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Things players can drop from their repertoires to be more effective

Jarrod Kimber

Comments: 19 | Text size: A | A
Daniel Vettori addresses the media in Guyana ahead of the World Twenty20 tournament in the West Indies, Guyana, April 26, 2010
"Do I think I can stand on my head while keeping wicket? Well of course, duh" © Getty Images
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In order to preserve his ailing body and ensure he maintains himself for the long haul, Prince Brendon McCullum has given up wicketkeeping. It is a brave move for someone with a Test batting average of 34, but the Prince has never lacked confidence. If this works there could be a spate of players doing the same thing. Because players are too divergent with their energies in this day and age, they need to focus their chakras and their body-mind interface to get the personal momentum you need to be a winner. Here are a few who could shed some of their workload in order to prolong or improve their careers.

Chris Gayle
Being cool
You hear it all the time, the man is effortlessly cool. Nonsense. I don't care who it is - Johnny Cash included - there is effort in being cool. How much effort? Well, at least 10% of his life must go towards being cool, if not more. He could start by giving up the designer sunnies, get a short back-and-sides haircut and stop looking like nothing is bothering him. With that extra 10% he could run between the wickets like Mike Hussey, and you don't need to be cool to be Mike Hussey.

Graeme Swann
Twitter
Any cricket fans on the social-networking micro-blogging platform know how important Swann is to it. Sehwag - prophet of Sehwagology that he is - is rather boring, Michael Clarke's tweets have never reached the heady heights of dull, and pictures of Sulieman Benn on a motorcycle are enjoyable, but not fulfilling. Swann obviously puts time and effort into his tweeting. Coming up with witty one-liners and new ways to abuse Tim Bresnan. While this is great for us, if he was to cut Twitter out of his life, he could learn how to play short-pitched bowling and become a real allrounder.

Lasith Malinga
Kissing the ball
It seems like such a small thing, but Malinga's ball-kissing must be taking so much out of his game. You could say it is the one reason he is no longer a Test bowler. Think of all the disgusting things on that ball, Murali's sweat, other bowlers' spit, possible bird droppings and the manure they use to fertilise grass. All this must eat away at the mental side of Malinga's game. In the shorter formats this might not be a problem, but in a Test match he might have to do this over 150 times a day: 150 times a day he is kissing a ball that just got rubbed all over Dilshan's crotch. That is too much for any man.

Sulieman Benn
Annoying everyone
No one can annoy like Benn. Batsmen, umpires and his own captain are the usual subjects. In the history of cricket there have been few players who can get under the skin of players on both sides so brilliantly. But this is a skill. Skills need time, patience and hard work. While being the annoying spinner can work - Paul Harris has made a career from it - Benn can actually bowl. If he spent all the time he usually uses on annoying people on bowling, wow, the man could be a cult hero spin-bowling god, the Manute Bol of finger spin. And he wouldn't get sent off the field by his captain as much.

A grim Chris Gayle at the post-match presentation ceremony, West Indies v South Africa, 3rd Test, Barbados, 4th day, June 29, 2010
Gayle: straining every muscle to make it look like he doesn't give a toss © Associated Press
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Daniel Vettori
Coaching, selecting, running New Zealand, writing press releases, peeling oranges and everything else
For some the term "allrounder" means that there are two reasons why their country could pick them. For Dan Vettori it means he does absolutely everything his country needs of him. It is a good thing New Zealand isn't in a war, as Dan would be feeding the soldiers, driving the tanks and sorting out strategy. If Dan gave up just 12 of his out-of-cricket tasks, he could be an even better "allrounder" than he is now. Then he could probably play cricket until he is 43.

AB de Villiers
Guitar-based pop
I'm sure you don't need to be reminded of the sweet pop stylings of AB's song "Show Them Who You Are". It is on your mobile music apparatus on constant repeat. As obviously talented as AB must be, making the perfect tune still takes time away from cricket. Imagine how great a batsman he could be if he just put down the guitar. With his hands now free, he could spend time with them in keeping gloves - you know, just in case.

Other players who could give up things to improve their careers: Shahid Afridi could give up his day job as a comedian. Mitchell Johnson could give up his mother. Ryan Sidebottom could give up being stroppy. And even Ravi Shastri could give up saying the phrase "tracer bullet".

RSS FeedJarrod Kimber, the mind responsible for cricketwithballs.com, is an Australian writer based in London. His new book is now on sale

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Comments: 19 
Posted by mukul_skywalker on (July 11, 2010, 17:21 GMT)

awesome....m laughing crazily

Posted by   on (July 10, 2010, 11:43 GMT)

Or how about Sangakkara stop appealing for everthing that misses the bat?

Posted by knowledge_eater on (July 9, 2010, 17:02 GMT)

hahaha brilliant this legend never disappoints, long live Jrod there are many you missed out but included the most annoying one .. may be Part 2 is needed

Posted by raksmith on (July 9, 2010, 15:15 GMT)

Gud job man, Vettori's was the best

Keep it up

Posted by Kart_in_Quartz on (July 9, 2010, 9:18 GMT)

Teriffic article.. along with a few more of the comments here worth a mention... And now how about MS giving up beginning every other sentence with "Well, of course..."... you can then win the World Cup mate! You have all the perfect ingredients in your blokes.. From geniuses to controversies to eccentricity to limelight hoggers to match pickers… Well, of course, win the right matches!

Posted by lefthand on (July 9, 2010, 6:08 GMT)

great man sachin could stop adjusting his... "kit" before evey ball, no puns intended

sunny gavaskar could stop giggling like a little girl when someone gets hit "ohhhh...that must've hurt... he's got hit in the un-mentionables"

ricky ponting could stop spitting at his hands...

rameez raja could quit the circus.

Posted by   on (July 9, 2010, 5:43 GMT)

malinga's paragraph was FUNNY!

Posted by Zvakanaka on (July 8, 2010, 22:55 GMT)

Vettori could also stop using the word "pleasing" all the time. "Well done, Dan, you picked the team, scored more than half of the runs and then took 18 out of the 20 opposition wickets!" "Yes, that was pleasing".

Posted by   on (July 8, 2010, 17:40 GMT)

Ponting needs to stop spitting in his palms and stop whigning at UDRS if it doesn't go in his favor.

Posted by sdad1992 on (July 8, 2010, 16:53 GMT)

keep your good things going

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