Quotes of the year December 22, 2011

If Kamran was Bradman and Dhoni was Obama

Who said what, about whom: from the World Cup to final retirements, comebacks, and not being able to go to the bathroom

The World Cup

"You'll have to play like absolute drongos not to get through to the quarter-finals."
Allan Border's reaction to the World Cup format left no excuses for the big teams

"In 18 years' time when he is giving me grief for not being there for the first six weeks, I'll be able to say, 'But I had to go and beat Holland.'"
Graeme Swann reflects on his swift return to the England squad following the birth of his son Wilfred

"I want to speak to the general or the brigadier, whoever's in charge, 'cause I'm taking my bloody sandwiches in."
Geoff Boycott on being asked to leave his lunch behind by the security at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi

"I am taking a lottery ticket out this weekend."
Shane Warne's correct prediction that the India-England World Cup group match would end in a tie understandably left him feeling lucky

"It felt like playing football with both hands tied behind my back."
Graeme Swann on what it was like bowling with a dew-soaked ball against Bangladesh in Chittagong

"Thankfully I am six foot six, and I replaced Kane Williamson, who I think is four foot six."
Jacob Oram has a dig at his team-mate while explaining how his spectacular catch of Jacques Kallis in the quarter-final came about

Twenty20 and the IPL

"Your last game was a good tight game against... whom did you beat?"
IPL overkill brought down the best of them, even Ravi Shastri

"At that point of the game, we normally have a guy called [Kieron] Pollard coming in for us, but unfortunately he was playing for the other team."
Somerset captain Alfonso Thomas on his team's failure to get late runs to beat Mumbai Indians in the Champions League Twenty20

"It's a difficult one. I think... I think it's, err... I think, I don't know what I think really."
Michael Hussey on the scheduling of the Big Bash League during Australia's Test series against India

"I know who the favourite son is now. Dad actually said he was keen on me and I didn't even get one bid off him."
Australia batsman Shaun Marsh after his father Geoff, who coaches the IPL's Pune Warriors, bid only for his younger son, Mitchell, at the auction

"It is like a sugar-free candy bar. Because it does the same thing. It tastes the same. But then there is always that one thing that's missing."
Sidhartha Mallya's answer when asked by a TV channel to describe the IPL without Lalit Modi

"Next season I'll need a bulletproof chest pad as Gayle is hitting them like a rocket."
Tillakaratne Dilshan on why the non-striker's end is not the best seat in the house to watch Chris Gayle's pyrotechnics from

Scathing criticism

"If you pay peanuts you get monkeys."
Simon Katich, who lost his Cricket Australia contract during the year, touches upon the incongruity of $2 million-earning players being judged by part-time selectors on $40,000

"If the correct decisions were made, the game would have finished much earlier and I would have been in the hotel by now."
MS Dhoni comments on the umpiring during India's Test against West Indies in Kingston. The statement caused Daryl Harper to withdraw from the next Test

"If his batting was as good as Don Bradman's, he couldn't score enough runs to make up for what he costs them with his keeping."
Ian Chappell's pithy description of Kamran Akmal's glovework after the Pakistan wicketkeeper dropped two sitters in a World Cup group match

"I would also like to suggest that there should be no water for bowlers at the boundary end."
Sunil Gavaskar's tit-for-tat response to the ICC's decision to do away with runners

"I reckon you might [have had to] bat No. 8 in this Indian team."
Michael Vaughan's snide remark to infamous batting rabbit Phil Tufnell on a BBC show during India's tour of England

"Spin bowling is an art and so is fast bowling. All artists are crazy and similarly whoever wrote the book for Shoaib is also crazy between his ears."
Kapil Dev offers a possible explanation for some of the contents of Shoaib Akhtar's new book

"I go on holiday for longer than that series is going to last."
Dale Steyn was disappointed that South Africa's home series against Australia included just two Tests

"Everyone did well, other than Sreesanth."
Virender Sehwag's honesty at the presentation was as brutal as his century in the World Cup opener

"It is like giving a machine gun to a monkey. It can be fantastic or it can be an absolute disaster too."
Hugh Morris, the managing director of England cricket, on the perils of players using Twitter

Dramatic exaltations

"While fielding, I saw Tendulkar's legs shivering while facing [Shoaib Akhtar's] bowling."
Shahid Afridi backs up his former team-mate's claim that Sachin Tendulkar was uncomfortable batting against him

"He is the Obama of cricket."
Praveen Kumar holds nothing back when praising his captain, MS Dhoni

"Tendulkar has carried the burden of the nation for 21 years. It is time we carried him on our shoulders."
Virat Kohli leads the Tendulkar tributes after India's World Cup triumph

"I was the happiest man in the world, happier than Bill Gates!"
That's how much getting on the Lord's honours board meant to Tamim Iqbal

Back-foot defences and back-handed compliments

"The best man who walked the face of the earth never did anything wrong, but he was still crucified. And I am nowhere close to that."
West Indies captain Darren Sammy takes the philosophical route to deal with the questions raised about his place in the team

"We're absolutely happy [England beat India] because we want cricket to grow in England."
Rajiv Shukla, the new IPL commissioner, says England have lost a lot at cricket and football over the last 10 years and need to win something

"The next time I retire will be the last time."
After conditionally retiring from international cricket only to return by the end of the year, Shahid Afridi promises there will be no more to-ing and fro-ing

"We know you can lose wickets in clusters, and we seem to have lost ten there in a cluster."
Alastair Cook attempts to assess what went wrong for England in the final ODI against India

"If Ganguly can do it, anyone can."
Former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe, aged 48, announces a shock return to first-class cricket

Quips of the year

"I haven't watched a Test in so long that I actually don't know if this is good or bad."
Zimbabwe's media manager, Jeffrey Murimbechi, displays a wry wit when talking about his team's progress against Bangladesh in their comeback Test

"If he nicks and doesn't walk it may be different, but apart from that he's quite good."
MS Dhoni suggests Virender Sehwag's rumoured hearing difficulties may be selective

"How come you didn't ask me about being Rahul Dravid?"
Rahul Dravid ribs Nasser Hussain after the latter asked Sachin Tendulkar at an event whether he liked being Tendulkar, but didn't pose a similar question to Dravid

"If you could buy luck in a corner store, I'd throw my life savings at it."
Queensland fast bowler Ben Cutting on Twitter after getting injured during a Sheffield Shield game against Victoria days before what could have been his Test debut for Australia

"If P Hughes is shaving tomorrow and gets a nick, M Guptill will appear from the medicine cabinet with a band-aid."
ABC radio commentator Kerry O'Keeffe after Phillip Hughes was caught by Martin Guptill off Chris Martin for the fourth time in four innings

"Seeing Southee open the batting for Essex tonight and score 74 off 34 balls is enough to drive anyone to give up the game!"
Scott Styris jokes about one of the reasons why he decided to quit international cricket

"My back's about as stable as the Egyptian government."
Brett Geeves on why he was retiring at the age of 29


"You can see the end of the world but it's just a shame you don't know what you're looking at."
Former New Zealand wicketkeeper Adam Parore became the first cricketer to scale Mount Everest, but was too disoriented to enjoy the view

"You were out first ball, run out in the next innings, and now you have been shot! What a terrible, terrible first tour!"
Kumar Sangakkara speaks about Tharanga Paranavitana's debut series, in Pakistan in 2009, during his much-acclaimed Cowdrey lecture

"I was dying to go to the bathroom for an hour and a half but I was too scared to move."
Michael Clarke was not too comfortable, watching the lower order push Australia towards a tense victory in Johannesburg

"It's easier to play cricket than clean toilets."
Ray Price prefers turning his arm over for Zimbabwe to what he used to do before becoming an international cricketer

Dustin Silgardo is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo