“Rise above it”. “It’s only a game”. “Don’t be a bad loser”. “He’s a nice guy off the field”. Sorry I’m having none of it. Why be all sympathetic, magnanimous, and empathetic when a good rant is far crueller?
It’s time to let rip folks. It’s time to stop suppressing that anger and resentment that’s been building inside us for years. So in the interests of bitterness and petulance, and with tongues firmly in cheek, here are the five cricketers we love to hate …
1. Steve Smith. Ok. I guess there’s something semi-admirable about scoring a half-decent 774 Ashes runs at a respectable average of 110. And yes, I suppose he did come back from that blow to the head at Lord’s by displaying qualities some might describe as ‘courage’ or ‘bravery’ (whatever they mean), but at the end of the day he’s still Steve Smith. Steve FFS Smith. The bane of our existence.
Every time Smith strides to the crease I’m overcome with a sense of dread. You just know he’s going to bat all day, in that crab like style of his, and ruin it for everyone. By the time lunch comes around I already want to scratch my eyes out. By tea I’m frantically Googling anger management professionals. And by the end of play I’m ready to go all Michael Douglas in Falling Down. Arrrrrrgggggghhhhhh.
2. Chris Gayle. I’m sorry but anyone who calls themselves ‘the universe boss’ is asking for it. And anyone who has a penchant for talking about themselves in the third person needs a metaphorical kick in the crotch. Only one person is allowed to talk about themselves in the third person, and that’s Rocky Balboa. And even then he should be politely discouraged from doing so.
People like Gayle because he’s ostensibly a cool dude. But all I see is a guy who dissed test cricket and said he wouldn’t care if it died out. Consequently, I propose we give Chris the perfect opportunity to be the ‘universe boss’ for real: by bundling him into a rocket and blasting him into outer space.
3. Virat Kohli. “But he’s always championing test cricket” people say. Well, I say he’s a git. A massive one. I know because of all those runs he scores and hearts he breaks – most importantly mine.
I don’t like Kohli because he’s too good. His talent gives him too much of an advantage. What’s more, every time he bats he’s got 1.339 billion fanatical Indian fans blowing the ball over the boundary. How it that fair?
Unlike Steve Smith, Kohli does everything with panache. He’s a handsome sod too. And I hate handsome people. Did you know that it’s scientifically impossible to be both good looking and a nice person at the same time?
4. Kane Williamson. Surprised to see Saint Kane on a cricketers we love to hate list? You shouldn’t be. Everyone loves the New Zealand skipper but don’t be fooled. He’s too perfect. He’s too nice. Surely nobody can be that good without secretly being a complete and utter b*****d.
Every time sweet and innocent Kane is modest about his achievements he’s really thinking “yeah I’m the dogs nuts”. Every time he shrugs his shoulders philosophically after a freak deflection has cost him the game he’s really thinking about smashing up the joint with a baseball bat.
You might come across as the archetypal sportsman, Kane, but I’m not buying it. Why? Because I’m jealous. I hate you because I want to hate you and I can’t. You see how this works?!
5. David Warner. You didn’t really think Australia’s cheater-in-chief was going to get off lightly did you? Warner was a prime candidate for this list because, well, you know, he’s David Warner.
Every time I see the man’s ugly mug I want puke in the nearest privy. You think Jonathan Trott was “pretty weak”? You think it’s ok to cheat? You think it’s ok to throw a punch at Joe Root? Well I think you’re Stuart Broad’s bunny. In fact, I don’t think so, I know so. 95 Ashes runs at an average of 9.5. On your bike son!
So what do you make of my cricketers we love to hate list? Have I left anyone out? You’d better make some positive noises in comments below or I’ll send the boys around.