Gone are the days when people interacted over social media with their near and dear ones. Today, it has become a medium of entertainment more than interaction. It has transformed lives of many cricketers, especially the ones who retired. The best places they find to express themselves are Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. They set the social media ablaze to such an extent that one needs to grab a bucket of popcorn, sit back and enjoy the free entertainment  on offer. Be it banters, patching up or being plain vocal about social issues, everyone finds their due credit on this medium.

This makes us believe that our beloved cricketers are just a tweet away. From West Indies infecting everyone with Champion song to former cricketer Virender Sehwag finding a companion for his decade-old record, Twitter has seen it all. Keeping aside the instances that have gone past this year, social media especially saw the rise of ‘Nawab of Twitter’ — Sehwag. From quirky birthday wishes to being serious, Sehwag has been the most active cricketer. India’s ‘superhuman’ Virat Kohli ended his year on a sweet note, thanks to the special tweet that ‘changed his game.’

Since it is a phase of year-enders, let us have a look at some of the wittiest, controversial and best tweets that ruled Twitter in 2016:

‘Champions’ and ICC World T20:

The start of 2016 was an eye witness to the Caribbean land celebrating success like there is no tomorrow. West Indies had a phenomenal year. It was the U-19 side who won their maiden title, inspiring their seniors (men and women both) to emulate the same: lifting ICC World T20 2016.

In fact, the cricket aficionados had a memorable World Cup with every game adding its own element of nail-biting finishes. Although India missed out on lifting the coveted title amidst the home crowd, it was a tournament worth remembering for various reasons:

When Ramesh Srivats explained India’s top-order conundrum… 

During the match against New Zealand in ICC T20WC, Suresh Raina effected an excellent run out off his own bowling. New Zealand were already struggling and then Raina struck with his fielding. Off the third ball of the 12th over, Raina bowled a decent length ball to Corey Anderson, which he played towards the bowler’s left. Raina moved quickly in his follow through and dived to field the ball, he tumbled as he collected the ball and backhanded it on to the stumps, Ross Taylor was found short of crease. It was an unbelievable piece of fielding.

Aakash Chopra and his luck with ‘puns’ post the inaugural match between India and New Zealand…

 

When Michael Vaughan found Associate Nation’s cricket fascinating…

Who knew Reece Topley had a sense of humour post Virat Kohli’s heroics to guide India to semi-final…

 

Phil Simmons’ fitting reply to Mark Nicholas…

During the T20 WC Andrew Flintoff and Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan were involved in a legendary banter. One cannot get away after taking a dig at one of Bollywood’s biggest superstar. Flintoff took the hard way, out and this is what happened: when Flintoff mocked Kohli after the first semi-final between India and West Indies, Amitabh Bachchan seemed furious.

 

Flintoff tried his best to ridicule Amitabh Bachchan as well, and Ravindra Jadeja’s parody account provided a fitting reply to the England pacer…

 

Between WICB and its cricketers’ animosity, cricket was the loser: 

The animosity between West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and the players have been going on and on for the past half a decade. However, West Indies winning the title silenced the WICB for a while. Darren Sammy even took a dig at the board, for they were unsure of their team receiving an opportunity to play in ICC flagship tournaments during the post-match presentation. Post the event, West Indies were to host South Africa and Australia for a tri-series. The announcement of the squad raised many eyebrows, as Sammy and Chris Gayle were dropped. However, the surprise came when Kieron Pollard and Sunil Narine, after a long spell of time, were included in the squad.

The actual entertainment began when Gayle, Sammy and Bravo decided to take a dig not only at WICB but also Pollard. The banter began with Sammy’s tweet…

 

Pollard could not resist showing his funny side as well…

Soon, the big guns joined the league and the first among them was Gayle…

 

Pollard had the perfect reply to this…

Gayle did not stop. He attacked Narine as well…

 

But it was Bravo who picked up on the functioning of WICB…

 

 

The issues against WICB aggravated when they did not include Denesh Ramdin and Jerome Taylor in 12-man squad announced for the Test series against India, following which Taylor retired from Test cricket. Ramdin, however, was axed as he tweeted about why he was not in contention for the Test series that breached the WICB policy and terms of the retainer’s contract. The drama continued when Ramdin blamed West Indies selector Courtney Browne, claiming his performance was not good enough to play for West Indies.

