Forgive me if the writing here is a little ‘rusty’ (ba-dum-tish), but Jonny Bairstow’s deluge of follical rouge has stirred a childish interest within me. It is a subject that I was slightly concerned about penning an article about, as I am aware that gingers worldwide are one of the few groups to have been mocked and persecuted more times than an Australian rugby scrum. Thankfully however, after not very much research, I can see that a respected corporation like the BBC has a very similar childish interest http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/tms/2007/04/come_on_you_reds.shtml, so I’ll proceed.
Unlike the Beeb which was lazy enough to use daywalkers like Ian Bell in it’s Redhead team, I’m going to try to use pure breed carrot-tops, placing their picture next to a can of Fanta as a benchmark:
Chris Rogers – Tragically for the man who averaged above 50 in his first class career across two continents, even his stark ginger hair couldn’t see him win more than one cap in an era of Matt Hayden and Justin Langer.
Eoin Morgan – After Scotland, Ireland has the highest percentage of copper toppers in the world. Morgan’s hair has the darker red of a Duke cricket ball over it’s brighter Kookaburra cousin, but his pale face confirms him as a worthy candidate.
Neil Fairbrother – The original template to the Michael Bevan finisher role, Fairbrother’s fluffy auburn curls were a reassuring sight on any one-day international run chase.
Paul Collingwood – A flash of genius at backward point, a flash of fiery orange atop his crown.
Jonny Bairstow (wk) – Ok, so we don’t know if he can keep wicket or even bat very well just yet, but his hair is magnificent terra cotta.
Scott Styris – An all-rounder who has oft died his hair blonde, but we all know what is lying underneath.
Shaun Pollock – The best ginger player ever, surely. I grew up convinced that most (white) South Africans were of a ginger nature, just because of this man’s incessant line and length, and proud orange mane.
Craig McDermott – Fast, hostile, undeniably ginger.
Mark Ilott – A bowler who deserved more metaphorical international caps to cover his red hair than he got.
Andrew McDonald – Exceptional in the IPL, his tight bowling is only exceeded in scale by the ferocity of his eyebrows in particular.
Glen Chapple – Ok, he could be more ginger, but his freckles, away swingers and the complete lack of ginger spinners in my admittedly small, English County game (was Chris Schofield a ginger?) biased mind means he gets the number 11 spot.