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Nice pairs

Television's Amazing Race unfailingly delivers stereotype teams each season. What if cricketers were to go on the show, we asked ourselves

Australia's 18 pack: Mitchell Johnson, Andrew Symonds and Shane Watson, Mumbai, October 11, 2006

Watto and Symmo: if the biceps don't get you, the abs will  •  Getty Images

The jocks

Shane Watson and Andrew Symonds
These guys exemplify the modern alpha-male. Ripped, with bulging muscles and egos alike, they will massacre any team when it comes to physical challenges. You will often see them bumping chests and squashing beer cans with their bare hands upon completion of a task. And they'll try to be shirtless as often as possible.
How did they meet? At the gym, when they both reached for the same weight plate for a chest press. Best buds ever since.
How far will they go? They will breeze through and make the penultimate round with ease. But fail miserably during a challenge where each needs to stitch a beanie for his partner. Symonds turns up late for the challenge and struggles initially because his fingers are too big to hold the needle. Just when he is halfway done, Watson pricks himself and has to retire. Their race ends when Roy finds he has run out of material to fit Watson's head.

The oldies

Sanath Jayasuriya and Sachin Tendulkar
No one really thinks this pair has a chance, but they somehow get very close to the finals - beating younger, stronger and faster teams with their experience and wit. There is a memorable moment where the oldies square up against the jocks in a 50-metre three-legged dash. With only five meters to go for a jocks victory, Sanath, who had seemingly gone off the boil, comes back in roaring fashion to drag himself and Sachin over the finish line.
How did they meet? Business rivals for years who always had a healthy respect for each other, they eventually ended up working for the same company.
How far will they go? Using their experience and worldly knowledge, they get through several early rounds. However, things go a little pear-shaped when they face a roadblock where they need to put a jigsaw puzzle together as a team. Sanath starts off at blitzkrieg pace but soon gets hand cramps. Sachin knuckles down and actually completes it by himself. But they are knocked out because it was meant to be a team effort.

The dysfunctional couple

Giles Clarke and Lalit Modi
These two are plagued by bickering, arguments, hissy fits and the like, but they defy logic and keep making it to the next round. Both try to make alliances with the jocks and the oldies but for different reasons - which ends up in yet another falling out.
How did they meet? At the annual CEO Haircuts That Win People Over conference.
How far will they go? They make the finals but are disqualified after one argument spills over, resulting in a fistfight, lost teeth and torn designer business shirts, after Clarke finds out that Modi has been skimming their travel money to lure other contestants to join his own Race.
They do get into a small tiff, but a hug and a good cry later they are back on track. Having made it to within one round of the final, they miss their connecting flight because they are too busy plucking those disgusting unibrows

The metrosexuals

Alastair Cook and Michael Clarke
This pair always travels light - with an eyeliner pencil in one hand and a Mount Franklin water bottle in the other. Form a strong bond with the jocks, which helps them through the early rounds. Usually end up flirting with airport staff and are chirpier than an IPL cheerleader. Naturally, even their combined fierceness is not enough to help them compete in most physical challenges.
How did they meet? As teen underwear models. Now live together in a studio apartment in NYC.
How far will they go? These two are quite resourceful, although they are often distracted by the reflections of their own images in shiny objects. They do get into a small tiff, but a hug and a good cry later they are back on track. Having made it to within one round of the final, they miss their connecting flight because they are too busy plucking those disgusting unibrows.

The feel-good couple

Paul Harris and Graeme Smith
These two melt our hearts with their story of struggle and defiance. When Paul lost half his right arm in a freak lumberjack accident, best friend Graeme stood by his side, making Paul feel like he finally belonged. And the loss of his arm, even though he never used it that much anyway, seemed like a blessing in disguise.
How did they meet? They both worked at the same wood factory.
How far will they go? They brave physical challenges with their friendship and passion. The metrosexuals cry when they hear their story. But things come to a head when the jocks make fun of Harris and Smith decides to clock Watson. This ends up being voted the season's favourite incident by the fans. Harris and Smith are forced to abandon the race when Smith chokes on a bone during an eat-all-you-can buffet challenge.

Damith Samarakoon is a Sri Lankan cricket fanatic living in Sydney. He blogs regularly at