Monthly Archives: February 2012
Let’s be completely honest; when most of watch female sports, we are hardly concerned about the score. (We rather think about how nice it would be if we could score, if you know what I mean.) Female athletes have captured the imaginations and fantasies of men for generations now. The men might command more prize money and earn more through endorsements, but the women sure do generate the eyeballs. So, while the Rooneys and the Federers of the sport dominate the headlines, it is the Sharapovas and the Rawsons who adorn the walls of several (horny) adolescent boys (and often girls, we don’t judge). There have been countless women in sports who have set many a hearts racing, so let us find out who are the 20 most smoking female athletes of all-time.
20. GABRIELLA SABATINI (TENNIS) Argentina
Born- May 16, 1970, Professional Career- 1985-96, US Open Champion 1990
If you think the tennis players of today look like supermodels, then you should have seen Gabriella. She was the poster girl of tennis in an era when women’s tennis was trying hard to match up to its male counterpart. Sabatini was the first sportswoman to launch her own scent (back in 89) and she was the one who ushered in the era of tennis beauties (for which we are all very grateful to her).
19. KRISTI LESKINEN (SKIING) United States
Born- February 10, 1981, Professional Career- 2000 onwards, World Championship Silver Medalist 2005
There are athletes who are hot when they play and there are those who reserve this hotness for the camera. However, there are a select few who are just hot all the time. On the field, Leskinen was the first woman to pull off a Rodeo 720 (not a sexual position). Off it, she has established herself as the hottest thing on ice.
18. TATIANA GRIGORIEVA (POLE VAULT) Russia/Australia
Born- October 8, 1975, Professional Career- 1997-2007, Olympic Silver Medalist 2000
Her name might be a tongue twister of sorts but her looks are simply hot. She took up pole vaulting at the age of 21 and within 3 years, she had won silver at the Olympics. In a career that earned her a Commonwealth gold and a World Championship silver as well, Tatiana won fans over with both her aphrodisiac looks and her determined performances.
17. SARA GALIMBERTI (ATHLETICS) Italy
Born- December 1991, Miss Lombardia 2009, Track Career- 2008 onwards
If you’re thinking Sara who, then let me introduce this breath-taking buxom beauty. A college-level track star, former beauty queen and viral sensation, Galimberti is called Italy’s Allison Stokke (Stokke is another track and field hottie). She came to prominence in 2008 when someone (may the Lord bless his soul) posted her pictures online. Since then, she has been successfully sending online crazies into a perverted frenzy.
16. JENNIE FINCH (SOFTBALL) United States
Born- September 3, 1980, Senior Career- 2001-10, Most famous softball player in history
Finch is a sporting legend to say the least. In the 2000s, she was the world’s best pitcher and the Time magazine has called her the most famous player from her sport ever. Through her looks and performances, Finch brought Softball into the mainstream. Even though she kept a low profile throughout her career, her beach bunny looks brought her legions of admirers globally.
15. MALIA JONES (SURFING) United States
Born- March 27, 1977, Professional Career- 1991-98, US Amateur Surfing Champion 1992
Malia Jones is of Hawaiian, Spanish-Filipino, German and English descent, and she seems to have taken only the best-looking genes from all her ancestral gene pools. She has been labelled one of the 50 Most Beautiful People by People Magazine as well as one of the 10 sexiest athletes of Esquire. Well, if a woman designs and the models her own line of swimwear, then you can pretty well understand why she is on this list.
14. ANA PAULA MANCINO (VOLLEYBALL) Brazil
Born- November 21, 1971, Professional Career- 1990-2004
Anyone who does not live under a rock knows that women’s volleyball is the sport to watch. It’s got 6 girls on either side of a net in tight clothing pushing and slapping a ball around (no pun intended). Mancino began her volleyball career on the sunny beaches of Brazil (so we would like to imagine) and one fine day, decided that European men needed to be made aware of her smoking hotness as well. Hence, she moved to Italy in 1990 and has been raising the mercury there, ever since.
13. NATALIE GULBIS (GOLF) United States
Born- January 7, 1983, Professional Career- 2001 onwards, 3 Tour wins
Gulbis was a child prodigy, winning tournaments at the age of seven and competing with professionals at 17. One of the major highlights of the LPGA tour, Gulbis is an out and out sportswoman, but a breathtakingly pretty one at that. She shot to fame by placing in the top 10 of four consecutive golf majors at the age of 23 and continued to draw attention both for her game and her sex symbol status in golf.
