My Take on Sledging

Quite a lot of these sledging incidents have happened over the years.The best I can remember are listed Below and my comments on them are after the incidents (marked in italic).

The Prasad Vs Sohail Incident :Hero to Zero in 3 easy stepsChasing India's score of 287-8, pakistan got off to a flyer of a start, Amir Sohail and Saeed Anwar went about tearing the Indian bowling attack. Pakistan looked all set to win as they reached 110 odd for the loss of just 1 wicket within the 15 overs.

1. Play a Great Shot: Amir Sohail was completely bent on demolishing the Indian bowling to pieces, charging down the track to the faster bowlers (if u can call Prasad that) in this particular case he came down the ground (a good 4-5 steps, anymore and he would have hit Prasad too) and slashed the bowl over vacant off side area... the ball disappeared into the fence in a flash ... what followed has since been etched in the memories of every cricket fan in the subcontinent

.2. Act Oversmart: Amir Sohail is no Miandad. But he tries to be,and fails miserably. Sohail after hitting the shot pointed his bat the area where the bowl had disappeared and then towards Prasad apparently gesturing where he will send the next one.Its not everyday that you see a batsman sledging the bowler, and Sohail was about to learn just why

.3. Get what you called for: Sohail attempting to repeat the shot (albeit with his feet stuck to the ground this time) made room and exposed his stumps, and his weakness, and in return lost his wicket and his face.As the wicket lay uprooted, Prasad returned the favour to Sohail, pointing to the pavilion this time. The comeback was truly remarkable, almost a miracle .... Prasad has bowled thousands of deliveries and taken hundereds of wickets in his career but, it was this one granted him a place in the History of Indian Cricket .. for ever... the ghost of Miandad's last ball six was exorcised, once and for all

Aussie- style Bashing
McGrath Vs Brandes: In a showdown of best pacers of two countries, Brandes made up for his complete absence of batting skills by some displaying some great sense of humor and presence of mind.Aussie paceman Glenn McGrath was bowling to Zimbabwe number 11 Eddo Brandes - who was unable to get his bat anywhere near the ball. McGrath, frustrated that Brandes was still at the crease, wandered up during one particular over and inquired: "Why are you so fat?"Quick as a flash, Brandes replied: "Because every time I make love to your wife, she gives me a biscuit."Even the Aussie slip fielders were in hysterics.

Viv Richards v Greg Thomas:This incident took place during a county championship match between Glamorgan and Somerset.Glamorgan quickie Greg Thomas had beaten Viv Richards' bat a couple of times and informed the legendary West Indian ace: "It's red, round and weighs about five ounces, in case you were wondering."The very next ball was given the King Viv treament and smashed out of the ground, into a river - at which point Richards piped up: "Greg, you know what it looks like. Now go and find it."

Sachin Tendulkar Vs Abdul Qadir:The year was 1989, the little master had recently made his debut in Pakistan. Sachin not even old enough to get a driving licence Sachin Tendulkar was facing the best bowlers in the business. As the Pakistani crows jeered and mocked Sachin holding out the placards saying ""Dudh Pita Bhachcha ..ghar jaake dhoodh pee", (hey kid, go home and drink milk), Sachin sent the then young leg spinner Mustaq Ahmed hiding for cover (he had hit two sixes in one over. The frustaded mentor of Mustaq Ahmed the legendary Abdul Qadir challenges Sachin saying "Bachchon ko kyon mar rahe ho? Hamein bhi maar dikhao` (`Why are you hitting kids? Try and hit me.`).Sachin was silent, since then we all have come to know that he lets his bat do the talking. Abdul Quadir had made a simple request and Sachin obliged, and how. Sachin hit 4 sixes in the over, making the spinner look the kid in the contest. The over read 6, 0, 4, 6 6 6, David had felled Goliath ... and a legend was born.

