From De Mello to the Moose, Monty wants cricket trophies to mean something

What’s in a name? And what, more pertinently, is in the name of a cricket trophy?

Monty Panesar believes that it is status and recognition and has called for India and England to play for the Tendulkar-Cook trophy for those Tests on Indian soil. .

The former England left-arm spinner, who memorably made his debut at the same time as Cook on the country’s 2005-06 tour to India, made the suggestion in a recent tweet, and his reasoning was not easy to disagree with in terms purely of performance.

“Both have [the] highest Test runs for their countries, they played a lot against each other and we know Tendulkar is the biggest legend and we don’t have a series named after him,” he wrote.

The 39-year-old, who is now studying for a master’s in sports journalism at St Mary’s University in London, even went so far as to run a Twitter poll on his own timeline, offering Tendulkar-Anderson, Vaughan-Dravid and Kapil-Botham as alternative options.

At the time of writing, Monty’s idea had met with majority approval, with 35 per cent favouring his suggestion, 28.5 backing Kapil-Botham, 19 per cent opting for Tendulkar-Anderson and only 16 per cent plumping for Vaughan-Dravid.

Guerilla Cricket (one of 858 respondents to the poll) voted for Tendulkar-Anderson only because it was the simplest way to see the running totals but thinks perhaps Panesar, who made his debut on the show during last year’s IPL, missed the more humorous angle by failing to nominate Broad-Yuvraj.

Those with short memories or an aversion to short-form cricket may forget that Stuart Broad was hit for six sixes in an over by the India left-hander during the Super Eights section of the World T20 in 2007.

At the moment, England’s Tests in India are contested for the Anthony de Mello trophy, although, despite the fact that that has been the case since 1951, the series sponsor – in this case PayTM -, normally obliterates that fact.

It is a shame for Mr De Mello, since his influence on cricket’s development has grown in recent years despite the fact the he died ten years after the trophy was named in his honour in 1951. For his claim to fame is forming the Board for Control for Cricket in India (the BCCI) in 1927 and although some have suggested its power base has grown so strong it should be renamed the BTCCG (the Board for Total Control of Cricket Globally), there is no doubt that it is something worthy of recognition.

The Pataudi trophy, which succeeded the De Mello trophy for England and India meetings in the UK, recognises a family which has connections with both countries – Iftikhar played for both in his six Tests, scoring a hundred during the Bodyline series before captaining India on their first tour of England in 1946, while his son, Mansoor, was regarded as one of India’s greatest captains.

De Mello’s connections with England run less deep, although part of his education came at Downing College, Cambridge, and it was at the prompting of MCC captain Arthur Gilligan on tour to India that led to the creation of the BCCI.

Whether the English and Indian boards can come together to act on Panesar’s recommendation remains to be seen but whatever its title, it is unlikely to cause as much as a stir as the trophy England played for in Sri Lanka. A giant cricket ball with antlers, the Moose Cup was voted the worst cricket trophy – and in the ICC mace, the trophy for becoming the world’s No 1-ranked team, it has some competition – in an article on the website of The National, the UAE-based English-language newspaper.

Guerilla Cricket actually loved it but thinks that it would have been taken more seriously had it marked the first Test between the nations when Canada and Norway become full members. If that happens while the BCCI still has the ICC by the manly accoutrements, we shall be most surprised.