2007 in review: Quotes of the year December 29, 2007

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The quotes of the year

What connects biscuits, the Spice Girls, chokes, muppets and, er, Cricinfo? They all figure in the most quotable quotes of 2007.

Malcolm Speed realises the World Cup is a little "too rich" for the West Indian palate © Getty Images

World Cup 2007

"I thought Aleem was having a bit of a joke with us when he said it looks like we'd have to come back tomorrow and play three overs. I said: 'Mate, we've played the 20 overs. We've actually finished the game.'"
Ricky Ponting on the final's farcical finish. Australia were celebrating (in near-darkness) after Sri Lanka had accepted the light - and hence conceded the match - before umpire Aleem Dar indicated that the match wasn't over yet

"We had to rely on the advice of the local organising committee to establish the prices of the tickets. It is, in retrospect, a little too rich for the local palate."
Malcolm Speed washes the ICC's hands of responsibility for empty stands throughout the World Cup. Others weren't so convinced

"If you were writing a fairytale, you wouldn't write it this way."
Rahul Dravid gives advice to would-be authors after India's early exit went against the script

"Before the game we said, 'Let's make history today.' Well, we made history."
Dutch captain Luuk van Troost on Herschelle Gibbs's six sixes against them

World Twenty20

"The opening was a rude awakening because we didn't think there would be too many fours and sixes. Then first ball and we were dancing."
While spectators were thrilled with the big-hitting during the tournament, Ian, one of the dancing cheerleaders, wasn't quite as pleased

"When the match [India v Pakistan in the first round] ended in a tie, only then did we come to know that this [the bowl-out] would happen."
Luckily for Shoaib Malik, Pakistan's ignorance of the rules didn't hinder their progress in the tournament

"Before I start, I should say I read an article by you in Cricinfo. You'd said Australia were the favourites. Today I think me and the boys, we proved you wrong."
Speaking to Ravi Shastri after India's victory over Australia in the semi-finals of the World Twenty20, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India's Twenty20 and ODI captain, tells all that he reads Cricinfo. And apparently it's inspired him.

"We are told that Mumbai is a city which is always on the move. See, me and my boys have brought the entire city to a standstill today."
Mahendra Singh Dhoni after the victorious Indian team received a tumultuous welcome from adoring fans on returning home

Long-running feuds

"Murali will complete 1000 Test wickets but they would count as mere run-outs in my eyes."
Bishan Bedi doesn't seem to tire of baiting Muttiah Muralitharan

"Someone is going to regret giving him [Ian Botham] a knighthood."
There's no end in sight for the 30-year-old squabble between Ian Chappell and Ian Botham

"We had to listen to his verbal diarrhoea all the time. He is just a goose and has no idea and lacks common sense."
Shane Warne is still not exchanging Christmas cards with former Australia coach John Buchanan

Tempting fate

"I don't think there's really time to choke, everything happens so quickly."
Shaun Pollock was proved spectacularly wrong as South Africa, after comfortably winning their first four matches of the World Twenty20, made a meal of a modest target set by India to crash out

"There's a possibility of us humiliating Australia."
Kevin Pietersen unwittingly becomes Australia's motivational guru ahead of their crucial league match against the old enemy at the World Twenty20. Australia hammered England by eight wickets

"You're likely to find more life on Mars than on this pitch."
Damien Fleming's views on the pitch for the fifth ODI between India and Australia in Vadodara. India won the toss and batted, to be shot out for 148. This after teams batting first had run up scores in excess of 290 in each of the series' previous four games

Verbal assault of the year

"Sri Lanka Cricket at this moment of time is not going in the direction it should be going, especially with a set of muppets headed by a joker."
Marvan Atapattu endears himself to his selectors during Sri Lanka's tour of Australia

It dawns on Mickey Arthur that losing a semi-final is "like kissing your sister" © Getty Images

The former players weigh in

"I feel so bad about mine, I'm going to tie it round my cat. It doesn't mean anything any more. It's a joke."
Geoff Boycott on the decision to award MBEs to the England XII after 2005's Ashes win. Shane Warne had earlier sledged Paul Collingwood, asking why he had got a medal for making 7 at The Oval

"Warne managed to settle numerous scores in the construction of his list and the only surprise was his mother was not ranked a few places ahead of his former captain."
Peter Roebuck is just as dazed as the rest of the world as to why Shane Warne ranked Steve Waugh at No. 26 in his list of 50 best cricketers

"This was a million, trillion times better than the World Cup - there are even rumours that's still going on in some remote part of the Caribbean - I hope this has been a lesson learned by the ICC that one-day cricket tournaments are fantastic, they're colourful, they're vibrant."
BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew has a clear message for the ICC after watching the success of the World Twenty20

