Monday, March 31, 2008


Ian Chappell has written in Cricinfo arguing that sledging should be abolished, and that captains and umpires should be the agents of that decision. Now, at first blush this looks extraordinary - it was Chappell's team of the 1970s, after all, that first won the soubriquet 'Ugly Australians' - but perhaps there might be something in it.
The ICC doesn't need to provide a definition. What they need to do is ask umpires to report any player guilty of abusing an opponent and then make sure the first offender receives a stiff penalty. Then they should demand that captains crack down on the amount of inane chatter indulged in by their players, and ensure that any batsman who takes the law into his own hands in quieting the fielding side is awarded a medal for doing the game a belated service, rather than be reported for a misdemeanour.
Chappell even provides an example of this:
In 1980 at the SCG, the Englishman Derek Randall's constant, "Well bowled, Deadly" from silly mid-off every time I played a Derek Underwood delivery with the middle of the bat, became rather tiresome. Consequently I politely pointed out to Randall that at the first opportunity I would cover-drive his head instead of the ball if he didn't shut up.
Hmm. It should be probably be put into the balance that it was under Chappell that the modern art of on-field chat really developed. That Lillee and Thomson routinely swore at opponents. Compared to that, saying 'well bowled' doesn't look so very bad.



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