12. ANA IVANOVIC (TENNIS) Serbia
Born- November 6, 1987, Professional Career- 2003 onwards, French Open Champion 2008
Ivanovic is known for her aggressive style of play, her ravishing good looks and (women tell me) a complexion to die for. She has adorned the covers of several fashion magazines including FHM, Cosmo, Grazia and Sports Illustrated. Some say that she is the hottest tennis player on tour right now, while others call her the hottest woman from Serbia ever. Whatever the case may be, Ana has sure managed to make men all over the world swoon over her.
11. ANNA RAWSON (GOLF) Australia
Born- August 5, 1981, Professional Career- 2004 onwards
It is tough to decide whether Rawson is a model who plays golf or a golfer who occasionally does modelling. She started modelling at 16 and turned to professional golf only at 23. She has been playing on the LPGA tour since 2009 and is one of the tour’s biggest draws due to her stunning looks and enormous popularity.
10. PEGGY FLEMING (FIGURE SKATING) United States
Born- July 27, 1948, Professional Career- 1961-68, Olympic Gold Medalist 1968
Peggy was the first, the very first female athlete whose appearance did not want you to throw up on a roadside. Before Peggy, female athletes were more athletes and hardly female. After her, they were all woman. In a career that brought her five US titles, three world championships and an Olympic Gold, Peggy became the pin-up girl of her generation, and that too, the first from the field of sports.
9. AMANDA BEARD (SWIMMING) United States
Born- October 29, 1981, Professional Career- 1996 onwards, 2 Olympic Golds
You know what’s good about summer? Swimming! Amanda Beard is one of the sport’s most popular names and also the most respected. This seven-time Olympic medallist has a body to die for and mesmerising looks that have made countless men across the globe go weak in their knees.
8. MARIA SHARAPOVA (TENNIS) Russia
Born- April 15, 1987, Professional Career- 2001 onwards, 3 Grand Slam singles
If you do not know who Maria Sharapova, then get the hell out of my blog. Sharapova is undoubtedly the most popular female athlete in the world today. This Siberian beauty is the embodiment of Russian sensuality, wrapped in a lithe, athletic figure. Her supermodel looks and million dollar smile have made her a darling of the tennis world.
7. TANITH BELBIN (FIGURE SKATING) Canada
Born- July 11, 1984, Professional Career- 2001-10, Olympic Silver Medalist 2006
The sport is called figure skating. It involves women skating and dancing over ice graciously and sensuously. Need I say anything else? Belbin’s movement exude a kind of grace and raw erotic energy that is unprecedented and has brought in many new fans to the sport. To say that she is the flag bearer of 21st century ice sports beauties would not exactly be an exaggeration.
6. STEPHANIE RICE (SWIMMING) Australia
Born- June 17, 1988, Professional Career- 2004 onwards, 3 Olympic Golds
The best part about the London Olympics will be that we will be able to watch Stephanie Rice in action in a swimsuit without having to explain to our women why we are ogling at this Aussie bombshell. Rice is the best thing that has happened to swimming since the introduction of shorter swimsuits.
5. DANICA PATRICK (MOTORSPORT) United States
Born- March 25, 1982, Professional Career- 1999 onwards, 3rd place finish at Indianapolis 500 (2009)
Here is one girl who can drive, and boy can she drive you nuts with those hypnotic eyes and perfect 10 body. Most people know her as the most popular and successful female race car driver ever, while others remember her as the sensuous “godaddy” girl from those commercials.
4. ANNA KOURNIKOVA (TENNIS) Russia
Born- June 7, 1981, Professional Career- 1995-2007, Australian Open Doubles Champion 1999
She was the Spice Girl of tennis and the most popular and desirable athlete of her generation. Anna introduced the glamour to women’s tennis, which has now become characteristic of the sport. Even though her accomplishments on the court were scarce, her looks and smoking sex appeal ensured that she would not be forgotten anytime soon.
3. LERYN FRANCO (JAVELIN THROW) Paraguay
Born- March 1, 1982, Professional Career- 2001 onwards, South American Championship Silver Medalist 2011
So Franco may not be a champion athlete but she does alright, having won a couple of medals at the South American Championships. However, she did finish runner up at Miss Paraguay 2006 and participated in Miss Bikini Universe to make up for all that. She has been called one of the hottest athletes by nearly all magazines and publications on this planet
2. BIBA GOLIC (TABLE TENNIS) Serbia
Born- November 9, 1977, Professional Career- 1998 onwards, 3 Titles
To think that one of the hottest female athletes of all-time would be from a game as unglamorous as table tennis is quite ironic. But this Serbian beauty is not just one of the most popular players in the sport, but also the most stunning. Her ravishing looks make her an immediate crowd puller (and crowd please as well), and establish her as one of the most desirable women in sports.