Ian Healy Vs Ranatunga:Ian Healy's made a legendary comment which was picked up by the Channel 9 microphones when Arjuna Ranatunga called for a runner on a particularly hot night during a one dayer in Sydney... "You don't get a runner for being an overweight, unfit, fat c*nt!"

McGrath to Ramnaresh Sarwan:Sarwan, the West Indies vice-captain, and McGrath went toe-to-toe in an ugly shouting match in Antigua in May 2003, The incident was sparked after Sarwan, on his way to a match-winning second-innings century, reportedly reacted to lurid taunts from McGrath by telling him he should get the answers from his wife, who was recovering from radiation therapy for secondary cancer. The details : McGrath: "So what does Brian Lara's d*ck taste like?"Sarwan: "I don't know. Ask your wife."McGrath (losing it): "If you ever F*&king mention my wife again, I'll F*cking rip your F*fing throat out."

Ravi shastri v/s Mike Whitney:Its common knowledge that Indian's usually don't resort to sledging, and the Aussies swear by it. In this rare ocassion the tables had turned and it was the Aussies who were at the receiving end.Shastri hits the ball towards Mike Whitney (the 12th man in the game) and looks for a single, this guy gets the ball in and saysWhitney: "If you leave the crease i'll break your f***ing head"Shastri didn't bat an eyelid before replying : "If you could bat as well as you can talk you wouldn't be the f***ing 12th man"

Team mates Sledging :England were playing Pakistan and, at what turned out to be a crucial moment later on, Frank Tyson managed to get an outside edge off a Pakistani batsman after the batsman had been frustrating them on a hot sweaty day. The ball went right through the hands of Raman Subba Rao who was standing in first slip and through his legs. After the over Raman heads over to the bowler and says, "Sorry Frank, I should've closed my legs." Frank Tyson, who didn't find any of this amusing, quipped back, "No, you bastard, your mother should have.

Cricket has always been regarded as a gentlemans game,but somewhere down the line,the issue of competitive spirit and fist pumping came about after some advances in Basketball where they had jingoism as fashion.The Pakistanis and the australians,if you closely notice are at the forefront of such rough behaviour,that goes to be classified as ungainly and unbecoming of a cricketer,especially if you have played cricket the english regimented way.

My quick take is that just as a coin has 2 sies to it, I will analyse the arguments for and against it.Sledging is a lovely and natural way to express a sportsman's hidden frustrations and inner feelings which tend to get manifested in a fist punch,a oblique sway,or a war cry which the bowler competes with his alter-ego which keeps reminding him about his weak points and the failures. The Aussies and the Pakis were probably the proponents of such jingoistic feelings, teaching teams to emote..or actually more than just emote.The other teams have just picked up from where the Aussies and Pakis have left.Nevertherless most emotions that are prevailing today are in a sense copied emotions.....when we think of love and switzerland..we really dont feel like we are chartering new territories in feeling the warmth of togertherness but following a proud trail along the beaten path of Love that is told the Yash Chopra Way :-) .

Showing of emotions is important to maintain the game's intensity,may it be a bowler like Akthar exulting with a devilish zeal and monstrous stare or a batsman like dravid pointing fingers at the pavillion after getting to a personal landmark after a drought of runs, but it tends to get ugly when Bowlers start firing expletives at Batsmen at the drop of a hat. I guess it sends a lot of bad signals to young cricketers who watch them and try to be a clone of their idol. I guess it pays to be some one like Sachin to ignore the taunts and go on to bat as nothing has happened,but to me personally the best cricketer who has handled sledging in India has been Saurav Ganguly..who has crossed the line many a time,but has ceased to be a hyprocrites like Drravid or Sachin have been in terms of playing a politically correct image,but has gone on to singlemindedly crush Steve's tantrums and image in the 2001 and 2004 test series that we played against the Aussies.

So I Conclude by saying that emotions is fine,but using that a tool to mentally disintergrate oppositions is a highly immature way to play cricket Professionally.
Data Source for sledging based incidents : http://kinizone.blogspot.com/

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