My Favourite Hooker

Over many years spent watching and playing cricket I have discovered that I favour two shots above all others. The aerial drive back over the bowlers head but first and foremost the hook shot. I think its because it is such a brutal exhibition of power, bravery and contempt for the bowlers offering.

Here is my favourite hooker of all time.

Viv Richards made it all the better for the fact that he did it without a helmet.

The hook shot is often simply a matter of instinct. I have a good friend who whenever he plays gets caught at square or fine leg more often or not. This is because he simply cannot resist it, and whenever the ball is pitched short instinctively rocks back and smashes (or attempts to smash) it away. Viv was like this as well and stories of his battles with Lillee and Thomson are legend.

You never hear of batsman being a compulsive leg glancer or say a compulsive on driver.

I have even been on the Kent balcony watching Kent take on an invitational side of mainly West Indian ex test stars sometime around 2002. The great man himself was playing and true to form, hooked his first ball straight to square leg. Square leg obligingly dropped it but the point was proved. Even aged 50 something he was still taking on the quickies, sometimes losing, more often winning but always saying “I’m a better man than you!”

3 responses

31 12 2010
diogenes1960

Ian Chappell – simply for having the guts/stubbornness to keep hooking after a series of great catches in the deep to dismiss him around 1972 – and Rohan Kanhai for the sheer enthusiasm he put into the shot were also hookers who stay in my mind. Then there was the sheer pragmatism of Ray Illingworth’s hook shot – I think he only played the shot on bad wickets – memorable simply for being the most controlled hookshot you can ever imagine: a total oxymoron. i can also not forget the brief period when Boycott was a “compulsive hooker” around 1972/73….then he had his brain rewired.

1 01 2011
Bradders

Thanks for your favourites! All worthy absolutely. Of course there was another west indian around then, Roy Fredericks who put a lot in to his too!

17 01 2011
diogenes

has to laugh…yes Fredericks was the compulsive hooker par excellence. Either he was caught at long leg, he was scoring extraordinary centuries: there was nothing in-between. The mystery of how he ever signed for Glamorgan needs investigation.

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