Is there a rabbit in the cricket team?
A rabbit is a slang term in cricket for those players who are designated as specialist bowlers or wicket-keepers but are poor batters. These players usually bat at the No.11 position.
Players who are called rabbits are meant to simply hold one end of the crease and do not ideally score runs at the required pace. At times, the bunny of the team is not even expected to field a lot and is usually removed from the field after a few overs and is substituted by another player. Another terminology that is tagged to players with poor batting ability is “Hoodoo.” It is derived from the word “voodoo” that is used for something that brings bad luck.
A worse terminology than rabbit is ferret. This is taken very offensively by cricketers as ferret is that player who is sent in even after the rabbit. A ferret performs worse than a rabbit. It is for this reason, cricketers use the phrase “Sends in a ferret after the rabbits.”
An article published in The Guardian in 2000 lists the following batters as the worst rabbits in the history of cricket after the second World War: Phil Tufnell, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar, Devon Malcolm, Pommie Mbwanga, Glenn McGrath, Peter Such, Jim Griffiths, Alan Mullaly, Jim Higgs and Courtney Walsh.
Even though the words rabbit and bunny are used interchangeably in literature, in cricket they should ideally be used as two different terms. Bunny is a word for a batter who is often dismissed by the same bowler. In such a case the batter is a “bunny” of that bowler.