiously watched the first ten overs of the WC INDD matches in his friends house and then the remaining in his house :) ... Nothing could be left to chance :) lol :)

  • newnomi on March 28, 2012, 18:31 GMT

    Thanks brother Salman Raza for enlightening the unlearned. The sajda, as you say, is "quite the opposite of what the author is talking about." Natesan333, kindly clear your misconceptions.

  • dadvoc on March 28, 2012, 17:16 GMT

    BTW as a cricket fan, there are two superstitions I strongly believe in 1. commentator's curse: a batsman is going great guns, the commentator decides to praise him, a few deliveries later, he is bound to get out. 2. leaving your seat: almost invariably, if I want to see my team's luck altered, I take a stroll to the kitchen or just leave for my friend's home yeah - superstitious me! :)

  • dadvoc on March 28, 2012, 16:55 GMT

    footballers, especially in Latin American and African countries are very superstitious, at times even the boards believe in supernatural, a few years back I remember, a match was postponed because the official suspected that the away team had cast spell on the playing area to get unfair advantage. And who can forget Sri Lankan monk's pitch-rituals before their match against Pakistan (WC 2011). This sporting world is a funny place.

  • warneythebest on March 28, 2012, 15:38 GMT

    even michael clarke admitted to sone superstition during the 2nd test against SA recently...he had said he was too nervous to move from his seat because he was worried that their luck would change....

  • nachiketajoshi on March 28, 2012, 14:59 GMT

    How about the superstition of the spectators, when they know they cannot control anything that can affect the outcome of the game! In a world cup game, I went to bathroom and a wicket of the opposition team fell. Someone shouted from outside, asking me to stay inside the bathroom until the entire opposition was out!

  • gkannuchamy on March 28, 2012, 13:35 GMT

    Makes me wonder if that's the principal reason why a bowler is asked to run up and run down to bowl six time an over. If the batsman plays and misses once, he gets to play him five more times in an over. The more he plays and misses the ball, the more lucky he's. Secondly, he has a runner at the other end to give him company for running through the cheeky single. Class act!

  • on March 28, 2012, 13:27 GMT

    Good one Mr. i like ur passion for the subject.

  • Lord.emsworth on March 28, 2012, 13:19 GMT

    'Cricket is surely the most superstitous of all sports'...Is it really? American baseball is full of it. Reports of players playing in their lucky drawers (Jockstraps) without ever washing them is widely spread. However in introspect perhaps you are right. Cricket has more singularities than any other sport I know of and the span for superstition is wider. I remember Sanath Jayasuriya wearing good lucks charm strings all over his wrists whenever batting.

  • on March 28, 2012, 13:13 GMT

    as a kid when I was watching cricket i was reluctant to change my seat while my team playing well. I made deliberate changes of posture and seats while my team not duing that well. i used to wear same old gear just to be in good form while playing. I can recall Aravinda de silva using quite faded pair of pads while he was on good run. Mahela J as a habbit run all the way to non-striker's end and complete single even he hit clean boundary.

  • Natesan333 on March 28, 2012, 12:39 GMT

    I suppose people in general are superstitious, especially when they are doing something important and they want some extra help!! It is silly and fun, as long as it doesn't become an obsession. BTW it dosen't matter if it is done before during or after play it is still superstition. So pak players "praying" after a milestone is still superstition.

  • Ukayholic on March 28, 2012, 12:35 GMT

    Couldn't agree more. I always make sure that i don't change my sitting position before the end of an over because every time i did a wicket falls.

  • on March 28, 2012, 12:30 GMT

    Good article. A chance routine will continue for life for a sports person.

  • frost on March 28, 2012, 11:17 GMT

    I see John-Price beat me to it. That's the same story I heard with regards to McKenzie and his bat against the ceiling.

    Always a joy to read your columns. Your 'On and Off the Field' is still my favourite cricket book, and I've got quite a collection.

  • Pelham_Barton on March 28, 2012, 11:11 GMT

    @Chris_Howard (04:49 GMT): How do you know it is "too many"? Have you actually counted and compared (1) the number of times a batsman gets out immediately after someone says he is batting well; (2) the the number of times a batsman does not get out immediately after someone says he is batting well; (3) the number of times a batsman gets out when no-one has just said he is batting well; (4) the number of times a batsman doe not get out when no-one has just said he is batting well?

  • on March 28, 2012, 10:18 GMT

    @johnathonjosephs

    The Pakistani players performing Sajda isn't actually superstition at all. In the context that superstition is being used in this article in the end, the sajda is not at all a control factor for a player. The Sajda is actually a submission of oneself in front of God as a thankful gesture for allowing the player to score that hundred or win that match. It in fact, is quite the opposite of what the author is talking about.