1. GABRIELLE REECE (VOLLEYBALL) United States
Born- January 6, 1970, Professional Career- 1989-2000
So far, we have looked at 40 of the greatest batsmen that the game his seen in its history in parts 1, 2, 3 and 4. Culminating our series are the 10 greatest- the best of the best! These ten are the true masters of the art of batting. They include four players from the West Indies, two each from India and England and one each from Australia and South Africa. With that, our top 50 has 12 players each from Australia and England, 9 from the West Indies, 6 from Pakistan, 5 from India, 3 from South Africa, and 1 each from New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. The only Test nation not represented here is Bangladesh and unless we’re friggin’ kidding ourselves, that seems just about right.
Out of the 50, 14 are left-handed batsmen and the remaining 36 right-handed. Five of these stalwarts played predominantly before the First World War (1880-1914); 6 in between the two wars (1918-39) and 13 after the war till the beginning of the ODIs (1945-70). 11 players played in the first wave of one day cricket (1970-90) and 12 in the golden age of batting, the generation we grew up watching (1990-2000). Five cricketers from the 21st century (2000 onwards) also make the cut. Out of these 50, ten are still actively playing international cricket while one (Ganguly) plays in the domestic circuit. So, without much further ado, let us take a look at the 10 greatest batsmen in the history of cricket!
10. SUNIL GAVASKAR (IND) Right Hand Batsman, Right Arm Medium (1971-87)
Tests- 125, Runs- 10122, Avg- 51.12, 100s- 34, High- 236
ODIs- 108, Runs- 3092, Avg- 35.13, 100s- 1, High- 103*
25,834 FC runs with 81 centuries at 51.46
For a generation that has grown up watching the Pontings, the Kallises and the Tendulkars; it is hard to imagine what Sunil Manohar Gavaskar meant to the cricketing world. He was India’s first great batsman; the first man who inspired a nation to dream big and believe that they could rub shoulders with the giants of the game. He was one of the greatest opening batsmen the game has ever seen; with a game built around a near flawless technique and unprecedented levels of concentration. But most importantly, he was the only man who stood up against the phenomenal might of the West Indies in the 70s and 80s. Against what is arguably the “Best Team to Have Ever Played Test Cricket”, Gavaskar scored 2749 runs at 65 with 13 centuries.
9. SIR VIVIAN RICHARDS (WI) Right Hand Batsman, Right Arm Slow (1974-91)
Tests- 121, Runs- 8540, Avg- 50.23, 100s- 24, High- 291
WSC Matches- 14, Runs- 1281, Avg- 55.69, 100s- 4, High- 177
ODIs- 187, Runs- 6721, Avg- 47.00, 100s- 11, High- 189*
36,212 FC runs with 114 centuries at 49.40
Take an ounce of Sehwag’s aggression; mix 5 teaspoons of Tendulkar’s timing and add a pinch of Bradman’s aura on top- voila! You have Viv Richards on your plate. If Gavaskar was the most respected batsman of his generation and Bradman the most admired, then Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards has to be the most feared batsman the game has ever seen. Critics argue that there are many with greater records, but there is no one who has the power to intimidate, dominate and rip a bowling attack to pieces the way Richards did in his heyday. Arguably the greatest one-day batsman ever (his average and strike rate both exceed Tendulkar), Richards was a giant in the Tests too and his record for most runs in a year (1710 in 1976) stood for 3 decades.
8. JACQUES KALLIS (RSA) Right Hand Batsman, Right Arm Medium Fast (1995-2012)
Tests- 150, Runs- 12260, Avg- 57.02, 100s- 41, High- 224
ODIs- 317, Runs- 11372- Avg- 45.48, 100s- 17, High- 139
If world cricket was a museum and all the cricketers were priceless artworks, then Jacques Kallis would be this museum’s Mona Lisa- priceless and one in a billion. Kallis has to be the most consistent, if not the greatest all-round cricketer the world has seen. A batsman with almost perfect technique and an appetite for runs second to none, Kallis was destined to be cricket’s unsung hero. Despite the fact that he has more man-of-the-match awards in Tests than any other player in history, he was still overshadowed by his more flamboyant contemporaries (read Lara, Tendulkar and Ponting). With a record to die for and a mind impervious to all sorts of distractions, Kallis is a true cricket fan’s cricketer, classical in every sense of the word.
