“Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together.” – Woodrow Wilson
Friendship is something that makes the world a better place to live in. And the world of Cricket is certainly no different.
While some cricketers were the best of friends since childhood, others developed a close bond while playing for the same team.
On Friendship Day, here’s a lowdown on the closest of friendships in the history of the Gentlemen’s Game –
1. Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly
Sachin and Sourav shared great chemistry not only on the field but also off it. It was a completely different Indian side when both opened the innings together. It was Sachin, the captain, who went on to promote Sourav Ganguly to the opener’s position in ODIs. Due to that big decision, Ganguly achieved an endless number of feats and broke numerous records. Later on, Dada even became one of the best captains in the history of the game. Both still share a great bond and mutually respect one another.
2. Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir
These two opening batsmen were as different as chalk and cheese. But they gelled well and got along like a house on fire. Both always had the best of things to say about each other. Sehwag had once said: “After Sunil Gavaskar, India has never had an opener as good as Gautam Gambhir.” When Sehwag retired, Gambhir got emotional. He said that a part of him was gone with Sehwag. “There won’t be another player like Sehwag.”
3. Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene
The island nation’s two gems are inseparable. These two legends redefined Sri Lankan cricket in more ways than one. These two explosive batsmen were so close that Mahela’s better half was the Maid of Honour at Sangakkara’s wedding, while Sangakkara was to be Mahela’s Best Man during the latter’s marriage. Post-retirement, both Sanga and Mahela are still the best of buddies entering into a number of ventures together.
4. Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman
Symbols of perseverance, Laxman and Dravid have opened up about their friendship on a number of occasions. Both were calm and composed, and their match-winning partnership was always a threat to the opposition. Similar in nature, they let their bats do all the talking and one truly complimented the other.
5. Ian Botham and Vivian Richards
Two of the biggest legends of the game, Botham and Richards shared a house while playing for Somerset in County Cricket. Those were the early days of their careers. Sir Ian Botham had once said that Viv is like his brother. Similarly, Sir Viv Richards had stated that Ian Botham is special to him. In spite of representing two different countries, both were there for each other in life’s ups and downs, and with each other on important occasions. Years after their retirement, nothing has changed and they still remain the dearest of friends.