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.
You know all about Virat Kohli's ascetic - and lately vegetarian - diet already, but does he ever indulge in the occasional cheat day?
Well, no. He doesn't. But much like Steven Smith, he'll reward himself after he's played a long, gruelling innings. Smith treats himself to a bar of chocolate after scoring a hundred; the Kohli equivalent is a big, carb-heavy meal. But not too carb-heavy - when he made 235 against England in Mumbai three years ago, for instance, he ate a chicken burger, but only one half of the bun it came in.
"On tour, during games, I reward myself if I've gotten big runs," Kohli said in a chat with India Today. "I'll give you an example, when I got 235 against England in Mumbai, which was hot and humid, so day [three], evening, I did not touch anything, I focused on my regular diet and I was already batting on, I think, 100-plus overnight.
"And then next day when I finished on 235, I was gone, I was cooked, because during the game I don't like to eat heavy, so I was focusing on bananas and water and a little bit of dal-chawal and so on. So Basu sir (Shanker Basu, then India's fitness trainer) told me, 'tonight, you can afford to eat anything you like,' but even then I ordered - and I was eating meat that time - I ordered a chicken burger, I took off the top bun - I couldn't stop myself - I said, okay, one piece of bread is okay, not two, but then I had a big plate of fries and then I had a chocolate shake along with that, because I knew, my body needs it.
"So if my body needed carbs, okay, go ahead and smash a meal, [but] not a cheat day. I can do it for 30 minutes, and then in another hour I'm back to the gym, so I can't do three cheat meals back-to-back because that means I'm going back in my progress."
Warner has the patience, and the Mahatma's by his side
The request was made in mid-2015. It took David Warner four-and-a-half years to pull it off - get the patience in the system and the runs on the board.
Have you seen my patience haha. https://t.co/Slaxb9QL9S— David Warner (@davidwarner31) July 23, 2015
The period in between has been one of great highs and a major low, the Newlands ball-tampering scandal, which put him out of international cricket for a year. More recently, there was the horror Ashes tour, but he is back all right - wife Candice summing it all up nicely, with a little help from the Mahatma.
Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from a indomitable will. (Mahatma Gandhi) It's not important what other people believe about you. It's only important what you believe about yourself. @davidwarner31 #335notout pic.twitter.com/Vlg9NVktj0— Candice Warner (@CandyFalzon) November 30, 2019
He may be Australia's leading run-getter, century-maker, their most successful captain and an astute commentator, but we now know Ricky Ponting's weakness. Sure he used to have the best bowlers in the world tied up in knots, but when it comes to tying one himself, he needs some help. His former team-mate Glenn McGrath steps in to save the day, griping, "Not only did I have to carry him for bloody 20 years…"
If only opposing captains had known this about Ponting during his career. Oh the sledges! "Good thing there's a Super Over, boys, Ricky wouldn't know what to do with a tie."
Warner and Burns play rock paper scissors
What do you do when the rains come down, the covers come on and you're all dressed up with nowhere to go? A quick game of rock paper scissors is just the ticket.
Ricky Ponting, will you click a photo for me?
TFW you realise how old you are based on how this photo makes you feel. Also, Ricky, it would help if you got a little active on social media, you know?
What music will Ian Bishop like?
If you work in cricket, does everyone assume you eat, breathe, sleep cricket all the time? [Ed: Please, give me Bollywood gossip any time]. The doctors at Lucknow's Apollo Hospital certainly assumed that about commentator Ian Bishop.
View this post on Instagram
So I went to Apollo hospital in Lucknow to do an MRI on my knee. Thanks to these good doctors by the way. You know they put you in that Drumlike MRI machine & give you headphones with music to drum out the MRI pounding noise. Guess what music I had to listen to for half an hour? "Bravo Champion". @djbravo47 you owe me eh.
Alex Carey, the Aussie Rules footballer
Throwback Thursday: ahead of the 2019 AFL draft, the Adelaide, Strikers posted a photo of a young Alex Carey the AFL rookie. Before he settled into a career in cricket, Carey was playing footy for Greater Western Sydney Giants and won their Best and Fairest Award in his first season. Scroll through the Instagram comments and you'll see Carey's BBL team-mates' responses. Matt Short remarks on his youthful hairstyle and Jake Weatherald isn't impressed by Strikers' thirst for a trending topic.
Last year, Andrew Ellis made the news in painful fashion while bowling in a 50-overs match for Canterbury against Auckland. Bowling to Jeet Raval, Ellis found himself unable to get out of the way of a powerful straight hit, and ended up deflecting it for six, off his head.
Ellis didn't come to any major harm, thankfully, but he's begun taking precautions against such incidents. During the ongoing Ford Trophy, he's been bowling with a helmet on.
Lid on while bowling— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) November 27, 2019
Canterbury pace bowler Andrew Ellis, who got hit on his head by a ball that went for six in 2018, has been wearing a helmet this season
Will we see more of this in cricket? pic.twitter.com/8YuN3rUOHy
Ellis isn't the first bowler to do this. In December 2017, Otago fast bowler Warren Barnes bowled with a helmet on while playing against Northern Districts in a T20 game.
