Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Sledging: because it's hard to be quiet for five days.

This cricketing WAG could sledge me all day if she wanted, provided I could toboggan her later

As the terrace chant is to the beautiful game and heckling is to comedians, so sledging is to cricket. After all, even the world's most genteel, civilized game needs some casual racism.

Behold the horror after the jump!

Sledging is the term given to the art of yelling and shouting at your opponents while the game is in progress. Normally, the fielding side will use it to unsettle the batsmen as they try to hit the little red thing, and it can be quite effective. Other times, if the batsmen are finding the going good at the wicket, they'll look to distract bowlers and close fielders from the task at hand: getting them out.

Most of the time, it's petty stuff: bragging about hitting a six, or ridiculing the tail-ender as he cannot bat to save his life.

But other times, shit gets racial!

How frightful! The Indian guy called the dreadlocked Aussie, he of the over-eager zinc application around the face, a "monkey", sending the game into a flurry of harsh words spoken and fingers pointed. I mean, it's a horrible thing to do, but still; the cricket must go on! Sometimes the fans get into it too, making them the equivalent of Atletico Madrid supporters, or so I hear.

As if India/Australian relations were bad, there's also a fair bit of aggro between the Sri Lankans and the South Africans. Check out this abhorrent display of sledging from a one-day international in 2006:

Or this, from England/Australia.

Mark Boucher from South Africa is especially good with the sledge:

Aye, it's always good to appreciate just how far the dark art has come. Back in WG Grace's time during the early 19th century, he quipped the following after being clean bowled:"Twas the wind which took thy bail orf [sic], good sir." The umpire had a quip of his own: "Indeed, doctor, and let us hope thy wind helps the good doctor on thy journey back to the pavilion."

So next time you settle in front of the TV for a Test match, turn up the volume loud lest you miss the sweet, sweet sound of one player saying something derogatory to another player.


The Fan's Attic said...


Andrew said...

If I may: you guys have pulled off (nh) a very dedicated April Fool's joke. Thank you.

amy said...

hah. funny. I was like "what the hell is with all of the cricket news?!" The world makes sense again.