Dream Team: 11 cricketers whose full name makes intriguing initials
Sourav Ganguly (left) and Colin Cowdrey © Getty Images

There are some intriguing initials in the world of cricket. H Natarajan lists 11 cricketers whose initials made fascinating read.


  1. MCC

    The hoary initials stands for the Marylebone Cricket Club a club in London that was founded way back in 1787. Arguably, it’s the cricket’s oldest brand; the club is situated at the Lord’s cricket ground. Just days ahead of Christmas in 1932, a British family in Bangalore rejoiced the birth of a male child. The boy went on to earn many laurels in his life: he led England at the Test level, was awarded the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1972, was knighted in 1992, was Chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC) in 1987 and again from 1990-1993 and was made a Life Peer of the British House of Lords by the then British Prime Minister John Major. However, there is one honour that this man one of the most respected and loved person in international cricket was to most cherish: the initials MCC [Michael Colin Cowdrey] that his father especially gave him as an infant.Michael Conrad Carew, who played 19 Tests for the West Indies between 1963 and 1972, was another who enjoyed those famous initials, but few spoke about it. The Cowdrey aura was, indeed, special.

  2. ACB

    The apex body for cricket in Australia was once known by those initials when it was Australian Cricket Board. Fittingly, it was an Australian cricketer who had the famous initials ACB Alexander Chalmers Bannerman. Formed in 1905, the apex body for cricket in Australia was known as Australian Board of Control for International Cricket (ABCIC) between 1905 and 1973. It was only in 1973, the name was changed to Australian Cricket Board (ACB). It remained so till it changed again in 2003 to Cricket Australia the name by which it is still known. Alex Bannerman, who played 28 Tests, lived till 1924 till the ripe age 70, but it took another 49 years before ABCIC became ACB. Incidentally, Alex Bannerman was the younger brother of Charles Bannerman, the man who faced the first-ever ball in Test cricket as well as the scorer of the first-ever Test century.

  3. SCG

    If there is one famous ground in Australia that is best known by its initials after the MCG [Melbourne Cricket Ground], it’s the SCG [Sydney Cricket Ground]. Sourav Ganguly’s father did not take any special efforts to give his son famous cricketing initials like Colin Cowdrey’s dad. However, Chandidas did give his name as a middle name to his son. It may have been an accident of birth, but, Sourav Chandidas Ganguly (SCG) ensured that he made his mark at the famous ground in Sydney in his last visit to Australia by scoring two half-centuries against the likes Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson.

  4. MIB

    Those initials became a household name by the 1977 film starring Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith. Those initials also gave Trinidadian fast bowler Marlon Ian Black greater reflected than his own six-Test career, which lasted less than two years in which he scalped 12 wickets.

  5. MAM

    It would have been perfectly okay when someone greeted Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, “Good Morning, MAK!”, or Allan Border as, “Hi, AB!” But it doesn’t sound all that nice when someone greets a male as, “Good morning, MAM!!!” But with those initials, Mohammad Asif Mujtaba could not have protested if someone had to address him in that fashion!

  6. LSD

    Lysergic acid diethylamide, more infamously known by its abbreviation LSD, is a drug that alters the state of mind, creating psychiatric problems. Leonard Stuart Darling, who played for Australia between 1933 and 1937, bore those infamous initials. One does not know if he suffered any stigma as a result of those initials, but one can be fairly certain if in his youthful days had a friend of his told his parent that he was having a good time with LSD, the parents would have got a rude jolt.

  7. PMS

    It’s an abbreviation that is among the biggest nightmares for women all over the world. Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS) brings about dramatic personality changes in a woman two weeks prior to a woman’s monthly period. One can see severe mood swings and depression, among many other changes, in this state. Imagine, then, a male having to endure the agony of having the initials PMS! Peter Mark Such, who played 11 Tests for England between 1993 and 1999, was one such person. If he was anything like Kevin Pietersen in the England team, one could have expected newspaper headlines scream, “English team suffers from PMS!”

  8. MRP

    “There is a little bit of the whore in all of us, gentlemen. What is your price?,” Kerry Packer, the Australian billionaire media magnate, is reportedly to have told the Australian players while building the breakaway World Series Cricket (WSC) to destabilise the Australia Cricket Board, as Cricket Australia was then known, following a dispute over TV rights. Mark Ramprakash was a kid when the WSC picked the best players from all over the world as Packer flexed his financial muscles. However, had he been old enough and been in contention for selection, Packer may well have asked him, “There is a little bit of the whore in all of us, but I know your maximum retail price!” pulling the leg of the Englishman whose initials were MRP [Mark Ravin Ramprakash]!

  9. MLA

    He averaged 49.27, yet he did not play more than seven Tests for India. But the man was too classy and too polished to say any anything negative against anybody. Hailing from a very affluent background, he did not indulge in any politicking. Suave and ever smiling, Madhav Apte was every inch a gentleman. Yet, the man had to endure a ‘political tag’ MLA, the initials of his name, Madhav Laxmarao Apte.

  10. BJP

    Those are the initials of Bharatiya Janata Party. Those were also the initials of a Gujarati cricketer not from India. Those initials could be the biggest claim to fame of Kenyan middle-order batsman Brijal Jagdish Patel, who played for six long years and 31 One-Day Internationals, but managed a highest of just 44. The ‘acche din” that Kenya expected from BJP just did not come!

  11. RSS

    Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is an organisation that provokes extreme reaction among the people, depending on which side of the political, cultural and religious divide one found them to be. Founded in 1925, RSS was banned by the British Raj and thrice in the post-Independence era. One does not know the political or religious leanings of Rakesh Shukla, the former India all-rounder, but he certainly had to live with an inadvertent link to RSS the organisation, with the initials of his full name, Rakesh Chandra Shukla, also being RSS.

(H Natarajan is a journalistic schizophrenic who oscillates between two polar opposite forms of writing analytical and insightful on the one hand, and rib-tickling humour on the other)