After the raging success of our ‘one test wonder’ XI a fortnight ago, this week we remember some of the wackiest haircuts to grace the cricket field.
Yes, each of the 11 players selected in this particular team were having a bad hair day at the time these photos were snapped. Some had more bad hair days than others, but all found a way to get ‘Funky’ (pardon the pun) with their respective salads.
The qualification for this XI is one Test match. There were no specific guidelines on when the player’s hair had to be bad. For example Andre Russell played just one Test for the West Indies, but boasted a unique hairdo in the Big Bash. He is eligible for selection.
As always, the XI is completely subjective. It’s also bowler heavy. Read into that what you will about the comparitive fashion preferences between batsmen and trundlers.
UNLUCKY: ONE TEST WONDER XI
1. Nic Maddinson (AUS)
In January this year Nic Maddinson turned up to a Sydney Sixers game looking more like Lady Gaga than his former self. The fact he kept his brown moustache while bleaching his hair peroxide blonde was a huge statement and one we couldn’t ignore.
2. Andre Russell (WI)
A lack of specialist batsmen with bizarre haircuts forced selectors to search far and wide for Maddinson’s opening partner for this team. Considered something of a pinch-hitter at the top of the order, Russell’s stegosaurus-like hairstyle was only matched by his black bat and agricultural hitting ability.
3. Michael Clarke (AUS)
Clark always had a bit of ‘look at me’ about him as a cricketer, mostly for all the right reasons. Quick feet, a sharp smile and a fluent cover-drive made him one of the more attractive batsmen Australia has produced in recent years. But when he made his one-day international debut against England in Adelaide, his bright Billy Idol-type colouring sent a real statement to the old enemy. It’s no surprise he quickly shelved it and kept it clean for the back half of his career.
4. Kevin Pietersen (ENG) – Vice-Captain
Desperately unlucky not to be named captain of this XI, Pietersen burst onto the scene in the one-day series before the 2005 Ashes looking (and hopefully not smelling) like a skunk. Luckily for the South African-born right-hander, he backed it up with plenty of runs as England regained the Ashes for the first time since 1987.
During the latter stages of his illustrious career, Pietersen managed to transition seamlessly into a middle-aged man thanks to soft greys on either side of his head.
5. Ian Botham (ENG)
A bad hair XI wouldn’t be a bad hair XI without an all-time great rocking a 1980s mullet. Those who sat behind the England all-rounder in his prime speak of a bounding approach to the crease matched by a fierce effort ball and a bounding flock of hair down below his neck.
But what was cool in the 1980s is borderline laughable now and Botham needs to be held accountable.
6. MS Dhoni (IND) – WK
Finding a gloveman for this XI was the most difficult component of the rigorous selection process. Dhoni has generally pretty clean-cut, but he went through a stage four years ago when he rocked a Mohawk simply because he could. At the start of his career he even enjoyed a touch of ginger in his normally black curls.
A bit like Pietersen, Dhoni is now battling grey hair demons but as far as this selection is concerned, he work is done.
7. Chris Cairns (NZ)
Cairns has been selected on a technicality. Although the Guy Sebastian-like afro was actually not his during Australia’s first ever T20 international against New Zealand, the fact he wore it during a legitimate country versus country match justifies selection consideration. He’ll slot in nicely to number seven here.
8. Jason Gillespie (AUS)
Whether it was steaming in for South Australia in the mid-1990s with a ponytail or bowling for Australia in the early 2000s boasting an all-time mullet, Gillespie was one of the first names selected in this team. Number eight may seem a touch high in the batting order, but how many Test double tons have you made? Exactly. Don’t question Dizzy, who has decided to gracefully go grey in recent years.
9. Curtly Ambrose (WI)
The best way to describe Ambrose’s worst haircut would be to call it a rats tail on top of his head. Just because he’s West Indian, it doesn’t make it cool. OK, maybe it does, but by modern standards Ambrose would be laughed off the park.
10. Lasith Malinga (SL)
It is difficult to know what’s more erratic, Malinga’s bowling action or his hair when it resembled some sort of hedgehog with blonde tips. Given who else is in the team, the Sri Lankan quick is unlikely to get the new ball. Luckily his reverse swing talents would still see him play a critical role.
11. Colin Miller (AUS) – Captain
Such was the craziness of Colin ‘Funky’ Miller’s blue hair, West Indian Courtney Walsh was in hysterics at the SCG in early 2001. The normally even tempered fast bowler had to pull away from the batting crease to compose himself.
Miller, who won Test player of the year in 2001, also rocked bright blonde hair at another time in his career, while his versatility with spin and pace will be an asset to this XI.
Joint 12th men: Damien Fleming and Mark Waugh
Two of the finest mullets of a previous generation were desperately unlucky to miss out, but both will take solace in the fact their haircuts remain etched in the hearts and minds of cricket fans from the early 1990s.
NOTABLE OTHERS: James Anderson, Brett Lee, Mike Gatting