7. SIR GARFIELD SOBERS (WI) Left Hand Batsman, Left Arm Bowler (1954-74)
Tests- 93, Runs- 8032, Avg- 57.78, 100s- 26, High- 365*
28,314 FC runs with 86 centuries at 54.87
They call him the greatest all-rounder ever and his record substantiates that claim. He could have been in the team as a bowler alone (235 wickets at 34), but it is for his legendary batting that Garry Sobers came to be known. He broke Len Hutton’s world record for the highest individual score in Tests by scoring 365 in only his 14th Test as a 21-year old. Known for a rock solid technique mixed with the Caribbean flair of batsmanship, Sobers will be best remembered as arguably the greatest off-side stroke maker in the game’s history. He was the first batsman to hit six sixes in a single over (to the misfortune of one Malcolm Nash) and scored a magnificent 254 for Rest of the World in 1971 at the age of 35, against an Australian attack comprising of Dennis Lillee and Bob Massie.
6. BRIAN LARA (WI) Left Hand Batsman, Right Arm Leg Break (1990-2006)
Tests- 131, Runs- 11953, Avg- 52.28, 100s- 34, High- 400*
ODIs- 299, Runs- 10405, Avg- 40.48, 100s- 19, High- 169
When he made his debut at 21, Brian Lara was supposed to be the next great Caribbean batsman, carrying forward the legacy of Headley, Walcott, Sobers and Richards. Little did people know that this tiny man from Trinidad would one day outshine his illustrious compatriots. In 1994, within the space of two months, Lara broke the world records for the highest individual score in Tests and first class (375 and 501 respectively). Those who think that this was a fluke need to be told that he reclaimed the former record by becoming the first man to score 400 in a single Test innings a decade later. No one has scored more double centuries than Lara (apart from the Don of course) and along with Bill Ponsford, Lara remains the only man to cross 400 twice in his first class career.
5. SIR WALTER HAMMOND (ENG) Right Hand Batsman, Right Arm Medium Fast (1927-47)
Tests- 85, Runs- 7249, Avg- 58.45, 100s- 22, High- 336*
50,551 FC runs with 167 centuries at 56.10
If it was not for Bradman, Hammond would perhaps be the greatest pre-war batsman in the game, and certainly the greatest of his generation. It was by sheer coincidence that the careers of Hammond and Bradman ran almost parallel to each other in splendid fashion. He established himself firmly as not just Hobbs’ successor as the greatest English batsman but also the finest batsman in the world when, only in his second series (the 1928 Ashes), he shattered the record books by accumulating 905 runs in 5 Tests at 113. He kick-started a great rivalry with the Don when he broke his world record of the highest individual Test score by scoring an unbeaten 336 against New Zealand in 1933. Despite losing six of his best years to war, Hammond scored over 50,000 first class runs and at the time of his retirement, held the world record for most Test runs.
4. SACHIN TENDULKAR (IND) Right Hand Batsman, Right Arm Bowler (1989-2012)
Tests- 188, Runs- 15470, Avg- 55.44, 100s- 51, High- 248*
ODIs- 454, Runs- 18113, Avg- 45.05, 100s- 48, High- 200*
24,389 FC runs with 78 centuries at 58.62
Tendulkar’s greatness lies beyond his spectacular numbers, beyond his breath-taking strokeplay, beyond his towering records and even beyond his mind numbing consistency. The only measure of his true greatness is the ease with which he has shouldered the expectations of a cricket crazy nation for such a long period and with such amazing grace. From the prodigious 16-year old facing Wasim and Waqar on a torrid Faisalabad pitch to the dynamic 38-year old scoring an ODI double ton in Gwalior; from the determined 19-year old smashing Hughes and Reid in Perth to the overpowering 30-year old uppercutting Akhtar in Durban; Tendulkar has delivered series after series, year after year, decade after decade with amazing consistency. No other batsman has scored with this consistency over this long a period, playing so many international games. Even today, when his failures are magnified and often not tolerated, this Indian colossus continues to further his legend.
