Football might be the most popular sport in the world, but in the Indian subcontinent, it is nowhere near Cricket, which is practically a religion for millions of people in India. Cricketers are revered and admired by the kids and adults alike. Players like Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli are practically heroes for cricket lovers from across the world. In this article, we go off the road a bit to discuss 10 cricketers and their doppelgangers.
For those who don’t know, a doppelganger is used to describe any person who physically or behaviorally resembles another person. Through this piece, we look at 10 cricketers who have doppelgangers with almost identical features around the world, some of them being celebrities too.
Sachin Tendulkar and Balvir Chand
Surely the most loved cricketer in the world, Sachin Tendulkar is one of the recognisable faces in the world of sports. With only Don Bradman considered greater than him, the Master Blaster is literally god for millions of Indian, who have not only grown up watching him play some of the most magnificent innings but have numerous occasions seen him shouldering the burden of a billion people on his shoulders alone.
Balvir Chand, who is 4 years older than Sachin started off his professional career as a ward boy in various hospitals across Punjab before Tendulkar burst onto the international cricketing scene. As Tendulkar became more and more famous, Chand found his second calling and started worked as a lookalike for the great Indian batsman.
Balvir then worked as a body double for Tendulkar in advertisements for brands such as MRF, Toshiba, Reynolds and TVS. He was also used during rehearsals for ad shoots which Sachin was endorsing.
Dale Steyn and Daniel Craig
South Africa’s leading wicket-taker in Test matches, Dale Steyn has been a pain for batsmen who have had the ill-fortune of facing him. Currently Steyn’s career in its final stretch but there is no doubting the fact the talent that the 35-year-old possess.
During his prime, Steyn was probably one of the most lethal bowlers in the world of cricket, very similar to his doppelganger Daniel Craig’s onscreen avatar of James Bond.
Craig, who made his acting debut back in 1992, has acted in several television productions and movies during his long career. However, he is best known for essaying the role of worlds most famous spy James Bond. Steyn, who was born in 1983, is widely regarded as the greatest fast-bowler of all-time. In 2008, he was also awarded the very prestigious ICC Test Cricket of the Year award.
Ian Bell and Stan Wawrinka
Currently not part of the national team set-up, Ian Bell was at one point one of the most important cogs in the batting wheel of the English team. In 2006, he was awarded the Emerging Player of the Year award by ICC and is only the second player since Ian Botham to be involved in 5 Ashes series win.
Now out of the England national team, Bell is fully focussed on his country career with Warwickshire. Unlike Bell, his doppelganger Swiss tennis star Stan Wawrinka has enjoyed huge success in recent years winning the Australian Open, French Open and US Open in 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively.
Ishant Sharma and Bryan Ruiz
Ishant Sharma recently picked up his 250th Test wicket, after having played 86 Test matches for India. The tall fast-bowler made his debut back in 2007 first in the ODI’s and then in the Test matches. Currently part of the Indian Test team touring England, Ishant Sharma shares an uncanny resemblance to Costa Rican footballer Bryan Ruiz.
Bryan Ruiz plays as a striker for Brazilian club Santos and also played for clubs like Fulham in the English Premier League and PSV Eindhoven in the past. Ishant Sharma, who has played for 5 IPL franchises over the last decade has picked up close to 400 international wickets and is very recognisable due to his physique which puts him at a height of 6.4 feet.
Johnny Bairstow and Rupert Grint
English wicket-keeper batsman Johnny Bairstow made his international debut back in 2011 against India and has since then gone on to become one of the most accomplished wicket-keepers that England has seen. 2016 was his most successful year, as he broke the record for most dismissals (70) by a wicket-keeper in a calendar year and also recorded the most runs in Test matches by a wicket-keeper in a single year.
However, his doppelganger Rupert Grint is far more recognisable around the world for his role as Ron Weasley in the world-famous Harry Potter movie series. Grint has acted in 18 movies in his career, which include 8 from the Harry Potter series. The one thing that makes these players very much alike is the red hair that they both have in abundance.
Virender Sehwag and Jeevan Sharma
Widely regarded as the most destructive batsman of his time, Virender Sehwag has millions of followers still following every word that he speaks whether that is on Twitter or in the commentary box. Sehwag retired from all forms of international cricket in 2015 but that was after he had made a huge brand from his name in India. Jeevan Sharma was one man who was by his side as he climbed the endorsement ladder as his career started taking flight.
Jeevan, who is a tailor by profession shares an uncanny resemblance to the former Indian opener. He has made appearances in various TV commercials as a body for Virender Sehwag and even ventured into the sphere of politics in 2009 during the Delhi Assembly polls.
Herschelle Gibbs and Pitbull
Before Sehwag burst onto the scene, Herschelle Gibbs was probably considered the most destructive opener in world cricket. He had a career spanning over 14 years during which he sports a bald look throughout. His appearance, especially with his head, completely shaves has a striking resemblance to American rapper Armando Christian Pérez, more famously known as Pitbull.
Gibbs, who made his debut back in 1996, played 90 Test matches for South Africa and around 248 ODI’s before calling time on his internationally soon after 2010. In contrast, Pitbull is still very relevant and even created the theme song for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Along with some of the most famous songs that he has produced, Pitbull has also appeared in several TV Shows and films.
Mohammed Asif and Gianluigi Buffon
Not many might remember but at one point of his career, Mohammed Asif was ranked the 2nd best bowler in Test cricket behind Dale Steyn. However, what people will remember him for is the numerous controversies that he has gotten involved in. The biggest shock to the world came in 2010 when News of the World broke the news that he was deliberately bowling no-balls in return for payment from a bookie.
After he was banned for 7 years, a UK court found him guilty of spot-fixing and sentenced him to 1 year in prison. It was only in 2015, that ICC suspended its previous orders and allowed Asif to play all formats of the game. Unlike him, his doppelganger Italian legend Gianluigi Buffon has enjoyed a stellar career playing for Serie A club Juventus.
After spending 18 seasons with Juventus, Buffon moved to French Ligue 1 champions PSG earlier this summer, hence starting the final phase of mighty impressive goalkeeping career.
Brad Hodge and Mark Ruffalo
Brad Hodge might not have enjoyed a successful career in the same vein as some of the others on this list, but there is no doubting the fact that he was a prolific domestic cricketer. Hodge’s doppelganger Mark Ruffalo, however, is a superhero. The 50-year-old plays the character of the Great Hulk in Marvel universe and apart from that has acted in a number of Hollywood productions.
Hodge, who last played a Test match back in 2008, could only 6 appearances in the longest format of the game and just 25 in the 50-over format. However, the skills and the knowledge about the game made him a sought-after coach by the various T20 franchises that have come up around the world.
Andrew Strauss and Ruben Barrichello
Former England captain Andrew Strauss shares a very striking resemblance to former Formula 1 driver Ruben Barrichello, who was part of the legendary Ferrari in F1 from 2000 to 2005. Strauss on the other hand, enjoyed a stellar career opening the batting for England. He scored over 7000 runs in 100 Test matches for England and even played in 127 ODI matches.
Ruben Barrichello, on the other hand, could never win the Formula 1 but did finish 2nd twice and 3rd on the driver’s championship once. Both these sports personalities share totally contrasting personalities, with the cricketer known for his patience and solid batting, while the racer was fast and furious from the moment he got into the driver’s seat.
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