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Home > Cricket > Message Board

July 30, 2003

Does cricket need new rules for sledging?

It is not the first time Sunil Gavaskar is bringing up the issue; it will not be the last.

During his playing days, the Indian batting legend was once told --by an Australian contemporary --that it is all in good fun, that none of it is meant seriously, that the Aussie who sledges on the field of play is the Aussie who, as soon as stumps are drawn, will come over to your dressing room, and fraternize over a few beers.

'Why,' Sunnyasked then, 'should I fraternise with someone who forgets human decency and calls me names on the field of play?'

The incident sums up a debating point that in recent times has gained visibility; one that Sunny himself raised at the annual Cowdrey lecture at Lord's on Tuesday.

'There is more money in other sports such as golf and tennis but, thanks to tough laws, one does not find misbehavior or bad language there,' Gavaskar said in course of his lecture. 'The old adage "it's not cricket," which applied to just about everything in life, is no longer valid -- and that's a real pity. In the modern world of commercialization of the game and the advent of satellite television and themotto of winning at all costs, sportsmanship has gone for a six.'

'Now I have heard it being said that whenever there's been need in a match, words have been exchanged. That may be true, but what was banter in days gone by -- and was enjoyed by everyone, including the recipient -- today has degenerated to downright personal abuse.'

There, in sum, you have the debating points.

Is there a line between 'sledging' that is acceptable, and 'sledging' that is not? If so, where?

Are the Aussies culpable --as has been alleged by international captains and stars ranging from Brian Lara, Michael Atherton and Stephen Fleming to, more discreetly, Sachin Tendulkar?

Are the Aussies the only culprits?

Why do more and more international analysts say, today, that while the all-conquering Australian team will be respected, they will never be honored, and admired?

Is it time the International Cricket Council got off the fence on the issue, and began taking tough measures to rid the game of personal abuse masquerading as gamesmanship?

If yes, what concrete steps can the ICC take? Is the proposal, recently mooted, of arming umpires with yellow and red cards a la football worth implementing?

Speak your piece on the question --Should cricketers be seen, and not heard?

Share your comments


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Who are you kidding?

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Read what others have to say:

Number of User Comments: 30

Sub: against sledging

I certainly agree with Devidas that winning in a proper way is more important than just winning. Had it been otherwise, nobody would have cared ...

Posted by Shyam Warrier

Sub: Its ok

I think its ok to Sledge.. When players get worked up, it is natural to get ur emotions involved into the game. As for Indians, ...

Posted by Advait

Sub: against sledging

It is really the time that ICC take things too seriously and not tolerate any of the sledging nonsense.It doesn't serve any purpose and just ...

Posted by Devidas Desai

Sub: Gavaskar is right

Gavaskar is 100% right. The kids who play cricket must be told that the game rests on a very good ball by a bowler or ...

Posted by Sree

Sub: Sledging should be looked into

I agree with the Sunil Gavaskar that this issue of sledging should be looked into. I thought the game of cricket was played with bat,ball ...

Posted by Vivek Shankar



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