Thomas Walsh, who together with Neil Hannon forms pop duo the Duckworth Lewis Method, recently evaluated the current England side thus: "Sometimes the England side looks like a boy band, really, it's a bit worrying." This observation raises the question as to which cricketers really should have been in boy bands.
Brian Close - Backstreet Boys
I'm sure this isn't the first article you've read that's started out by suggesting that Brian Close could have been in the Backstreet Boys and I'm equally sure that it won't be the last. But as tired and predictable as it might seem, it makes perfect sense. The Backstreet Boys' catalogue is basically a paean to the infamous 80 minutes Close endured at the hands of West Indies when recalled to play for England at Old Trafford at the age of 45. The band have an album called Black and Blue and another called Unbreakable. I'm sure you'll agree that both are clear Brian Close references. Even their "best of" compilation is called The Hits.
Rohan Gavaskar, Richard Illingworth and Mali Richards - 3T
If you don't remember 3T, the band comprised Taryll, Taj and TJ Jackson - sons of Tito, nephews of Michael. They couldn't match the talent of their older relations and their careers fell some way short of perhaps unfairly high expectations.
Jonathan Trott - East 17
In 1993, East 17 released a single entitled "Slow It Down", which clearly stated their batting philosophy - one for which Jonathan Trott would be an ideal fit. If there were any doubt about their preferences, the song was later followed by "Stay Another Day", which is generally how Trott likes to approach things. However, possibly indicating a change of heart, the single after "Stay Another Day" was called "Let It Rain". They also released a song called "Thunder" and another called "Counting Clouds", neither of which seem particularly cricket-friendly.
Sachin Tendulkar - Boyz II Men
Does anything sum up the career of Sachin Tendulkar better than the band name Boyz II Men? He arrived in our consciousness while still a child and we then watched him grow into a man. On top of this, the Boyz II Men single "Please Don't Go" perhaps sums up the latter stages of Sachin's career, although they did follow this up with "End Of The Road"
Mark Richardson - JLS
JLS have a song called "One Shot", although there were rumours that Richardson had a second in his locker, which he reserved for special occasions.
Kevin Pietersen - Take That
KP might be married to Jessica Taylor from Liberty X, but Take That are a far better fit. They manage to describe his reintegration with the England team in just three song titles - "Promises", "Back For Good" and "Could It Be Magic" - and sum up the fragile balance between his insecurity and showmanship in another three - "How Deep Is Your Love", "Do What U Like" and "Rule the World". They also released a single called "Patience", of course. Not sure how that fits in.
Phil Hughes - Westlife
Somehow - no one quite knows how - there's a market for it. You evaluate the thing itself and it appears to have no merit whatsoever, but the next thing you know, it's somehow got another No. 1 single/Test cap.