13 November 2014
Greatest Mustachioed World Cup XI
As it’s November and men across the world are partaking in the annual tradition of growing moustaches throughout the month, we delved into the archives to bring you the greatest mustachioed World Cup XI of all time!
David Boon is our pick to open the batting for the Greatest Mustachioed World Cup XI
‘Boony’ is one of the most iconic Australia players of all time, and it wasn’t just for his powerful strokeplay and uncompromising attitude. His bountiful, overflowing moustache was as big a feature of Australia cricket in the late 80s and early 90s as the canary yellow strip. On the field, he is an easy pick to open the innings with a World Cup batting average of 54.33.
2: Mark Greatbatch (New Zealand)
As a pioneering pinch hitter, Greatbatch set the 1992 tournament alight with 13 sixes in his tally of 313 runs from seven matches. His moustache was text-book. Manicured to the edge of the lip-line with a tinge of ginger to make it stand it out from the pack. Along with David Boon, the stocky ANZAC pair would make for one of the most intimidating opening partnerships in World Cup history.
3: Peter Kirsten (South Africa)
Following the explosive opening pair, the calm, methodical Peter Kirsten is the perfect pick at first-drop. Although he sported a finely trimmed ‘mo’ for the majority of his 25-year first-class career, it wasn’t until the ICC Cricket World Cup 1992 where the world got to see it in all its glory. More impressive though was Kirsten’s form in the middle, where he hit 410 runs at an average of 68.33 during the 1992 tournament.
4: Javed Miandad (Pakistan)
This team would not be complete without the presence of Pakistan legend and World Cup veteran Javed Miandad. The best thing about Miandad’s prodigious upper lip growth was that he often refused to wear a grill on his helmet, meaning there was plenty of opportunities for fans to savour the sight. As a batsmen, Miandad is the seventh highest World Cup run-scorer of all time with 1083 runs.
5: Graham Gooch (England)
There was no mistaking Graham Gooch, with a moustache that sometimes extended all the way to his jawline, he was a standout feature of the England team in the 1980s and 1990s.
As a batsmen, there weren’t many better and Gooch saved his best for the World Cup. In 21 World Cup matches, he piled on 897 runs at an average of 44.85 to lead England to the final in both 1987 and 1992.
6: Clive Lloyd (West Indies) Captain
West Indies great Clive Lloyd was all business on the field and so was his moustache. Thick and bristling, it was an intimidating sight, and unlike others on this list, remains on his face to this day.
As a leader, Lloyd led West Indies to two ICC Cricket World Cup titles (1975 and 1979) and is the first choice to lead the Greatest Mustachioed XI.
7: Ian Botham (England)
As one of the most dynamic all-rounders of the 1980s, Botham breezes into this line-up on the back of match-winning ability and sublime upper-lip growth.
While terrorising cricketers with his aggressive batting and bowling, Botham’s moustache was made to look all the more impressive when coupled with a curly mullet.
In World Cup play, Botham picked up 30 wickets at an average of 25, while his always dangerous batting, yielded 297 runs at 18.56.
8: Kapil Dev (India)
As skipper in 1983, Kapil Dev led India to its first World Cup title and did it all with one of the most memorable examples of upper-lip growth in World Cup history.
Along with captaining and opening the bowling for India, Dev set the 1983 tournament alive with a stunning 175 not out against Zimbabwe.
9: Richard Hadlee (New Zealand)
No list of cricketing moustaches would be complete without New Zealand’s own piece of cricketing royalty – Sir Richard Hadlee.
Sir Richard was all class on the field, and this was reflected in the quality of his moustache – manicured and unruffled. In 13 World Cup matches, Sir Richard notched up 22 wickets at an average of 19.14. Extra kudos goes to Sir Richard for maintaining his moustache to this very day.
10: Mushtaq Ahmed (Pakistan)
When selecting a spinner for this line-up, only one name sprung to mind – Mushtaq Ahmed.
With a bounding action, Mushtaq Ahmed was a stand-out for Pakistan in 1992. He starred in the final against England, bagging 3/41 as Pakistan lifted the trophy for the first time. In 15 World Cup matches, Mushtaq Ahmed finished with 26 wickets at an average of 21.12.
11: Merv Hughes (Australia)
The final spot in the line-up is reserved for the man with the largest amount of growth – Merv Hughes.
His bowling was all intimidation, and so was his thick handle-bar moustache. Covering almost half his face, it was a sight to make even the strongest of batsmen quiver as he approached the crease.
Although his World Cup career was restricted to just one appearance, against India in 1992, his legendary facial growth was enough to secure a berth in this line-up.
Coach: Warren Lees (New Zealand)
As New Zealand coach in 1992, ‘Wally’ introduced a number of innovative tactics to lead New Zealand through to the top of the round-robin phase. With a moustache that inspired his team onto great things in 1992, Lees is the obvious choice to lead this pack of mustachioed cricketing heroes!
Let us know who you would select in your team by using #cwc15
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