The shocker came when Sammy was sacked by the WICB selectors in a 30-second phone call. It surprised everyone when Sammy posted an emotional message on his Facebook page, where he mentioned about his six-year spell coming to an end. He was also dropped from the squads for the T20I series against India that were played in August. However, Darren Bravo called Dave Cameron as ‘a big idiot’ in row of contracts, following which Bravo was dropped from the Zimbabwe tri-series after hitting out at WICB for their offer for a C-category contract. In the outbursts, Bravo even asked Cameron to quit handling new deals to senior players.

 

When all hell broke loose: 

This year belonged to Kohli, not just in terms of numbers but also with his personal life. His alleged girlfriend Anushka Sharma and he were going through a rough patch. If the reports are to be believed, the reason behind their ‘break-up’ was marriage. However, one tweet changed the world for these two. The ‘golden tweet’ of this year not only patched up the differences between the two but also swept the floor of Anushka’s feet.

Kohli won everyone’s hearts on Father’s Day. He posted an emotional picture that was ‘awwdorable’. His father, Prem Kohli, has never seen Kohli play for India. He passed away in 2006. Kohli was playing a match for Delhi then. Kohli attended the funeral and later saved his team to bail them out of trouble.

 

Kohli had a splendid year with numbers as well. He broke several records and scored as many as three double-centuries. Be it against West Indies, New Zealand or England, Kohli never gets tired, even if we, at the newsroom, run out of adjectives to describe his genius. But cricketers manage to find ways to impress us with their wordplay, describing Kohli’s feat in their own way.

 

 

Jimmy Neesham’s funny side:

If there is any cricketer who has a better take on humour after the ‘Nawab of Twitter’, Sehwag, it has to be Jimmy Neesham. He can be regarded as someone who is more famous for his antics on Twitter rather than on-field performances.

During the India tour, Neesham acknowledged that fans consider him as second-best to Sehwag in being funny. He told ESPNcricinfo, “A lot of people tweet me saying Virender Sehwag is quite good, but a lot of his stuff I can’t understand because it’s not in English. A lot of Indians tell me I am the second funniest behind him.”

Maybe 2017 will witness a new ‘God of Twitter’ in the making.

Neesham’s funny take on the US President-elect Donald Trump during New Zealand’s tour of India certainly provided the Kiwis something to smile about.

 

Neesham threw his support behind South Africa captain Faf du Plessis when he was embroiled in the ball-tampering controversy during Australia tour. Amid pressure, criticism and hostile behaviour from crowd at the Adelaide Oval who booed and displayed placards, there was Neesham, supporting the cricketer who went out to make a fine hundred…

Big Bash League (BBL), Australia’s biggest T20 league kicked off on December 20. As always, BBL began with set of surprises.  If it is about T20 leagues, you cannot expected the men from Caribbean to come up with surprises. Andre Russell, playing for Sydney Thunder, walked out with his black and pink bat against Sydney Sixers. Right after his first innings with the bat, Cricket Australia (CA) withdrew their approval for using the bat since it left marks on the white Kookaburra ball. Neesham could not have missed being sarcastic…

 

Chris Gayle does not ‘Blush’:

The ‘Universe Boss’ Chris Gayle remained in limelight throughout the year, but he started off sparking a controversy. Playing in the BBL, Gayle asked Channel Nine reporter Mel Laughlin out over a few drinks while she was interviewing him on the sidelines of a match.

Gayle saw it as a usual conversation, he was perhaps being jocular. But the whole of Australia took Gayle’s comments as a serious breach of decency and public behaviour, and it all turned out into a controversy. Andrew Flintoff, Chris Rogers, the commentary team, media, and the public; everyone was against Gayle who apologised to the media person a few days later.

