Former West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding was nicknamed ‘Whispering Death’ by English umpire Dickie Bird because of his smooth and silent run-up. Bird described Holding as having an unusually quiet run up and he could not hear Holding approach the crease to deliver the ball.
Holding had a quiet run up, but he would terrify batsmen with his frightening bowling speed.
Sir Richard Hadlee (born July 3, 1951 from Christchurch, New Zealand) was nicknamed ‘Paddles’ because of his large sized feet. The former world class international cricketer is regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers and all-rounders in the history of cricket. He is the first bowler in Test history to capture 400 Test wickets, and also became the first player in Test history to capture 400 wickets and score 3000 runs.
In 1990, Hadlee was knighted for his services to cricket. In 2009, he was inducted into the ICC World Cricket Hall of Fame.
Ricky Ponting is one of the greatest to play cricket for Australia. Ponting holds the records for most international runs and Test centuries for Australia.
The former Australian captain’s famous nickname ‘Punter’ was give to him by his teammate Shane Warne. Ponting had a well-known interest in greyhound races and betting on them, which prompted Warne to nickname him ‘Punter’. **In Australia to have a ‘punt’ means to put a bet on the horses, greyhound races, or sports betting in general.
Virat Kohli is the captain of the Indian Cricket team, and one of the best batsman in the world in modern era.
In the book “Driven: The Virat Kohli Story”, journalist Vijay Lokapally explained how Kohli got his nickname ‘Chiku’.
“One evening, he returned to the hotel with his hair nicely cropped. He has spotted a fancy hair salon close by and given himself a new look. “How is it?” Kohli asked excitedly as he ran into a couple of younger colleagues. “Not bad, you look like a Chikoo (Sapodilla),” joked Ajit Chowdhary, the assistant coach looking from a distance.
One of the best cricket batsman that Pakistan has produced, former captain Inzamam Ul-Haq had a great career and was known for his ability as a player of fast bowling, particularly off the back foot.
Inzamam did receive criticism for his weight, and in 1997 during a Shara Cup match between Pakistan and India, one spectator Shiv Kumar Thind yelled offensive names with a megaphone, calling him different kinds of potatoes. Inzaman went after Thind with a bat but thankfully was restrained by security.
Jason Gillespie is a former Australian cricketer who got his nickname ‘Dizzy’ from his Australian cricket teammates, the nickname was inspired by American jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie.
Gillespie was a towering presence who threatened batsmen with his pace and bounce, and is regarded as one of the finest fast bowlers that Australia has produced. Gillespie took 259 Test wickets, and this number would have been many more if his career hadn’t been plagued with injuries.
Gillespie was no slouch with the bat and was often sent in as a night-watchmen, and in his final test match for Australia he scored a sensational double century.
Jason Gillespie was the first international Test cricket fast bowler to bowl with his sunglasses
Former Indian pacer Ajit Agarkar hails from Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay) and was infamously known as ‘Bombay Duck’. This nickname was bestowed upon him after his seven consecutive ducks (scoring zero with the bat) against Australia.
The funniest part was when Agarkar raised his bat to the crowd after finally scoring a run against Australia, after his 7 ducks.
Warne took 708 wickets in a 15-year Test career as the world’s greatest leg-spinner. He had a solid physical build, also possessing a great pair of hands and powerful wrists. Warne was incredibly accurate with amazing control over his leg break. With a great cricketing brain, he would have been captain of the Australian cricket team if he hadn’t had his off field dramas.
Warne’s most famous ball is the ‘Ball of the Century’, his first ball in Ashes cricket to Mike Gatting in 1993.
Ian Botham’s physique earned him the nickname ‘Beefy’.
Despite the unflattering nickname, Botham is regarded as one of England’s greatest all-rounders.
Botham was one of the few cricket players that could score a century and take a 5 wicket haul in the same Test match, a feat that he achieved on 5 occasions. Botham’s most memorable one was against Australia in the third Ashes Test in 1981, when he took 6 wickets and scored 149 runs.
Botham is also known for his ongoing efforts in raising money for leukaemia research through his long-distance walks. Botham received his knighthood in 2007 from the Queen for his services to sport and charity.