What is a huggability ranking?
The idea to categorise people as either huggable or unhuggable was shamelessly nicked from half-tracker. It is a very helpful way to turn diffuse gut feelings into a precisely measurable matter and thereby reach clarity about one's preferences. I have refined the method and created a scale that spans from 1.0 (entirely huggable) to 0.1 (huggables can only be spotted by the use of a magnifier).
New Zealand: 1.0
Oh my god. New Zealand are like a tiny wide-eyed kitten that is being clasped by a cruel bony cold human hand and held under the water tap. Unfortunately you can't be more than 100% huggable, otherwise the Kiwis' huggability factor would reach approx. 74,879,982,450.99.
The German team consists of guys that look like your average Asian workmate or fellow student; curry guts and balding heads reveal the life-long amateur cricketer, who just plays for the love of the game. The only blond guy in the side smiles 24/7, I'm afraid, though, he doesn't bowl like Brett Lee. Go the Germs!
They tore my heart out. I hope they are doing well, in whichever black realm of darkness they may be now...
The 10% that are still missing are reserved for the return of Sean Ervine. Zimbabwe could be compared to NZ, but they differ in terms of hopelessness. They beat India in two consecutive ODIs, so one could say they are a tiny wet kitten wrapped in a towel. A *very* tiny kitten (Ian Nicolson).
Apart from Punter there are hardly any entirely unhuggable players in the Australian team, but their huggability factor on average hasn't been rocketing through the ceiling. However, the massive recent inclusion of domestic players, multiple appearances of Steven Smith, Clint McKay's dyslexia and the return of Ben Hilfenhaus are helping Australia to a noticeably hug-inducing score.
Here it definitely depends on the format. The Test side includes Jacques Kallis, and in all likeliness will not feature Rusty Theron and Johan Botha, hence I can't give more than 0.7, especially as I also can't see a soonish return of Friedel de Wet. Remember? Friedel? Anyone? The One Day sides on the other hand have Rusty, so if they manage to kick Poominy out and keep playing Tsobie instead of Langefat they will get close to 100%. They also have the Shaun Pollock advantage.
To be honest I hardly know anything about the Israeli players, but the two guys I follow are so massively cool that Israel reach 50% right off the bat (hehe pun). Apart from that they were the only non-Guernsey team in the Euro Div 2 who managed to charm us into defeat. Must be something about them I reckon. Generally I have the feeling there is something boiling underneath the surface, can't quite put my finger on it, but the ravens in the sky are croaking of the coming age of Israeli cricket. BTW. There will be legspin. Just saying.
Drubbing NZ has cost them 0.2 points at least. Bad Deshis! Bad! However, Mushi's screeches are music in my ears, and you just gotta love their genuine excitement and happiness about each little step forward. Also, Rubel is a bowler.
And those 40% are only just scraped together by a bit of Zulqarnain, Abdul Razzaq, MoYo's smile and recent fielding heroics, and the hope to see more of Azhar Ali. Perhaps also a pinch of Younis. But they have really done everything to massively choke my enthusiasm in the past months. All the other guys I liked, such as Mo Aamer, Ukmal, Salman, Danish and Kakmal, have turned out fishy in different ways, or have disappeared into the void like Mo Sami and Abdur Rauf, and Funky Fawad doesn't really fit in the huggable category; there is however always a door open for the return of Mo Asif.
Not sure what they are doing in this list, but yeah a teeth-grinding 0.3 for the Poms. They mainly owe this score to their One Day side; Kieswetter and Yardy weigh in heavily, and Monty was the trigger for me to reconsider some basic things in life. Generally I also got used to Strauss. And then there's the all-purpose-huggybear Paul Collingwood.
India have Ishant Sharma and Dhoni's Dumbo ears. Furthermore the tender blossoming of Ojha could pose a way for me to find some approach to them. But of course they will always remain the enemy.
All other teams: 0.0 (no huggability detected)
For the following reasons: they have either not been studied by me extensively enough to rate their huggability (Sri Lanka, Finland, Nepal...), don't mean a lot to me (Windies, France...) or are cool but not huggable (Ireland).
Hope that helps,
Hope that helps,