Former Australian captain Ian Chappell has expressed concern about increasing numbers of sledging incidents, saying players were getting "personal" and it could end up in "fisticuffs" on cricket field if the menace was not tackled soon.
"Ten years ago I wrote it will end in fisticuffs. It hasn't yet, but it will, if the officials don't understand how important it is to cut down on the inane chatter that goes on, on the field," Chappell said.
"As far as the inane chatter is concerned, I've been contending for at least a decade that the more you allow to be said on a cricket field, the more likelihood that someone will get personal. If it gets personal, then trouble erupts," he was quoted as saying by the 'Herald Sun'.
Column: Understanding the Aussie
Chappell also said that umpires needed to take a stand and stop the growing number of verbal skirmishes.
"The other thing that staggers me is that batsmen don't take the law into their own hands if the umpires won't stop it.
"If I'm a batsman out there in the middle and all that rubbish is being spoken, I'm not going to put up with it. I'm going to put an end to it myself if the umpires won't."
A number of on-field incidents between players during the India-Australia second Test in Sydney had flared the tempers.
Adding to tension were a number of umpiring mistakes, which ended when the West Indies umpire Steve Bucknor was axed for the third Test in Perth.
Chappell said umpiring standards had dropped and officials were becoming frightened to make strong decisions because they had been hobbled by the game's governing body, the International Cricket Council.
"The ICC, or whoever it is that runs the game, has diluted the decision-making process of the umpires on the field and in doing that they have diluted the authority of the umpires on the field," Chappell said.
"Now you've got this stupidity of captains being asked to dob in the opposition for racial slurs. It's ridiculous.
"So I think once you start diluting the decision-making process of the umpires, you get a bunch of umpires who really don't want to make decisions.
"They are happier referring decisions or somebody else taking it out of their hands. So if you are going to breed umpires like that, then no, they haven't got the capability of running the game on the field."