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From uncanny to absolutely atrocious, the strangest trophies in cricket (ranked)

by Sarah Waris 5 minute read

Presenting a list of some of the most bizarrely designed cricketing trophies.

“Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humour to console him for what he is.”

Francis Bacon’s famous words make one dream of a world that is not. However, if you go too far and sprinkle imagination with an “exciting” sense of humour, you may end up with a product that can be one or both of cringeworthy and amusing.

Let the silverware for the recent ODI series between West Indies and India be our exhibit A. Seemingly attempted to be in the shape of the letter “S”, the deformed body makes it look like the emoji of a snake instead, and the thought of the winners posing with it has left us chuckling.

It is not the first poorly crafted trophy. Neither is it the worst (the horrors!).

TUC T20 Cup, 2018 – Pakistan v Australia

Where is the cuppa?

We can never ever get over this. Pakistan were the honorary winners of arguably the worst-designed trophies in cricket, after clean sweeping Australia 3-0 in the UAE in 2018. The series was sponsored by TUC, a biscuit – cracker, if you prefer that – company that originated in Belgium. To present teams with a ‘biscuit’ trophy was probably being a tad too imaginative. But, hey, at least it looks crunchy: full marks to the creator.

Coca-Cola Cup, 1998 – Tri-series, featuring India, Australia and New Zealand

I am sure everyone involved would rather have received a huge bottle of Coca-Cola instead of just the cap, which, to be fair, was crafted to perfection, complete with the dents and folds underneath.

India won the tri-series after defeating Australia in the final, but the joy was soon wiped off captain Mohammad Azharuddin’s face, as evident in the picture above, during the presentation ceremony. Let us just say, this trophy indeed lacked the fizz.

Warne-Muralitharan Trophy

Ummm…

The trophy, given to the winners of the Test series between Australia and Sri Lanka, features the casts of the legends holding cricket balls that were used by them in their playing days. The idea was brilliant, but the execution? Ummm…

Border-Gavaskar Trophy, 1996 – Australia v India

Is that a globe?

The first series between India and Australia to be played for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy featured a solitary Test match in Delhi that the hosts won by seven wickets. Unfortunately, the momentous occasion did not have the a befitting prize: captain Sachin Tendulkar was presented with a ball etched on a wooden plaque, which makes for terrible viewing in pictures.

DLF Cup, 2006 – India v Pakistan

If over-the-top ever had a trophy.

This one is not all that terrible, but the gargantuan bulk had to be shared by two captains after drawing a two-match ODI series. It certainly seems ‘extra’. The figurines at the bottom striking different cricketing poses, the country flags at the top surrounded by three stumps, a colourful globe, a red cricket ball for a white-ball series… If you could add everything possible in one trophy, this would be it.

Caribbean Premier League

The trophy has been changed in recent years, but the trophy handed out in the first few years was… innovative. It possibly signifies the common roots of the players involved and how they rise up to compete against each other, or maybe it is just me trying to decode the absurdity that is this trophy. The hands perhaps sprout upwards. Or perhaps the carvings are the veins. We shall never know.

Janashakti Trophy, 2004 – Sri Lanka v South Africa, ODI series

It is just so very, very long. Let my creative juices flow again. Perhaps trophy symbolises how every being on earth has to climb up the ladder of success to attain a comfortable resting place. Profound.

Mahela Jayawardene won the award after Sri Lanka whitewashed South Africa in the ODI series in 2004, but with a circular globe at the bottom, how do you even let it stand?

Oye Hoye Cup, 2018 – Pakistan v New Zealand

“Oye Hoye” is a Punjabi term used to indicate you are impressed with something. Kane Williamson, during the trophy unveiling, clearly does not want to utter those words.

Moose Cup, 2021 – Sri Lanka v England

It has antlers, and we love it! It presented England captain Joe Root with the opportunity to pose in various angles with the trophy after his team whitewashed Sri Lanka 2-0 at their den. Still not convinced about how epic it was? Maybe the fact that it was Root’s last ever Test series win as captain could make you emotional and soften hearts, forcing you to view it differently.

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