What’s cricket without the sidelights? Answer: very drab, at least if one goes by the recently-concluded World Cup in the West Indies. So the semi-darkness epitomised by the final has been partially cleared thanks to a ‘Sexiest Men in Cricket’ list published by the magazine, Easy, of the Barbados Sunday Sun, in which Lasith Malinga of the blond-streaked curls, the tattooed eyebrows and the slingshot action has come out on top. Unlike football, where rumour has it that women enjoy watching the footballers as much as the men do watching the football, stars are made not only according to their bending powers, but also by the hairstyles they sport and the tattoos they wear.
With the days of Imran and Shastri and Botham and Lillee gone, someone had to bring back the geiger-counter for looks. And the counter has been found ticking with the aforementioned Malinga, followed by the likes of Brian Lara, Andrew Flintoff, Shaun Tait, Chris Gayle, Kevin Pietersen, Daniel Vettori (the only one wearing glasses in the official or unofficial history of sexy cricketers; sorry Dilip Doshi), and Makhaya Ntini. Okay, so not all of them shone in the World Cup. But then, whenever did David Beckham stop being adored? Certainly not after he stopped playing the way he was supposed to play for Real Madrid. One name seems to have got excluded from the sexiest cricketers list: that of larger-than-normal-life Bermuda player Dwayne Leverock. He has our vote.
We didn’t want to point it out, but there is no Indian on the list. Not even Dhoni. Told you, it was a rotten World Cup!