Cricket players’ footballing equivalents

Sometimes, it can be difficult being a cricket fan.

When England have inexplicably suffered another batting collapse, the fact that you’re surrounded by complete cricket novices becomes irrelevant – you just have to moan. But your moaning falls on deaf ears as saying that “Gary Ballance’s lack of footwork means he’s never going to succeed as a Test player” means nothing to the people around you.

Luckily though, your mates know their football so drawing comparisons between cricketers and well-known footballers might be your best bet at explaining your anguish. Here’s our guide of comparing cricketers to footballers:

Tim Bresnan – James Milner

Both excellent, underrated and hardworking sportsmen whose versatility made them crucial assets for their respective sides. Both enjoyed the new lease of life they experienced after their England days with Milner captaining Liverpool at times and Bresnan nearly single-handedly winning the County Championship for Yorkshire in 2016.

Jos Buttler – Jay-Jay Okocha

Both mavericks on the pitch capable of producing moments that seemingly stop time. But for all their obvious talent, neither really reached the world class heights in the longest form of the game. Okocha would surely have been a world class 5-a-side player just like how Buttler excels in T20 cricket and let’s be honest, that’s all that T20 is to Test cricket – 5-a-side football.

Alastair Cook – Paul Scholes

Not just class players, but class blokes too. Not the most eye-catching players but their consistent performances over such long periods of time mean that they will forever have a special place in the hearts of their supporters.

Gareth Batty – Gennaro Gattuso

Two spectacularly angry men on the field and both exhibit all the symptoms of ‘small man syndrome’. If you support their team you probably love them, but if they’re playing your team there’s no man in the world you hate more.

Stuart Broad – Harry Kane

If you dissect the various aspects of their games, you might not be able to work out why they’re so successful. Neither are particularly quick or have an obvious trait that their opponents fear, but rather they both have an unquantifiableĀ  knack for wicket-taking and goal-scoring respectively, that makes them both so good.

Virat Kohli – Cristiano Ronaldo

Both are arguably the best in the world at what they do and boy don’t they know it. Their sport doesn’t do all the talking for them – they need to pose to show off just how good they are and more importantly, just how good they look.

Adil Rashid – Andy Carroll

The idea of having Andy Carroll in your side is great. A big target man up front with a ferocious left boot is a terrifying prospect similar to how facing a leg-spinning all-rounder who can spin the ball both ways should send shivers down the spin of opponents. Unfortunately for both of them, the idea of them is far superior to them in reality.

Kevin Pietersen – Joey Barton

The biggest nobs in their sports and even though they’re not really playing that much any more, they have to be the centre of attention and pop up far too much online.

Ben Stokes – Dele Alli

England’s two great hopes. Both are precociously talented and have already displayed their match-winning potential but still have a bit to go to show that they’re genuinely world class players on the biggest stage. They also have a fiery temper that is perhaps a tad unnecessary.

Ben Foakes – Michael Carrick

“Mate you have no idea how many runs having a specialist keeper saves.”

“Mate you have no idea how much Carrick does for United’s ball-retention.”

Two proper hipster choices, if you like these guys you obviously know more about the sport than anyone else.

Steve Smith – Thomas Muller

Very ungainly players who are prolific on the big stage. Smith has one of the highest Test averages of all time despite being objectively difficult to watch whilst the gangly Muller is one of the leading goalscorers in World Cup history.

Liam Dawson – Phil Jones

It’s not really clear what either player’s strongest position is. Is Dawson predominantly a defender? Is Jones mainly in the side for his spin bowling? Who knows?

Mark Ramprakash – The entire golden generation

So so good domestically, true legends of their clubs but somehow couldn’t translate that form into international success.



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