Cursed Cricket Names

There are some peculiar cricket names that are generally mispronounced. Mostly, they happen to be those from the Indian sub-continent. Let’s take a small tour on these cricketing names from around the world.

G McGrath. Now, the legend goes something like this: Experts / commentators and fans alike around the world went about getting the pronunciation of his name right the moment he announced himself to be a great bowling talent. People were going crazy chanting MAGRAA… MAGRAA… MAGRAA!!!

So what’s wrong, you might ask? Nothing wrong, in fact, well done! But I’d only want at least the experts of the cricketing world, as they are the ones calling the action on TV, to get the names of the Asian players sounding correctly from their vocal chords as well. Let’s look at some of the famous cricket names and how they are commonly mis-called even by the players of their own era:

Gavaskar. It’s not GA-VAAS-KAR or GA-VAAS-KAAR. It is GAA-VAS-KAR.

Sachin. It’s SUCH-IN and not SASH-IN as a certain Tony Greig prefers it.

Muralitharan. It’s not MEW-RA-LI-THA-RUN for Pete’s sake; it is MU-RA-LI-DA-RUN.

Harbhajan. Don’t take his jaan re, give him a break from calling him HAA-BHA-JAAN. If you thought it was only the gore log calling him that, check out how L Sivaramakrishnan voices his name next time in a match. It is HAR-BHA-JAN.

Ja(c)ques. This is an interesting name. We have Jacques kallis and Jacques Rudolph of South Africa. And then, there is Phil Jaques of Australia. While both the South Africans prefer JAAK for the pronunciation, the Aussie prefers to be called JAY-KS. And you thought this was difficult, but, all the commentators tend to get the pronunciation right!! There is another European alternate for this – YAA-KO-WAYS!

Let’s revisit McGrath. There’s the English all-rounder A McGrath, who prefers MAG-RAATH (in rhyme with WRATH). Of course, we get the pronunciation right based on whether it is the Englishman or the Australian in action. Commentators easily go on “It’s MAGRAA to MAG-RAATH from the Pavilion end…”

And then there are names like Wasim (pronounced VA-SEEM and not VAA-SIM), Sehwag (pronounced SAY-WAAG and not SEE-VAG) that are commonly ill-voiced. Well, most of the sub-continental and African last names face this ill treatment. We’ll see more on the Srilankan and African names in the posts to follow. Till then try Mpumelelo Mbhangwa, Everton Motambanatzo, Nkala and Kalpage. We’ll also see how South Indian names are abused, and how some common Football names are pronounced differently across the different regions of the world.


Sujan's picture
Member since:
27 December 2008
Last activity:
2 days 21 hours

Nice observation & Good post Goutham - ( GAU-THA-AM )

SquareCut's picture
Member since:
23 December 2008
Last activity:
7 years 35 weeks

That boring fellow Ranjith Fernando keep telling Thusharaaaaa  to Thushara. To Tharnga he says Tharangaaaa. Being  Sri Lankan wonder why he can't tell Sri Lankan name properly. Normally names like  Thusharaaa, Tharangaaaa are female names in Sri Lanka. Boring Ranjith. Can't understand why they keep picking him for commentating job.

Ottayan's picture

You should write another post on how they mangle names of cricket grounds.:)

Doosra's picture
Member since:
4 April 2009
Last activity:
25 weeks 4 days

lol! enjoy your posts man!

Anonymous's picture

Hey SquareCut, you forgot Malingaaa. This second-grade commentator is so ignorant about cricket and his own country that it makes me cringe.

Case 1:
Fellow Commentator: So Ranjith, tell me, why do many tourists visit Dambulla?

I guess he is trying to imitate the westerners' pronunciation. Makes him feel all important. He always kowtows to the other commentators, never challenges their view.

giftofdevil's picture
Member since:
21 July 2009
Last activity:
5 years 47 weeks

Are there no commentators other than R Fernando and R Ahinayake in SL? I heard Russel Arnold speak a couple of times and he seems very promising.

SquareCut's picture
Member since:
23 December 2008
Last activity:
7 years 35 weeks

Ranil Abeynayaka is not boring. In my opinion he is the best in Sri Lanka

batman87's picture
Member since:
3 July 2009
Last activity:
6 years 49 weeks

How about Roshan Abeysinghe..He is pretty eloquent too...

sujithl143's picture
Member since:
16 April 2009
Last activity:
3 years 17 weeks

And What about Tony Greig !!    He's the Best..coz He changd the names but itz COooLL

Romesh Kaluwitharana - Little Kalu
Sanath Jayasuriya       -  Master Blaster
Arjuna Ranatunga        -  Captain Cool

KAS's picture
Member since:
8 April 2010
Last activity:
6 years 10 weeks

Ranjith Fernando says, DILHARAAAAA, JAY-WOR-DANA
Hell, he is Sri Lankan. Am i right?

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