The King of Spain to the downright plain, it's all in an English nickname | cricket | Hindustan Times
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The King of Spain to the downright plain, it's all in an English nickname

The vast majority of nicknames in cricket, especially in this part of the world, aren't that imaginative. But with a wide-range of sources for monikers you often end up getting a few that make up for all the dull and obvious ones. Rohit Bhaskar reports.

cricket Updated: Jun 09, 2013 00:13 IST
Rohit Bhaskar

The vast majority of nicknames in cricket, especially in this part of the world, aren't that imaginative. But with a wide-range of sources for monikers you often end up getting a few that make up for all the dull and obvious ones.

The most common cricketing nicknames in England are the monotonous, dressing-room ones. Either they involve the use of the suffix 'y' – Paul Collingwood is Colly, Andrew Strauss is Straussy, Alistair Cook is Cooky; or they use the suffix 'ers', a distinct British upper-class mannerism – Mike Atherton is Athers, Jon Agnew is Aggers, James Tredwell is Tredders.

The former doesn't even serve the purpose of shortening the name, Goughy (Darren Gough) or Goochie (Graham Gooch), are nicknames longer than the original name! It can also be a tad unfortunate as Ian Bell will attest, who was labelled Belly due to this nomenclature idiosyncrasy (Although, he will pick that over the mocking nickname Shane Warne hung like an albatross around his neck. During the 2005 Ashes, Warne mocked him as The Sherminator – the kid from the American Pie films.)

Still, the English have their share of brilliant nicknames. When Ashley Giles was appointed England's ODI coach many questioned if the players allegiance would be towards the Queen of England, or to the King of Spain. Before you try to explore the King Juan Carlos II angle, be warned, this 'King of Spain' probably doesn't even know a word of Spanish!

In 2004, Giles was having his testimonial year at Warwickshire. The merchandise shopped placed a bulk order of customised coffee mugs with a mugshot of Giles, celebrating him as the King of Spin. A typo during printing saw Giles becomes Iberian royalty. The fans though, didn't complain, and even after spotting the error they asked the county not to get it rectified. Warwickshire took the typo in their stride and eventually came up with another King of Spain mug, this time, with a photo of King Juan Carlos II next to Giles. Needless to say, the name stuck!