  • Noman_Yousuf_Dandore on March 28, 2012, 10:16 GMT

    Very nice article, really enjoyed reading it! @johnathonjosephs: Pakistani players doing the sajda is not an act of superstition; instead they bow down in front of Allah in gratitude as Muslims are taught to do whenever they get something nice. Cheers!

  • Headbandenator on March 28, 2012, 9:40 GMT

    My superstitions: The same sandwich (Port Salut Cheese Sandwich with Mayo - very healthy) before setting out for the game. When shopping on the Friday before a game, always say hallo to a lady called Smita in Sainsbury's. Left boot first. Same end bowling at each ground every season. Never face the first ball when opening the batting. (One exception... scored 55 after a torrid start having faced first.) If bowling first, at tea have two cups of milky tea, two cheese sandwiches, six grapes and a Viennese Whirl. In later years, always wear my headband, rain or shine. Mostly meaningless, expect about saying hallo to Smita. The two occasions I didn't I got mullered when bowling...

  • frozendilemma on March 28, 2012, 8:46 GMT

    Nice article but it would`ve been more fun if you had mentioned more of these superstitions...I really laughed at the Neil Mckenzie even ... great piece...

  • Overtheinfield on March 28, 2012, 8:04 GMT

    Mr. Ed Smith, Excellent writing ! I'll raise a can of Lucozade to that !!

  • John-Price on March 28, 2012, 7:15 GMT

    Re Neil McKenzie's bat on ceiling habit. I think it started when a team mate taped his bat to a ceiling as a jolly jape. When he eventually tracked it down and went out to bat he did well - so he stuck with it (excuse the pun).

  • on March 28, 2012, 7:04 GMT

    Not only the cricketers, but some spectators too are superstitious, including me, BUT only in cricket! How many times have I seen a wicket fall, immediately after I change my sitting position, while waching the match on TV?

  • on March 28, 2012, 5:02 GMT

    Excellent article.U do it again,Mr Ed Smith :)

  • Chris_Howard on March 28, 2012, 4:49 GMT

    Excellent piece, Ed. And I don't care what people say, I do believe in the power of superstition in cricket. I've seen too many people get out immediately after someone says "He's batting well".

  • tntn on March 28, 2012, 4:46 GMT

    Amazing how one identifies which trivial act they perform will actually yield the desired result!

  • Nadeem1976 on March 28, 2012, 4:41 GMT

    Cricketers are not superstitious , Batsmen are. A bowler can have 100 chances in an innings to make impact. On the other hand Batsmen only have 1 chance. 1 in 100 balls per day. Luck plays big role in batsmen life. Some time you play very good shot and it goes straight to fielder and you get run out. Some time you play most ugly shot of your career and it takes inside edge and goes for boundary. It's luck who favor the brave and talented batsmen. I do pray before starting my batting because i know this can be my first and last ball. Batsmen needs to be superstitious because it works with their mind and give sanctification if they score 100 with same routine.

  • johnathonjosephs on March 28, 2012, 4:19 GMT

    Didn't Neil McKenzie use to not flush and not let anyone use the particular stall he used as superstition as well? Also there are kinds of superstitions that have not came by accident. The Sri Lankan cricketers seem to do these more than others. Malinga kisses the ball each time before giving a delivery. Roshan Mahanama similarly kissed his bat before each delivery and many of the Sri Lankan christian bowlers cross themselves before the start of their bowling in a match (vaas, fernando, perera, etc). I recall Ganguly always carrying a picture of a god with him all the time while batting. Not to mention Pakistani cricketers doing the sajda when they reach a milestone/incredible win

  • SouthPaw on March 28, 2012, 4:07 GMT

    Ed, you could call it superstition, but I would say it is a routine, something that takes the mind away from the game and letting instincts and muscle memory take over. The entire sequence of padding up, down to how many times you tap the bat as you face the bowler, is all rehearsed to a perfection with each action performed a certain number of times, in sequence, in a certain rhythm. This helps you get into the "zone". An interesting example from the world of Golf - Tiger always wears red on Sunday, and JB Holmes does 12 (yes twelve!) practice swings before addressing the ball.

    Bowlers also have this "routine" - placement of the marker, which side of the flannel you polish the ball, etc., but it is not so pronounced as their batting counterparts, probably because, you can bowl a bad ball (or even an over) and still be in play, unlike the batsman who has to return to the pavilion.

    Hayden, in his playing days, used to "meditate" sitting on the wicket - what do you make of that?

  • Charindra on March 28, 2012, 4:00 GMT

    Nice article. Sanath Jayasuriya's manic touching of pads, thigh pads, helmet etc readily come to mind. And also Mahela Jayawardena running down the track and touching his bat down at the bowler's crease after every boundary or six. Hilarious! Oh and of course, Malinga kissing the the ball before each delivery. And yes, I'm Sri Lankan! :D

  • on March 28, 2012, 3:50 GMT

    Ed Smith, sir you are a genius!