3. GEORGE HEADLEY (WI) Right Hand Batsman, Leg Break Bowler (1930-54)
Tests- 22, Runs- 2190, Avg- 60.83, 100s- 10, High- 270*
9921 FC runs with 33 centuries at 69.86
In West Indies, they called Don Bradman the ‘White Headley’. Comparison to the great man is probably the ultimate compliment in the world of cricket. Statistically, Headley is the closest thing to Bradman that the world has seen. His rate of scoring both runs and centuries is faster than all others, save Bradman in Test as well as first class cricket. He made runs with a style and brilliance that have not been since. His amazing ability and remarkable consistency are best exemplified in the fact that between 1929 and 1939, the Black Bradman did not have a single bad series. These performances become even more remarkable in light of the fact that his team was solely dependent on him and in the 22 games he played, he scored a phenomenal 25.6% of his team’s runs as well as 10 of the 15 centuries. No other batsman has performed with such consistency while carrying such a burden for so long.
2. SIR JACK HOBBS (ENG) Right Hand Batsman, Right Arm Medium (1908-30)
Tests- 61, Runs- 5410, Avg- 56.94, 100s- 15, High- 211
61,760 FC runs with 199 centuries at 50.70
John Berry Hobbs is one of the game’s earliest superstars and the first batsman to be dubbed “The Master” (a moniker later used for the likes of Hanif Mohammed, Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar). Hobbs holds the record for most runs (61,760) and most centuries (199) in top flight cricket, and he would have scored a lot more if not for his charitable tendency of retiring after scoring a hundred to give other batsmen a go at the bowling. He was the first batsman to average over 50 in Test cricket and the first professional cricketer to be knighted by the Queen. He remains the only man to score 7 Test centuries after his 40th birthday and is the oldest man to score a Test ton, a feat he achieved at the age of 46. Self-taught and without any formal coaching, Hobbs was a pioneer in the game, inventing and introducing several strokes that modern batsmen play. Many have challenged his achievements but few have rivalled his influence on the game.
1. SIR DONALD BRADMAN (AUS) Right Hand Batsman (1928-48)
Tests- 52, Runs- 6996, Avg- 99.94, 100s- 29, High- 334
28,067 FC runs with 117 centuries at 95.14
Headley was the “Black Bradman” and Zaheer Abbas was the Asian Bradman; Hobbs was the greatest before Bradman and Tendulkar is the best since. But there is only one true Bradman- the Don himself. Statistically, technically and by the virtue of sheer aura, nobody comes anywhere close to the great Donald Bradman. He is a benchmark in the game- the basis on which each and every great batsman is measured, regardless of the nationality or playing style. They argue that he never played one-dayers but conveniently forget that he played his Tests like one-dayers as well (his strike rate is only inferior to Gilchrist, Sehwag and Richards). Bradman was a one-man army, an unstoppable run machine that was world class even on a bad day. He announced his arrival in the 1930 Ashes, obliterating his rival Wally Hammond’s record of most runs in a series by scoring 974 runs in 5 Tests at 139. The English were so petrified that their captain Douglas Jardine devised the leg theory (popularly known as Bodyline) to counter the Don’s scoring.
By the time Douglas Jardine’s Bodyline series came around, Bradman was only 24 and had already scored 2695 runs in 19 Tests at 112.3 with 12 centuries, including the world record score of 334. The Bodyline was his weakest series but he still managed 396 runs in 4 games at an average of 56.75 (higher than the career averages of Lara, Tendulkar, Chappell, Gavaskar and Ponting). He scored 12 double centuries in just 80 innings and registered a further seven 150+ scores. His tragically legendary average of 99.94 is one of the most widely known sport statistics worldwide. He is not just the greatest batsman in cricket history but also one of the greatest sportspersons ever, with the Time magazine rating him alongside the likes of Muhammad Ali, Babe Ruth, Juan Manuel Fangio and Pele. Bradman is much more than an icon or a hero; he is a figure that transcends the game he played and stands for something much greater than that. Bradman is the epitome of the pinnacle of human achievement in sports.
Well the Test series down under is over and the Indian cricket team suffered a humiliating whitewash for the second time in 6 months. However, the team’s star batsman and legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar has not lost all hope. Here is what the Little Master wrote on his facebook page a few hours ago.
Note- This fake facebook wall was created with the Wall Machine (no relation to Rahul Dravid). Any resemblance to people living or dead is obviously intentional and quite hilarious.