Chris Gayle has been named as the 'Most Sensational Cricketer'; followed by Glenn Maxwell and Virat Kohli, in second and third position respectively. India – McAfee, part of Intel Security unveiled results of its 'Most Sensational Cricketer' study which researched this season's top players of the cricketing world on their popularity and related risk quotient in the Indian cyberspace.
This is the second time in a row, the Jamaican cricketer has topped a similar list last year titled Most Dangerous Cricketer. The study highlights the trend of cybercriminals using cricketers to take advantage of fans seeking more information about their idols.
Cybercriminals often capitalise on the public's fascination with cricketers to lure them to sites laden with malware that can result in identity thefts, stealing of passwords and confidential personal information. This year, searching for a 'cricketer name' combined with the search terms like 'wall paper', 'free download', 'hot pictures', 'selfie', 'videos' resulted in the highest instances of malicious sites.
Venkat Krishnapur, of McAfee India Centre says, said, "Cybercriminals tend to exploit the popularity quotient of sports celebrities and time their attacks to coincide with famous events. Cricket crazy fans are highly motivated to search for photos, videos, match scores and interesting stories of their favourite cricketers online and in that moment of weakness they are lured into clicking malicious links that could lead to transmission of malware onto their owned devices and potential compromise of data."
The top 10 cricketers with the highest risk scores in the Indian cyberspace are:
1 Chris Gayle, best known for the 'Gayle storm' he ushers with his hard-hitting knocks and fun personality on-field as well as off-field ranks 1st as Most Sensational Cricketer with 59 malicious sites.
2 Glenn Maxwell, the explosive Aussie batsman, has put up 'The Big show' winning all batting titles to his credit this season. He ranks 2nd on the list with 54 malicious sites.
3 At 3rd spot is the rising star of Indian Cricket with 51 malicious sites to his name, Virat Kohli, the new-age cricketer who plays his game aggressively and is unafraid to express his emotions on the field.
4 Debuting the list at 4th position this year, with 48 malicious sites to his credit is Sunil Narine, the 'mystery spinner' from Caribbean who is a rage this cricket season with his mohawk hairstyle and diamond studded ear.
5 M.S Dhoni, the flamboyant yet grounded captain made it to the headlines earlier this year with his alleged involvement in betting and spot-fixing controversies. "Captain Cool", stands at 5th spot with 47 malicious sites to his name.
6 At 6th rank is David Miller, called 'killer miller' for his blitzkrieging slams, with 38 infected search results.
7 At 7th position is Yuvraj Singh, whose 9 sixes during his match-winning knock this cricketing season brought him back to the winning chart. This born fighter has 35 infected sites in cyber space.
8 A marauding hitter of the cricket ball, Kieron Pollard, was embroiled in an unpleasant on-field incident with Mitchell Starc, ranks at 8th position with 33 malicious sites
9 With 29 infected sites is Suresh Raina, part of India's new age firebrand cricketers, who ranks 9th in the list.
10 At 10th position is the daring, tough and fiercely talented, Mitchell Starc, whose news of a brawl with Kieron Pollard has been doing the rounds. He has 24 infected sites to his name.
Indian Cricketers heat up the charts
This year four Indian cricketers make it to the top 10 'Most Sensational Cricketer' online list: Virat Kohli (No. 3), MS Dhoni (No. 5), Yuvraj Singh (No. 7) and Suresh Raina (No. 9).
Batsmen are more potentially at risk than Bowlers
Sunil Narine (No. 4) and Mitchell Starc (No. 10) are the only bowlers to rank in the top
10 Most Sensational Cricketers list
But first, let's take a SELFIE
Cricketers too have jumped on the selfie bandwagon. Sunil Narine, Glenn Maxwell, MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, in the stated order have the most infected sites with the search term 'selfie'
From One Year to Another
Brett Lee, S Sreesanth, Dale Steyn, Kevin Pietersen, Rohit Sharma and Sachin Tendulkar, have all dropped out of this year's list (in 2013 they ranked No. 2, No. 3, No. 6, No. 7, No. 8 and No. 10, respectively).