  • on March 28, 2012, 3:45 GMT

    I guess it also has to do with routine. We take the bus or train at a specific time to work - if there is any delay, then we hate the change of routine. Similarly, sleeping - some people need to cover themselves with a cotton blanket even in Chennai's summer - else they can't go to sleep! Routine is important and at times becomes superstitions - oh I had a bad day with the manager - oh yes my shirt was different...so when so much - a career - hinges on luck - cricketers will be superstitious. Plus it is also about rythm. If something helps you get into a zone, then fine. Jayasuriya, Ramesh Sarwan, Chanderpaul use the bails to mark their gaurd. Probably it started as superstitious belief huh?

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on March 28, 2012, 3:45 GMT

    I guess it also has to do with routine. We take the bus or train at a specific time to work - if there is any delay, then we hate the change of routine. Similarly, sleeping - some people need to cover themselves with a cotton blanket even in Chennai's summer - else they can't go to sleep! Routine is important and at times becomes superstitions - oh I had a bad day with the manager - oh yes my shirt was different...so when so much - a career - hinges on luck - cricketers will be superstitious. Plus it is also about rythm. If something helps you get into a zone, then fine. Jayasuriya, Ramesh Sarwan, Chanderpaul use the bails to mark their gaurd. Probably it started as superstitious belief huh?

  • on March 28, 2012, 3:50 GMT

    Ed Smith, sir you are a genius!

  • Charindra on March 28, 2012, 4:00 GMT

    Nice article. Sanath Jayasuriya's manic touching of pads, thigh pads, helmet etc readily come to mind. And also Mahela Jayawardena running down the track and touching his bat down at the bowler's crease after every boundary or six. Hilarious! Oh and of course, Malinga kissing the the ball before each delivery. And yes, I'm Sri Lankan! :D

  • SouthPaw on March 28, 2012, 4:07 GMT

    Ed, you could call it superstition, but I would say it is a routine, something that takes the mind away from the game and letting instincts and muscle memory take over. The entire sequence of padding up, down to how many times you tap the bat as you face the bowler, is all rehearsed to a perfection with each action performed a certain number of times, in sequence, in a certain rhythm. This helps you get into the "zone". An interesting example from the world of Golf - Tiger always wears red on Sunday, and JB Holmes does 12 (yes twelve!) practice swings before addressing the ball.

    Bowlers also have this "routine" - placement of the marker, which side of the flannel you polish the ball, etc., but it is not so pronounced as their batting counterparts, probably because, you can bowl a bad ball (or even an over) and still be in play, unlike the batsman who has to return to the pavilion.

    Hayden, in his playing days, used to "meditate" sitting on the wicket - what do you make of that?

  • johnathonjosephs on March 28, 2012, 4:19 GMT

    Didn't Neil McKenzie use to not flush and not let anyone use the particular stall he used as superstition as well? Also there are kinds of superstitions that have not came by accident. The Sri Lankan cricketers seem to do these more than others. Malinga kisses the ball each time before giving a delivery. Roshan Mahanama similarly kissed his bat before each delivery and many of the Sri Lankan christian bowlers cross themselves before the start of their bowling in a match (vaas, fernando, perera, etc). I recall Ganguly always carrying a picture of a god with him all the time while batting. Not to mention Pakistani cricketers doing the sajda when they reach a milestone/incredible win

  • Nadeem1976 on March 28, 2012, 4:41 GMT

    Cricketers are not superstitious , Batsmen are. A bowler can have 100 chances in an innings to make impact. On the other hand Batsmen only have 1 chance. 1 in 100 balls per day. Luck plays big role in batsmen life. Some time you play very good shot and it goes straight to fielder and you get run out. Some time you play most ugly shot of your career and it takes inside edge and goes for boundary. It's luck who favor the brave and talented batsmen. I do pray before starting my batting because i know this can be my first and last ball. Batsmen needs to be superstitious because it works with their mind and give sanctification if they score 100 with same routine.

  • tntn on March 28, 2012, 4:46 GMT

    Amazing how one identifies which trivial act they perform will actually yield the desired result!

  • Chris_Howard on March 28, 2012, 4:49 GMT

    Excellent piece, Ed. And I don't care what people say, I do believe in the power of superstition in cricket. I've seen too many people get out immediately after someone says "He's batting well".

  • on March 28, 2012, 5:02 GMT

    Excellent article.U do it again,Mr Ed Smith :)

  • on March 28, 2012, 7:04 GMT

    Not only the cricketers, but some spectators too are superstitious, including me, BUT only in cricket! How many times have I seen a wicket fall, immediately after I change my sitting position, while waching the match on TV?