"If computer know-how is all that matters, then [Microsoft chairman] Bill Gates should have been the best cricket coach in the world."
As the Pakistan board search for a new coach, Javed Miandad gives them some advice

"Perhaps they may ban the yorker and the outswinger also."
Dennis Lillee gives his view on the ICC's decision to introduce the free-hit rule in ODIs

Heads-in-the-sand award

"It had its controversies and detractors, but ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 will go down in history as one of the most memorable World Cups ever."
In its final newsletter, the World Cup organising committee continued to blithely ignore the poor treatment of the spectators, the empty stands, and the complaints over the interminable length of the event

"We were competitive in all the three Tests."
Shoaib Malik after his side's 1-0 loss to India. Pakistan bowled out India just twice, conceded over 600 twice, and were saved from a collapse of ten wickets in two sessions by bad light in Bangalore

Committed to the cause

"If it means cutting the finger off, if that's the worst-case scenario, if that's the last resort, I'll do that, there's no way I'm missing this."
Jacob Oram, nursing a broken finger, was willing to go to scary lengths to play in the World Cup

"He would rather go to bed early and read a book on sports psychology."
Dave Houghton says the ECB has no need to worry that their assistant coach Andy Flower will go out drinking with the England team


"Everyone keeps saying 'you'll know when it's time'. Well, at one o'clock two days ago I knew it was time - it just came to me."
Justin Langer talks about finally knowing that it was time to end his Test career

"Did I entertain you?"
Brian Lara asks the adoring crowd after his final match for West Indies

What was that again?

"I know people say losing the semi-final is like kissing your sister, but we can take huge positives out of the World Cup."
Mickey Arthur, South Africa's coach, on what people apparently say

"[The reasons are] not for me to reveal. It's down as 'rested', but they're not for me to reveal."
New Zealand coach John Bracewell claimed to have inside knowledge on why Adam Gilchrist was rested for the final match of the Chappell-Hadlee series. He later apologised for the comment

Buchanan: allegedly "just a goose" © Getty Images

"As far as I'm concerned cricket is like a biscuit, and anyone can make a biscuit."
Dean Jones' response when asked about the stringent opposition to the Indian Cricket League by the BCCI and the ICC


"If he's going to perform like this, can we please get him upset after every game!"
Rahul Dravid thanks England for their jellybean prank which inspired Zaheer Khan to turn in a match-winning performance in the second Test at Trent Bridge

"I don't know - for us or for Pakistan?"
Graeme Smith replies when asked if the absence of Shoaib Akhtar would be an advantage during South Africa's tour of Pakistan

"I'm blaming that on Wynberg [Boys High]. They didn't teach me to count to 200 - they seemed to stop at 180."
Jacques Kallis tries to explain why there's still no double-century on his impressive resume

"There is a point in time when you and you only know - the rest know it a second later - and it's the best feeling as a batsman."
Adam Gilchrist describes the joy of a six. He should know. He's the only person to have hit a hundred of them in Tests

"It's a good German name and sounds like someone who lives high up in the mountains, so he doesn't have enough oxygen and that makes him crazy."
Andre Nel explains his on-pitch alter ego, named Gunther

"That was unplayable, just like the Spice Girls."
The new Shane Warne doll, a playmate for the Boonie doll, gets his sledges in gear

"I am hippopotamusly happy and elephantastically proud."
Wes Hall, the former West Indies fast bowler, on being honoured after his 70th birthday. He has clearly mellowed down from the days when he terrorised batsmen the world over

"I was a bit concerned my name wasn't going to fit on the shirt."
We're not quite sure what England's latest call-up Ebony-Jewel Cora-Lee Camellia Rosamond Rainford-Brent means

"Well, thank God we've arrived in Sri Lanka, where there don't appear to be any strip clubs whatsoever."
Paul Collingwood's relieved on realising there's little scope of being spotted in all the wrong places in Sri Lanka

"Andre unfortunately only had one line that he was dishing out to Shoaib Malik and the boys, so it got a bit monotonous there. We just had a chat to Andre and said to Graeme Smith, 'Well, look he's only traipsing out one line, it's getting a bit boring'."
Umpire Simon Taufel keeps a straight face as he explains that he found Andre Nel's sledges, sorry sledge, a bit dull

And finally ...

"Remember to say 'Good areas', 'Work hard', 'Keep it simple'."
Before a press conference, a mischievous journalist passes Monty Panesar a note with a few of the most banal phrases cricketers frequently take refuge in when facing the media

Compiled by Siddarth Ravindran