…the writing’s on the wall!
Superstition. Dictionary definition: a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like. I however prefer my own definition: Doing weird stuff that counteracts the shit that’s about to hit your personal fan. Featured word: WEIRD. There’s no other way to describe it really. There’s no rational explanation for these WEIRD little superstitions we have, no matter how much you try to justify it to yourself. I’ve got to accept that the fact I have to check the door handle exactly 9 times when I lock the front door of my house and the fact that I must have the music/TV volume either on an even number or multiple of 5 makes me weird. I however, don’t really care if people think I’m a freak for my quirky little superstitions, they are what make me ME. Who wants to be normal anyhow?
Well superstition is also rife among sportsmen. Take these international cricketers for example.
- Sachin Tendulkar – When he’s getting ready to go out and bat, he puts his left pad on first.
- Michael Clarke – Listens to live music before going out to bat.
- Steve Waugh – Used to carry a red handkerchief in his left pocket, given to him by his late grandfather.
- Mahela Jayawardene – Apparently kisses his bat whilst batting.
- Imran Kahn – Wore a Tiger t-shirt in the 1992 World Cup Final.
- Mike Atherton – Would never give an interview if he was ‘not out’ overnight.
- Denis Compton – Kept a silver four-leaf clover with him.
- Neil McKenzie (King of cricketing superstition) – When he went out to bat, all the dressing room toilet seats had to be down and all the toilets had to be flushed! Also he can’t touch any of the lines on the pitch. The best one has to be that he tapes his bat to the roof. Ever since someone did it years ago and he ended up getting a hundred, he’s done it ever since!
Now for the past 6 years of my existence I have talked to many a cricketer about weird things they do. Do you sit there in bewilderment as your bloke is doing something bizarre with his kit before leaving for a match? Maybe you’re a bloke who needs to run round his box three times before putting it on?
A friend of mine puts his left pad on first when he bats and his right pad on first when he’s wicket-keeping. Another friend has been known to rub shaving balm into his box as he believes if he gets hit there then it’s lubricated enough not to hurt. Yes, this is true, he really does this, and no, he hasn’t got a girlfriend…
So next time you’re at a match and see a cricketer doing the hokiecokie every time his score reaches a multiple of 15, don’t judge. He’s not alone.