Cricket is one of the most thrilling sports around the world. Every cricketer has their unique perspective, personality, gameplay, and mindset. However, when they play as a team, they need to maintain positivity amongst their teammates. They use nicknames to become more familiar with one another. Using nicknames brings positivity and familiarity. Using nicknames in dressing rooms and on-field creates a healthy relationship and atmosphere among the players, due to which it becomes easy to communicate, resulting in a better game, as well as strengthens friendships. Here we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 cricketers’ unique nicknames.
1. Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli, one of India’s best batsmen, was given the nickname “CHEEKU”. The reason behind such a nickname is that the player was quite chubby and plumy in his younger days. The name was given to him by one of his training coaches in Delhi. However, the young cricketer has put in a lot of effort to improve his physique and fitness in order to play international cricket. Undoubtedly, the cricketer never fails to give his phenomenal performance in every match.
2. Chris Gayle
Christopher Henry Gayle, who plays international cricket for the team West Indies, is a Jamaican cricketer. The cricketer is named as the Universe Boss. Clearly, the reason behind the nickname needs no explanation because of his massive strength, tall height, and bulky body. He mentioned himself as the “Universe Boss” in a few post-match interviews. However, he has set numerous records in all three formats of the game. Chris Gayle’s ability to effortlessly knock out the ball through the boundaries makes him a Universe Boss.
3. Shahid Afridi
Sahibzada Mohammad Shahid Khan Afridi is a Pakistani all-rounder player, who is also known as BOOM BOOM AFRIDI. Indian Chief Coach Ravi Shastri gave him the nickname for his aggressive batting ability to hit sixes against attacking balls. Afridi has revealed his nickname in an interview along with the reason behind it. Afridi, on the other hand, claims to be a better bowler than a batsman. This cricketer has also set the bar high with his incredibly aggressive performance along with tremendous records of 351 sixes in 398 ODI’s, 73 sixes in 99 T20I’s, and 52 sixes in 27 Test matches. People also know him as ‘Lala’ which means “extraordinary good”.
4. Dwayne Bravo
Dwayne John Bravo plays for the international cricket team of West Indies. He is a Trinidadian Cricketer. His nickname goes like “DJ”. Yes, it’s DJ. Besides cricket as a profession, the cricketer has a passion for music, and therefore, he released a self sung song named Champion back then. Due to the song, he is recognised as Champion and DJ Bravo. The cricketer adores his song so much that whenever he has a victorious moment on the field, he starts making some dance moves. When we consider his name, Dwayne John Bravo, which is abbreviated to ‘DJ Bravo’, hence the nickname. On the other hand, the cricketer is famous for his aggressive batting and breathtaking bowling.
5. Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan is an Indian cricketer with a unique nickname called “Gabbar.” Gabbar is slang used for strong and proud men. The word Gabbar does not refer to a lovely infant boy; rather, it refers to a gruff, tough man, which matches the cricketer’s personality on the field. The reason behind the nickname is quite interesting because the name was given to him even before he started playing for India. However, his Ranji coach named him due to an incident that happened on the field. Dhawan used to stand at silly points in Ranji Trophy matches, and when the opposing team used to score a good partnership and, his teammates felt low, he used to shout, “Bahut yaarana lagta hai” to cheer his teammates up. This dialogue was used by the famous Bollywood villain, Gabbar Singh, the source of this nickname. In addition, his tight mustache was a contributing factor in his nickname. Later on, Shikhar Dhawan won the Ranji Trophy and now is serving the Indian Cricket Team with his fearless batting.
6. A B De Villiers
Abraham Benjamin de Villiers is a professional South African cricketer. The cricketer holds competitive records and is considered one of the greatest batsmen of all time. “Mr. 360°” is his nickname, which he earned because of his batting skills. The story behind this name is simply explained by his unreal performance since there is no length and side left where the batsman has not struck a six or a boundary. The batsman is often addressed as ABD, considering the first initials of his name. Surprisingly, he is the only batsman with a strike rate of average 50 and above 100. He also holds the record of fastest 50, 100, and 150 runs in ODI.
7. Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar, a retired Indian cricketer, was called the God of Cricket, little master, and master blaster. Hashim Amla, a South African cricketer, addresses him as the God of Cricket. Also, he is widely known as the greatest batsman in the history of cricket. He served the Indian Cricket Team since the age of 16, which made him a young master. He is the most prolific run-maker and greatest icon as a cricketer. The cricketer has the highest number of awards and a never-ending list of achievements, which makes him a master blaster.
8. Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib Akhtar, a Pakistani cricketer and commentator, is considered as the swiftest bowler in the history of international cricket. Because of his smooth and fast bowling skills, he was given the nickname ‘Rawalpindi Express’. Rawalpindi is the name of the town where the cricketer belongs. It was unbelievably true that sometimes the batsman couldn’t figure out the speed of the ball and end up stumped out. However, in an ODI match with England, the bowler bowled a delivery at 161.3 km/h. Besides his bowling skills, he is known as Tiger and Don because of his dynamic, fiery passion and expressive personality. Also, he was the first bowler recorded to bowl at 100 miles per hour and he did it twice in his cricket career.
9. Steve Smith
Steve Smith is an Australian cricketer, is popularly called as Smudge. Steve Smith mentioned in an interview back then that this name was given to him by his teammate Mike Hussey. Not only his teammates but also the other former Aussie cricketers, call him a smudge. The reason behind the nickname is that in England, people with the surname Smith are known as Smudge. Smudge means a blurry or a smeared mark, in short, something messy. Hence, he was called the same. Along with Smudge, he is also called Smithy and Schmidt.
10. M.S Dhoni
Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a former international Indian cricketer who has captained the Indian Cricket Team. Dhoni is known by many nicknames, including Mahi, Thala, MSD, and Captain Cool. Initially, Mahe was the nickname given by his family and friends, which is the short form of his name. However, he didn’t like it, so he changed it to Mahi. Mahendra Singh Dhoni is indeed a great captain and a superb batsman, which makes him a great icon as a cricketer. MSD stands for the initials of his name. Thala is a slang used in the Tamil language, which means a leader. Since the cricketer served for the Team Chennai Super Kings in the IPL (Indian Premier League), he has been known as Thala. On the other hand, Dhoni is known for his tricky strategic mind and calm personality, which makes him Captain Cool.