All the world's cricketers walked into a bar. The LOLs, the chatter, and the occasional mini-brawls, they were endless. And the news cycle was never the same again! Welcome to ESPNcricinfo's Social Buzz, your go-to destination for all the bantz, the jousts, and little bit of eavesdropping from the social media playground and beyond.
Romanian cricketer Pavel Florin has become something of an internet darling since footage of him bowling in the European Cricket League emerged in July. His bowling was ridiculed by many on social media but others delighted in seeing a player from cricket's backwaters trying so earnestly. And now Florin is quickly moving into the big leagues. First, he received an invitation from a Melbourne club to come and play in an exhibition game for them. And now he's bowling at Brian Lara!
What next, Pavel? Bowling to Steven Smith on Boxing Day at the 'G?
Who's the biggest cricket nerd in the Australian team?
You could argue the Australian team is populated entirely by cricket obsessives. There's Steve Smith who shadow bats in the shower, Glenn Maxwell supposedly watches any cricket match happening anywhere in the world, and if the video below is any indication, there's a bunch of closet cricket nuffies too. But there's one name that keeps popping up. Take a look.
We asked the members of the Aussie Men's Team which one of their teammates was the most obsessed with cricket - and one name came up A LOT. pic.twitter.com/lJn496zKiL— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) November 20, 2019
Watch Chadwick Walton wow Yuvraj Singh with his Punjabi
One of the best things about franchise leagues is the chance to see players from different countries and cultures mixing together. Here, Yuvraj Singh, captain of the Maratha Arabians in the Abu Dhabi T10 League, teaches his team-mate Chadwick Walton some Punjabi.
Here's the translation for you:
Walton: "What are you doing? Let's go, mate."
Singh: "You go, I'll come after you."
Meanwhile at a press conference, Singh backed another team-mate, Chris Lynn, who has been dropped from Kolkata Knight Riders' roster for the 2020 IPL. Singh called it a "bad call" and joked that he "must send SRK [Knight Riders owner Shah Rukh Khan] a message on that".
Knight Riders CEO Venky Mysore responded to Singh's comments with a tongue-in-cheek reply:
What to watch today? Ask Ashwin
How do you get your Netflix recommendations? From your friends? The algorithm? Pop-culture listicles? Cos cricketers can help you out too (much to Netflix's delight).
Look forward to the presentation ceremony— Ashwin Ravichandran (@ashwinravi99) November 19, 2019
Kolkata gears up for pink-ball Test
What's the bigger event - the Olympics or the pink-ball Test? For Kolkata, the pink-ball Test IS the Olympics if the way the city is preparing is any indication. Artists are painting murals on walls all over the city to mark the event, important buildings and ferries on the Hooghly are lit up pink, and there are even two mascots, Pinku-Tinku,
to give children nightmares for weeks just for the historic occasion.
And that's not all. India Today reports that the ball will be delivered to the captains by army paratroopers parachuting into the ground.
Safe to say Ajinkya Rahane speaks for everyone here…
Keeper dares batsman to go for a ramp shot. What happens next?
Some believe part of a wicketkeeper's job is to not only gee up your team-mates but also to pysch out the batsmen. Victoria keeper Sam Harper takes his role seriously. Playing South Australia in the Marsh Cup at the MCG, a miked-up Harper urged batsman Tom Cooper to attempt a ramp shot to get to his fifty, hoping instead he'd get to snaffle a top edge. "He won't do it," he told Fox Cricket's commentators. Cooper said he was already considering it and then went on to hit the shot successfully.
Harper was gracious in defeat. "He's done it," he said. "That's fair play to him. That's pretty good cricket, that. Bad luck John [Jonathan Merlo, the bowler]!"
"You asked for it," Cooper teased.
"I know, I did ask for it! And I got it," Harper replied.
Things got worse for Harper. Cooper ended up scoring an unbeaten 81 while Harper was out for a three-ball duck… caught by Cooper. And Victoria, looking comfortable till the final over in the 323-run chase, agonisingly lost by one run.
R Ashwin becomes a left-arm spinner
Spinners are always claiming to have invented new variations - Shane Warne with his zooter, Saeed Ajmal with the teesra. Offspinner R Ashwin won't be left behind. After announcing he's been working on his legspin bowling for a while, Ashwin has now turned to left-arm spin. What next? Be very afraid, Kuldeep Yadav.
Alright people !! Let's put an end to this fun you are all having with a poor quality video being circulated on the social media. Here is a good one. pic.twitter.com/LMZZBASTbc— Ashwin Ravichandran (@ashwinravi99) November 18, 2019
Sydney Sixers' Dane van Niekerk injured by avocado
Oh the perils of eating healthy! Avocados have long been a staple in athletes' diets, packed as it is with vitamins and good fats. But they are also getting quite the rep as a health hazard as avocado-related injuries have soared in recent years. Don't believe us? Just google avocado hand. The latest victim of avocado hand was Sydney Sixers' Dane van Niekerk, who was apparently fixing dinner with wife and team-mate Marizanne Kapp, when, well, dinner fixed her. Kapp shared this sorry picture to her Instagram.
van Niekerk, though, had another interpretation of the accident, which we wouldn't put past the nefarious avocado.
Missed all the chatter last week? Catch up on it here.