Cursed Cricket Names

There are some peculiar cricket names that are generally mispronounced. Mostly, they happen to be those from the Indian sub-continent. Let’s take a small tour on these cricketing names from around the world.

G McGrath. Now, the legend goes something like this: Experts / commentators and fans alike around the world went about getting the pronunciation of his name right the moment he announced himself to be a great bowling talent. People were going crazy chanting MAGRAA… MAGRAA… MAGRAA!!!

So what’s wrong, you might ask? Nothing wrong, in fact, well done! But I’d only want at least the experts of the cricketing world, as they are the ones calling the action on TV, to get the names of the Asian players sounding correctly from their vocal chords as well. Let’s look at some of the famous cricket names and how they are commonly mis-called even by the players of their own era:

Gavaskar. It’s not GA-VAAS-KAR or GA-VAAS-KAAR. It is GAA-VAS-KAR.

Sachin. It’s SUCH-IN and not SASH-IN as a certain Tony Greig prefers it.

Muralitharan. It’s not MEW-RA-LI-THA-RUN for Pete’s sake; it is MU-RA-LI-DA-RUN.

Harbhajan. Don’t take his jaan re, give him a break from calling him HAA-BHA-JAAN. If you thought it was only the gore log calling him that, check out how L Sivaramakrishnan voices his name next time in a match. It is HAR-BHA-JAN.

Ja(c)ques. This is an interesting name. We have Jacques kallis and Jacques Rudolph of South Africa. And then, there is Phil Jaques of Australia. While both the South Africans prefer JAAK for the pronunciation, the Aussie prefers to be called JAY-KS. And you thought this was difficult, but, all the commentators tend to get the pronunciation right!! There is another European alternate for this – YAA-KO-WAYS!

Let’s revisit McGrath. There’s the English all-rounder A McGrath, who prefers MAG-RAATH (in rhyme with WRATH). Of course, we get the pronunciation right based on whether it is the Englishman or the Australian in action. Commentators easily go on “It’s MAGRAA to MAG-RAATH from the Pavilion end…”

And then there are names like Wasim (pronounced VA-SEEM and not VAA-SIM), Sehwag (pronounced SAY-WAAG and not SEE-VAG) that are commonly ill-voiced. Well, most of the sub-continental and African last names face this ill treatment. We’ll see more on the Srilankan and African names in the posts to follow. Till then try Mpumelelo Mbhangwa, Everton Motambanatzo, Nkala and Kalpage. We’ll also see how South Indian names are abused, and how some common Football names are pronounced differently across the different regions of the world.

Leave a Comment