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Give 'em a degree

In the wake of MS Dhoni's honorary doctorate, we look at other players to have been similarly honoured

Deepak Gopalakrishnan

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Ricky Ponting has stepped down as Australia's Test and ODI captain, Sydney, March 29, 2011
Punter works up a mouthful to test the Darcy-Weisbach equation at the UoQ's mechanical engineering department © Getty Images
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After his fine achievement of leading the Indian team to a 0-4 decimation at the hands of the erstwhile colonists, Mahendra Dhoni was awarded an honorary doctorate by De Montfort University, Leicester, fulfilling his lifelong dream of having something in common with Paul O'Grady. A few other luminaries in whites (or pyjamas) have earned hat-tips from institutions of learning around the world.

Anyone who has studied medicine of any sort will tell you the prime challenge is having live specimens to observe or practise on. Surely, having someone full-time on campus would be invaluable to the enlightenment of tomorrow's physicians. With this in mind, the University of Auckland announced the Shane Bond Chair in Sports Injury Management.

Every year, the Sydney Medical School rewards niche excellence through the John Buchanan Scholarship for Best Research in Ambidexterity. Kevin Pietersen won in 2009.

It is said that Virender Sehwag has been responsible for more broken windows than anyone in history, including the man who inadvertently rode a bulldozer into a Saint-Gobain factory in France. The Indian Instutute of Technology, Delhi honoured the silicocidal one with the construction of the new Virender Sehwag Strength of Materials Laboratory.

For his outstanding studies regarding how a cricket ball reacts to extreme amounts of orally secreted fluids, Ricky Ponting was awarded an honorary degree in Fluid Mechanics from the University of Queensland, not too far from a ground where he has played 15 Tests with an average of 66.15.

After he grafted his way to 294 off 545 balls, exciting all save IPL team owners, Alastair Cook's alma mater, the Bedford School begins construction of the Alastair Cook Block.

Once, boards scoffed at him and said players would value national duty over some rag-tag T20 carnival. Soon after, they adjusted their itineraries so that their players could participate. Entire countries would benefit from the techniques that were adopted. Towards this end, the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad announced the Lalit K Modi Lecture Series in International Business and Negotiation.

Going from being down in the dumps to a 1981 Ashes that no one is likely to forget. From being banned for marijuana use to breaking the world record for most Test wickets. The University of the Arts, London, recognised Sir Ian Botham (who is no stranger to honorary degrees) for his contribution to the field of scriptwriting. The award will be handed out by his good chum Graham Gooch.

A university in Durban (which does not wish to be named) allegedly approached the South African World Cup team of 2003 and offered them honorary degrees in mathematics. This led to Shaun Pollock breaking down, Allan Donald hastening his decision to retire from cricket, and the said university spokesperson being forced to share rooms with Herschelle Gibbs.

We hear the Cochin University of Science and Technology was to build an S Sreesanth Performing Arts Centre on its premises, but the idea was rejected at the last minute because no one wanted to learn "reactive physical bhangra".

Deepak Gopalakrishnan blogs here

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Comments: 9 
Posted by   on (September 6, 2011, 5:53 GMT)

In Sri Lanka too many universities waiting to give multiple PhD's for Dilshan after Aussi series

Posted by   on (September 6, 2011, 2:37 GMT)

to be frank this is not hilarious or sarcastic at all

Posted by Sam_k14 on (September 5, 2011, 17:17 GMT)

What is the big deal about this Indian degree? One can buy Indian degrees and there are many degree selling "universities" in India. this is hardly a big deal. It has been told often in England that "Indian degrees are very difficult to fail". Clearly they appear to be very liberal in doling out so called degrees.

Posted by   on (September 5, 2011, 16:58 GMT)

Hahahaha. Reactive Physical Bhangra.

Posted by   on (September 5, 2011, 14:30 GMT)

For planning such a hectic schedule for the Indian Cricket Team the BCCI has been given the "Golden Calendar" award by IATA...

For his selection during the England tour Krish Srikanth has been given the "Most Random Mathematical Function" award by the International Mathematical Union

Posted by Sarthak1305 on (September 5, 2011, 14:27 GMT)

outh African World Cup team of 2003 and offered a honorary degrees in mathematics hahahaha this one took the cake very witty

Posted by   on (September 5, 2011, 12:50 GMT)

I was looking forward to something on Raina....and also on Gavaskar and Shastri for their communication skills. We will await a "Give 'em a Degree II". lol

Posted by raghavmadan on (September 5, 2011, 10:49 GMT)

Alister Cook Block. Hahahahaha

Posted by jijops on (September 5, 2011, 9:30 GMT)

"For his outstanding studies regarding how a cricket ball reacts to extreme amounts of orally secreted fluids, Ricky Ponting was awarded an honorary degree in Fluid Mechanics" -- EPIC

And Shahid Afridi, who should be awarded a Doctorate in Dentistry :)

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