I’ve been trying to roll out the idea that civility in argumentative exchange makes for crisper dialogue and a sharpening of arguments all round – with a noticable upturn in standards. Today my colleague Mark sent me these examples of ‘sledging’ from international Cricket matches uttered in close quarters at the crease. You’ll note from the missing numbers that I’ve had to cut the unpublishable ones out.1 Rod Marsh & Ian Botham: When Botham took guard in an Ashes match,
Marsh welcomed him to the wicket with the immortal words: “So how’s your wife & my kids?”
2. Daryll Cullinan & Shane Warne: As Cullinan was on his way to the
wicket, Warne told him he had been waiting 2 years for another chance to humiliate him. “Looks like you spent it eating,” Cullinan retorted.
4. Robin Smith & Merv Hughes: During 1989 Lords Test Hughes said to
Smith after he played & missed:”You can’t f**king bat”. Smith to Hughes after he smacked him to the boundary: “Hey Merv, we make a fine pair. I can’t f**king bat & you can’t f**king bowl.”
5. Merv Hughes & Javed Miandad: During 1991 Adelaide Test, Javed called Merv a fat bus conductor. A few balls later Merv dismissed Javed: “Tickets please”, Merv called out as he ran past the departing batsman.
8. James Ormond had just come out to bat on an ashes tour and was
greeted by Mark Waugh……. MW : “F*ck me, look who it is. Mate, what are you doing out here, there’s no way you’re good enough to play for England” JO : “Maybe not, but at least I’m the best player in my family”
12. Malcolm Marshall was bowling to David Boon who had played and missed a couple of times. Marshall : “Now David, Are you going to get out now or am I going to have to bowl around the wicket and kill you?”
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty