The Captain is there to guide his or her team to victory, either by example or through their inspirational leadership. Some of the greatest skippers of all time have given us their thoughts on cricket and here are some of the most memorable quotes in the game’s history.
Best Cricket Captain Quotes
Every batsman surveys the field before taking strike, and usually the fielders get imprinted on his mind. They can almost see every fielder in their mind’s eye. But in my head, I don’t see the fielders. I only see the gaps!
This is a good indication as to where Ricky Ponting was as a captain. He was one of the most successful skippers in the game and was clearly a great leader but he was one who tended to inspire through his own batting.
The quote hints at his mindset as a batsman and, as a very average club cricketer, I can confirm that it’s very hard to hit those gaps. You get the fielders in your head and, somehow, the ball is drawn to them. That wasn’t a problem for Ponting who retired with over 27,000 international runs to his name and a reputation for leading by example.
One of my theories is to be captain on the field and off the field, you need to totally enjoy each other’s company. I don’t like discussing cricket off the field.
This is an interesting insight into the mind of one of India’s best loved cricketers. MS Dhoni was a model professional on the field so perhaps it’s a little surprising that he didn’t like to discuss the game when he was away from the pitch.
I can see the logic in this and it may seem very awkward for players to talk about cricket with their captain. Maybe they would feel like they had an agenda and wanted to see what the skipper thought about their future selection.
This also suggests that Dhoni wanted to be seen as just ‘one of the team’ when away from the field and that’s a good approach to cricket and life in general.
The hallmark of a great captain is the ability to win the toss, at the right time.
This quote from Richie Benaud simply underlines the fact that you need an element of luck in this sport. Clearly, you can’t plan when you are going to win the toss but the flip of that coin can ultimately be vital in determining the match result.
It’s a point that Benaud went on to illustrate with another quote that we’ll see very shortly.
You don’t win or lose the games because of the 11 you select. You win or lose with what those 11 do on the field.
These words from Rahul Dravid may seem a little confusing at first. Of course, selection is important and, when the captain is involved in picking the team, it’s a vital part of his or her role.
Once those important decisions have been made, it’s then down to the 11 players as to how they perform. As a captain, you still have a role to play with bowling changes, field placings and you can lead by example with bat or ball. Ultimately, however, winning or losing is down to how those 11 play on the day.
We are such sticklers for tradition in insisting on an amateur captain, regardless of the question of whether he can pull his weight as a player. The time is coming when we will have to change our views … When there will be no amateurs of sufficient ability to put into an England side.
This quote from the great Jack Hobbs marked a pivotal moment in English cricket. Until that point, the game had insisted on amateur captains and clearly they weren’t always the best players.
The game was, thankfully, moving away from the days of Gentlemen v Players and these words came to fruition when cricket turned fully professional in 1963.
Richie Benaud #2
Captaincy is 90 percent luck and 10 percent skill. But don’t try it without that 10 percent.
Here is the great Richie Benaud’s follow up on his earlier quote. Yes, there is luck involved in cricket and it doesn’t end when the captain wins the toss. Playing conditions can change very quickly and you are always fortunate when they are in your favour.
However, you need great skill too and Benaud was one of the best with over 200 test wickets and more than 2,000 test runs. While others may have exceeded those stats in the years that have followed, the Australian was the first to reach this dual landmark.
He is a great leader by example. Someone whom I have always admired for his ability to stay balanced and have the sense of equanimity about his captaincy.
This quote from Rahul Dravid rather underlines Dhoni’s own view of the game. On the field, he leads by example with the wicket keeping gloves and the bat. As a middle order batter, he’s rescued India, the Chennai Super Kings and his other teams on a regular basis.
Outside of the game, he’s a balanced and approachable character so he displays the perfect all round skills that are needed to be among the best captains in cricket history, as a truly natural leader.