Home > Features >

Six international cricketers whose sisters married other international cricketers

Sunil Gavaskar (left) and G Vis © Yogen Shah
Sunil Gavaskar (left) and Gundappa Viswanath are the most celebrated brothers-in-law to have graced cricket © Yogen Shah

On the occasion of Raksha Bandhan, Abhishek Mukherjee draws a list of cricketers who, besides being teammates, have been tied to each other by one marrying the sister of the other.

Exactly why the word saala (used in several North Indian languages including Hindi; stands for “wife’s brother”) is used in a derogatory sense remains elusive to the day. Whether one wants his brother-in-law as his teammate is debatable: while one would get all the moral support in the world, he would certainly not be able to take those “adventurous detours” during trips.

Here, then, is a list of brothers-in-law who have played the sport. (Please note that this list consists of international cricketers who had married the sisters of Test cricketers; it does not consist of men who have married a pair of sisters):

1. Sunil Gavaskar and Gundappa Viswanath: The most celebrated brothers-in-law to have graced the sport, the diminutive pair of Gavaskar and Viswanath were both born in 1949, captained India, and scored more than 16,000 Test runs between them. Had Gavaskar’s sister Kavita played cricket, she would have perhaps received the most coaching tips in the history of women’s cricket. Incidentally, Gavaskar other sister, Nutan, played women’s cricket.

2. Abdul Hafeez Kardar and Zulfiqar Ahmed: Usually referred to as The Father of Pakistan Cricket, Kardar, a former India player, went on to become Pakistan’s first Test captain; he led Pakistan in all 23 Tests he played for them, and led them to victories against all Test-playing nations of the time barring (obviously) South Africa. Zulfiqar, whose sister Kardar married, was no mean player: from nine Tests he scored 200 runs at 33.33 and picked up 20 wickets at 18.30.

3. Jahangir Khan and Baqa Jilani: Jahangir Khan, the doyen of the famous Khan clan of Pakistan (that produced three Test captains) was among those who had laid the foundation of Pakistan cricket. On the other hand, had Baqa Jilani not insulted CK Nayudu, he may have ended his career by playing more just one Test. But that one Test helped Jilani, the first man to take a Ranji Trophy hat-trick, and Jahangir Khan make this list as brothers-in-law.

4. Alec Stewart and Mark Butcher: “The Gaffer” can almost certainly be an English legend, but his Surrey and English teammate Mark Butcher could never reach those lofty standards; he had his moments, the greatest of which was his iconic 173 not out against Australia at Headingley in 2001. Judy, Stewart’s sister, was married to Butcher, but the marriage ended in a divorce when Butcher was involved in an extra-marital relationship.

5. Darren Lehmann and Craig White: Ashes rivals linked by marriage are certainly not common phenomenon, but the foundation of that was laid when Lehmann had joined Yorkshire. White had asked his sister Andrea to show “Boof” around Scarborough; Cupid stepped in subsequently, and Andrea (perhaps) had trouble taking sides when Lehmann and White played three Ashes Tests against each other.

6. Vikram Rathour and Aashish Kapoor: Both Rathour and Kapoor did well in domestic cricket, but neither could make it big at the top level, playing a mere 10 Tests between them. Both played for Punjab and Himachal Pradesh (Kapoor also played for Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, and Tripura). They also played together against Australia at Kotla in 1996-97). Rathour went on to marry Kapoor’s sister.

Special mention — Terry Alderman and Ross Emerson: Alderman had carved a niche of his own in the Australian side of the 1980s; he still remains the only bowler to take 40 wickets in a series twice, and with five-Test series drying up, the record is not likely to be broken anytime soon. His sister Denise also played seven Women’s Tests. Emerson never stood in a Test, but his 10-match One-Day International career is usually remembered for him no-balling Muttiah Muralitharan for chucking.

(Abhishek Mukherjee is the Deputy Editor and Cricket Historian at CricketCountry. He blogs at http://ovshake.blogspot.in and can be followed on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ovshake42)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 23, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Raipur

World T20 League 2014

Sep 24, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 25, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

World T20 League 2014

Sep 26, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 26, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Mohali

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 22, 2014  at Bengaluru

Chennai Super Kings won by 54 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 4 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014  at Hyderabad

Hobart Hurricanes won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 4 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014  at Mohali

Perth Scorchers won by 6 wkts

Photos

KXIP vs Hobart Hurricanes, Match 2 CLT20 2014

Videos

Kane, Devcich praise each others knock

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: CSK sends clear signal to other sides by ravaging Dolphins

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Dolphins, Match 8, CLT20 2014: Highlights

Mitchell Marsh: I thought that the match was tied against Dolphins

Hobart Hurricanes vs Northern Knights CLT20 2014 Match 9: Preview

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: Kuldeep Yadav’s dramatic debut for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) shows he is one for the future

Asian Games Asian Games 2014 Cape Cobras Champions League T20 2014 Chennai Super Kings CLT20 CLT20 2014 Dolphins Hobart Hurricanes Incheon Asian Games India at Asian Games 2014 Lahore Lions

Jason Gillespie: Australia, New Zealand or South Africa favorites to win the ICC World Cup 2015

Makhaya Ntini looks forward to match at Mount Kilimanjaro summit

Mitchell Marsh: I thought that the match was tied against Dolphins

Usain Bolt picks Shane Warne over Sachin Tendulkar

Anandji Dossa passes away

Hobart Hurricanes vs Northern Knights, Match 9, CLT20 2014 – Hurricanes’ likely XI

Sorabji Colah: An outstanding slip fielder who never fulfilled his batting promises

Anandji Dossa — a life to cherish

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: CSK sends clear signal to other sides by ravaging Dolphins

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Dolphins, Match 8, CLT20 2014: Highlights

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

670 Posts | 6 Fans

CLT20 2014: Kings Xi Punjab vs Barbados Tridents, final over

Abhinav Bindra bids Asian Games adieu by winning a bronze medal in in 10m Air Rifle

Is having leaky breasts during pregnancy normal?

Abhinav Bindra leads India men’s team to win bronze in 10m air rifle in Asian Games 2014

After the Deepika Padukone controversy, the leading publishing house kills off Sonali Bendre’s relatives!

Why green gram or moong dal is good for health

Microsoft’s Xbox One launched in India, prices start from Rs 39,990

Check out Hrithik Roshan’s auto-rickshaw selfie!

Apple iPhone 5S now available for less that Rs 35,000 on Indian e-commerce sites

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here