Cricket and the sledging culture

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Sledging and cricket – intertwined over years of history in the game.

Cricket administrators have been trying to stamp out this aspect of the game for many years now. Every now and then an incident rears its head, such as the Singh / Symonds confrontation and players are suddenly expected to sign codes of conduct and speak out against the practice.

Don’t get me wrong – when it comes down to racism in sport it’s a no-no. Racist comments have no place in sport. However I believe that personalities in sport and on-field confrontations aren’t the worst thing in the world.

Think about - Andre Nel steaming in and letting lose some verbal on a hapless batsman. What about Allan Donald vs. Michael Atherton – probably one of the most heated, most watched and most remembered batsman vs. bowler duels in the history of the game. Supporters of almost any side will be able to find examples.

Anyone who has played cricket at almost any level will remember a duel of some kind or some nature – a clash of personalities that defines a cricketing moment. Something you cannot replicate purely on weight of runs or bowling spell – you need the heat of battle.

The players have personalities, don’t stifle them! They need to take responsibility and be able to identify where it goes over the top.

As much as administrators want to stamp out the practice, they also need to remember that people want to watch the next famous sports battle… don’t stifle this aspect of the game!


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