 

 

However, Gayle carried on. He aimed guns at Ahmed Shehzad, the Pakistani player who has been out of the national side for far too long due to disciplinary issues. And Gayle rubbed it in…

The Pakistan opener was sporting enough and provided a fitting reply…

 

Gayle, however, got serious for a change…

 

 

‘Mintgate’ du Plessis:

There will be no exaggeration in renaming ‘South Africa tour of Australia’ to ‘Faf du Plessis vs Australia’, after the ‘Mintgate’ incident. Right from the beginning, it was clear that South Africans were on a mission to unsettle the Australians. It all began when South Africa won the second Test at Hobart by a huge margin after winning the first  by an innings and 80 runs. Post the second Test, a lot was spoken and discussed after a video report of du Plessis shining the ball with his saliva while sucking mint candy surfaced. It changed the tone for the rest of the series. Remarks of ball-tampering surfaced soon and ICC charged the South African captain.

Du Plessis was found guilty at the hearing on November 22. Before the final Test, another untoward incident took place as a reporter was pushed aside violently by a security staff member of the South African side at the Adelaide airport.

South Africa lost the final Test — their first day-night contest — but won their third series in Australia on the trot. The series witnessed quite a few controversial moments, but Dale Steyn, who bowed out during the first Test due to a shoulder trouble, saw the cricketing point of it…

 

 

‘Hitman’ pun intended

Just when things started to look positive for Rohit in Test cricket, he suffered an injury that ruled him out for at least six weeks. Rohit would have benefitted from this long ‘India Cricket’ season, but he missed out. However, he isn’t the one to miss out on poking fun at his mates even when he is away…

This is not the first time Rohit was trying to act funny. When Ishant Sharma got engaged in June, his comic timing did not go wrong…

 

When Tabraiz Shamsi had no time to buy milk

When Karun Nair decided to pummel England into submission, there were many onlookers. The world watched England being decimated, with India showing no mercy in the final Test despite having already sealed the series. Nair smacked 303 not out, and he surely had one fan from the South African camp following his innings…

Sehwagism: 

Our list of top tweets would be incomplete if we do not mention the ‘Nawab of Twitter’ Sehwag. His maidens are leaving everyone awestruck on his preferred field these days – Twitter. His funny and wittiest comments can leave anyone ROTFL. From clever birthday wishes to hilarious observations to serious requests to #VirukaGyaan, it is more than enough for adding daily dose of smile. Sehwag not only makes a point to add some fun over various topics but carries it forward in Hindi commentary as well. His fans patiently wait on what holds next from this Twitter King every day.

If you have not heard any of those typical Sehwag jingles yet, you are in for some serious crime here.

Sehwag always makes it a point to wish his fellow teammates or players in the best way possible. It is not just restricted to cricket but also Bollywood celebrities. Let’s have a look at some of the best ones out of the lot…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the one was a killer..

 

Sehwag’s banter with his partner in crime Sachin Tendulkar was the sweetest incident this year on Twitter. It all started with when Tendulkar congratulated India on becoming the No. 1 Test team after defeating New Zealand 3-0. Sehwag was at that time  commentating during the India-New Zealand series. Sehwag could not control himself to rope in his former partner over some banter…

 

 

Tendulkar joined the conversation…

However, Sachin mentioned the word ‘Jiyo’ in his tweet which is Mumbai Indians (MI) owner, Mukesh Ambani’s ambitious 4G internet service. Sehwag could not resist trolling Tendulkar further and took a dig on the same.

 

The banter ended with Tendulkar’s sweetest reply.

Sehwag and his banter with Piers Morgan has generally been serious. The inaugural edition of Kabbadi tournament saw a different game taking place on Twitter. This time it all started with Morgan giving grammar lessons to Sehwag.

 

As soon as India won the Kabbadi world cup, Sehwag hit back…

 

Sehwag chose not respond further. But Sehwag’s one of many parody accounts did not hesitate to post a reply. Sehwag did not even spare his wife Aarti with his one-liners. Be it her birthday or explaining marriage concepts with funny sports metaphor, here is Sehwag…

 

Sehwag has also be serious keeping in mind the social causes. His #sandesh2soldiers during Diwali inspired other cricketers as well.

 

Sehwag also never stops in nit-picking the important moments from cricket, be it congratulating any player on his milestone or welcoming a new member in his record-breaking club.

 

 

 

 

Twitter has seen all sorts of drama yet it remains the one-stop medium to reach to our beloved cricketers fans. Here’s hoping that these cricketers continue to entertain with their banters, break-ups, patch-ups and puns in 2017.