Steven Smith's system - chocolate as reward, exercise as punishment
Sportspersons do all sorts of things to motivate themselves to do better. During the Ashes, Steven Smith mentioned rewarding himself with a bar of chocolate when he scored a hundred. What does he do when he doesn't get runs? Eat granola? No, something much worse - he exercises.
Meet the 15-year-old coaching cricket in Thornleigh, NSW
Here's a sweet pick-me-up for hump day. In the suburb of Thornleigh in New South Wales, a local group of girls started a cricket team, but none of the parents would volunteer as a coach. So Sean McAllister, then 13, and the older brother of Maeve, who played in the team, took it upon himself to coach the girls. Sean says he's crazy about cricket, so much so that along with practising every spare minute he gets, he also coaches two other under-age teams. And he was so thrilled when his sister took up the sport, he bought her a bat with his own pocket money saved up over weeks from mowing lawns. Watch the siblings' heartwarming story here.
Thornleigh Cricket Club created a junior girls side. They had the numbers, but there was a big problem...— #7Cricket (@7Cricket) November 25, 2019
There were no coaches to lead them.
13-year-old Sean McAllister stepped up to take the reins pic.twitter.com/7a22TMPTkh
Did Brad Hogg nick it?
Blessed times we live in. You can watch footage of a match played 21 years ago and have the player at the centre of it answer your questions about it. When Rob Moody, whose library of old cricket videos on YouTube is a godsend for cricket fans and journalists alike, tweeted a clip of a 1998-99 List A game in which Tasmanian bowler Daniel Marsh and keeper Mike Atkinson react angrily and dramatically to a caught-behind appeal not given, a Twitter user wondered if the batsman in question, Brad Hogg, playing for Western Australia, would confirm if he had nicked it. Hogg replied:
I hit the following delivery not that one https://t.co/FnwFAgGPPk— Brad Hogg (@Brad_Hogg) November 27, 2019
The evening didn't get any better for Tasmania. Hogg went on to become the Man of the Match for his unbeaten 40 and Western Australia won by five wickets.
Usman Khawaja's unusual coin toss routine
"We'll give it a 100/110/120% right from the word go" is a cliche you hear from cricketers frequently these days, and Usman Khawaja showed what that's like at the final of the Marsh Cup, Australia's domestic 50-over competition, on Tuesday. As Queensland captain, Khawaja stepped out to toss and... well, gave it his all.
Khawaja lost the toss, and that was just the beginning of the slide for Queensland, who were outplayed by Western Australia. The Marsh Cup was - wait for it - sealed with a Shaun Marsh hundred.
Chess grandmaster Magnus Carlsen flummoxed by cricket
The hype surrounding India's first-ever day-night Test practically overshadowed the actual game as a rotating cast of pink-wearing luminaries rang bells, gave speeches, did victory laps and put on a show. Among the all-star cast drafted to do things were chess grandmaster Viswanathan Anand and current world chess champion Magnus Carlsen, who were there to ring the bell at Eden Gardens on day two. Here's what that looked like. <
And apparently there's a good reason for that look on Carlsen's face - turns out no one had explained cricket to him. Speaking to the Hindu, this is how Carlsen described his experience: "What happened is, Anand rang the bell and I stood there and looked stupid. That would be my summary of the match. I have a lot to learn when it comes to cricket."
Well, Magnus, all you need to know is that it's almost, but not quite, entirely unlike chess.
Ganguly and daughter trade banter on Instagram
Sourav Ganguly may have half the cricketing world hanging onto his every word now that he's the BCCI president, but some others are less than impressed. Ganguly recently posted a picture of him looking grim at the presentation ceremony after the Kolkata day-night Test wound up.
His daughter Sana though seemed to find the whole thing hilarious, and this is clearly a look she's seen often. "What is it that you're not liking?" she commented on it. Ganguly took the opportunity to go full dad and sledge her a bit: "that ur becoming so disobedient". Sana wasn't going to take that lying down, though - "learning from you" she quipped back.
Justin Langer and daughter have competition now on the fun sledging front.
Taxi driver enjoys meal with Pakistan players in Brisbane
Let's start the week with a feel-good story. On ABC Grandstand, commentator Allison Mitchell related the story of an Indian taxi driver in Brisbane who told her about ferrying some of the Pakistan players to a restaurant, including Yasir Shah, Shaheen Afridi and Naseem Shah. When he dropped them off, he refused to charge them. For his generosity, the players asked him to join them for the meal.
The heartwearming story of the Indian taxi driver and five @TheRealPCB players.— ABC Grandstand (@abcgrandstand) November 24, 2019
@AlisonMitchell tells Mitchell Johnson about it on Commentator Cam. #AUSvPAK
Listen live ABC Radio / Grandstand digital / ABC Listen app -- https://t.co/dhH8gmo5FZ pic.twitter.com/qdwsK83F7X
Missed all the chatter last week? Catch up on it here.