The Unexplainable Love Of Cricketers Playing Football

It’s always amusing – and hard to process – when imaging celebrities doing very normal things. David Beckham ironing or Samuel L Jackson mowing the lawn or perhaps the idea of Venus Williams tutting as she returns home and realises she’s missed her Amazon delivery.

The very fact you just assume these people have ‘people’ who do all these menial tasks for them, is the very reason as to why, when cricketers play their usual football match in training, you can’t help but find it fascinating; it just doesn’t feel normal.

We have some of the highest-profile sportsmen out there, a group who have made a living on top of immaculate grass services, throwing down some goalposts and acting like the school bell has just gone for break time – and in turn, scuffing up their finely manicured cricket pitches.

It’s wonderful.

And the very fact that the equivalent of the whole population of Bournemouth have watched this video on YouTube – a video that lacks any quality in production or on the pitch – suggests that these kickabouts won’t be ending anytime soon.

It certainly has a huge feeling of, as your mother would say: ‘well what did you expect?’ when a football-based injury rules a cricketer out of the main event, and the reason he’s there in the first place.

Just ask Indian batsman, Rohit Sharma; he twisted his ankle playing football, right before his debut Test match, causing him to miss the series. Three-and-a-half years later, Sharma made his maiden Test match appearance.

There must be hundreds of papers researched and released on the psychological and the physiological benefits of cricketers playing the beautiful game in the build-up to a cricket match. But when things like Moeen Ali referencing pre-match kickabouts in comments over his first ever cricket hat-trick…

“I’ve never taken a hat-trick in any sort of cricket.

“I’ve scored a few hat-tricks in our football warm-ups but this is a different sort of feeling – a much better one!”

Moeen Ali

…or Stuart Broad is named by his peers as one of the better footballers in the England camp, you get the feeling that any true benefits to warming up for cricket by playing football aren’t really the true reason for the change of ball. It’s just because the lads have such a laugh doing it.

Cricketers link with football has been there for decades. During the few years before and after the Second World War, the famous Compton brothers, Leslie and Denis, enjoyed respectable careers with Arsenal Football Club, as well as representing England at international level in football and cricket.

That’s not to say that Joe Root could be partnering Harry Kane at the World Cup in Russia next summer, but if a cricketer has a chance to kick a football, they always will, and it’s great fun to watch the innocence of just loving sport, that is so regularly lost along the way.