PAK vs WI: Sheldon Cottrell's salute — a unique send-off

The West Indian left-arm seamer seems to have patented it, but the salute isn't exclusive to him.

Sheldon Cottrell breaks into a salute after getting Imam-ul-Haq caught behind on Friday. Photo: AFP   -  AFP

A military salute isn't a ubiquitous send-off in cricket but Sheldon Cottrell revels in it. The West Indian left-arm seamer broke into a salute after dismissing Imam-ul-Haq in the ICC World Cup 2019 contest against Pakistan. It made for a rare sight in international cricket.

Cottrell has used this send-off many times in the past. In the Caribbean Premier League, his act has been more elaborate — a march towards the bowling crease and then the salute.

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Cottrell has attributed his choice of send-off style to his training in the military. "My celebration is a military-style salute. I'm a soldier back in Jamaica by profession, 11 years strong. Me saluting is just to show my respect to the Jamaica Defence Force. I just enjoy the saluting, enjoy playing cricket. I practised the celebration for six months when I was training in the army," he had been quoted as saying by the BBC during Windies' tour of England earlier this year.

Although he seems to have patented it, the celebration isn't exclusive to him. The salute was made famous by Marlon Samuels in a Test match against England, when he used to it to bid adieu to the dismissed Ben Stokes. Samuels and Stokes had a fierce rivalry.

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The salute has also been used by Misbah-ul-Haq, the former Pakistan captain, in a Test in England in 2016. It wasn't a send-off, however; it was merely an act to pay respect to the Pakistan army with whom his team had trained prior to the tour. He performed this after scoring a century. The salute was followed by push-ups.

Misbah's entire team did the same after having won that Test — at Lord's.