Its only Words

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– Anjani Kumar Sharma

The recently concluded test series between Australia and India will be remembered for all the reasons other than cricket. For poor umpiring, lack of sportsman spirit (by Australian team) and the racism controversy involving Harbhajan and Symonds.

Following is an excerpt from copy of the judgment released by the International Cricket Council

“A viewing of the video shows that people were moving around but certainly Mr Tendulkar appears to have been closest to Mr Singh in the course of the heated exchange we are concerned with. Contrary to reports that Mr Tendulkar heard nothing, he told me he heard a heated exchange and wished to calm Mr Singh down. His evidence was that there was swearing between the two. It was initiated by Mr Symonds. That he did not hear the word “monkey” or “big monkey” but he did say he heard Mr Singh use a term in his native tongue “teri maki” which appears to be pronounced with a “n”. He said this is a term that sounds like “monkey” and could be misinterpreted for it,” .

Sledging is an inseparable part of cricket right from the days of the legendary WG Grace. Once in an exhibition match given out leg-before, he refused to walk and told the bowler: “They came to watch me bat, not you bowl�. And the innings continued.

Rahul Dravid candidly confessed in an interview to a leading daily that in the beginning of his career he too was drawn in the war of words when provoked but with time he realised that it results in a lapse of concentration. He said “one gets to see much more sledging in the domestic circuit compared to the international matches�.
According to him exchange of words with a team like South Afrcia hardly makes a difference as nobody understands what is thrown at them. Dravid revealed that battle with words are the most interesting while playing with Pakistan as both sides have some great players, who are equally lethal with bat & ball as they are with their verbal attacks in Punjabi.

Dub Sports once again presents a collection of the most famous Sledging incidents in the cricketing history. We have compiled some of the less nasty ones for you.

Prasad Vs Sohail:

Placards saying “Dudh Pita Bhachcha ..ghar jaake dhoodh pee� were a common site.

In the 1996 World Cup chasing India’s score of 287-8, Pakistan got off to a flyer, thanks to some great hitting by Amir Sohail and Saeed Anwar. Pakistan was poised for a comprehensive win they reached 110 odd for the loss of just 1 wicket within the first 15 over. Amir Sohail tore the Indian bowling attack hitting them all around the park. Sohail after hitting Venkatesh Prasad for a boundary pointed his bat in the area where the bowl had disappeared and then towards Prasad apparently gesturing where he will send the next one. What happened next is history. Sohail attempting to repeat the shot (albeit with his feet stuck to the ground this time) lost his wicket and his face. As the wicket lay uprooted, Prasad returned the favour to Sohail, pointing to the pavilion this time.

Tendulkar Vs Abdul Qadir

‘Look, show a bit of respect. You were in nappies when I debuted 18 years ago’.

In 1989 when the little genius not even 17 made his debut in Pakistan, he was mocked & jeered by the crowd there. Placards saying “Dudh Pita Bhachcha ..ghar jaake dhoodh pee� were a common site. But Sachin was there to conquer & rule. With a stamp of authority and courage he faced the best bowlers in the business with élan and sent the then young leg spinner Mustaq Ahmed hiding for cover (hitting him for two sixes in one over). On this the legendary Abdul Qadir challenged Sachin saying “Bachchon ko kyon mar rahe ho? Hamein bhi maar dikhao�. Tendulkar was considerate enough to oblige Abdul Qadir hitting him for 4 sixes in the over, a stalwart was reduced to a kid and a legend was born.

Steve Waugh and Patel

The baby-faced Parthiv Patel egged on the 38 year-old stalwart to play one of his sweep shots one last time.Waugh replied: ‘Look, show a bit of respect. You were in nappies when I debuted 18 years ago’.

Rod Marsh and Ian Botham

When Botham walked to the pitch in an Ashes match, Marsh welcomed him with the immortal Words: “So how’s your wife and my kids?�

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 smashed by the charismatic Caribbean to land in a river next to the ground.
Richards with his trademark swagger responded: “Greg, you know what it looks like. Now go and find it.�

Viv Richards to Gavaskar

In test against West Indies Gavaskar had decided to relinquish his opening position and come in at no 4. Malcolm Marshall in a devastating spell got the scalp of Anshuman Gaekwad, followed by first down Dilip Vengsarkar for ducks, setting the stage for Gavaskar to walk in at 0/2. As Sunny walked in Viv Richards said “Man, it don’t matter where you come in to bat, the score is still zero.�

Fred Trueman & Raman Subba Rao

Both played for England and it so happened in an Ashes series that Raman Subba Rao missed a sitter of a catch at slip off Fred Truman’s bowling, with the ball going through his legs. Later, he went and apologized to Truman
Subba Rao: “Sorry Fred, I should have kept my legs together�
Truman: “No son your mother should have�

In the more recent times, words are being thrown at each other with careless remarks on race & colour. Thus bringing shame to the Gentleman’s game. Sledging is passable when it is an exchange of harmless words to heighten competitive arousal and not to disgust the competitive spirits.

Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history. Freedom to Express.

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