Article yehhaicricket.com

Sledging on the field 
A burning issue
By Vivek Rajagopal

"If you dare take that f****** single I’ll break your f****** ass," said the former Australian paceman Mike Whitney, who was substituting for Steven Waugh at mid-on, to the khadoos Indian all rounder Ravi Shastri. And Shastri replied in kind saying,” If your bowling was as good as your sledging, you wouldn’t have been a f****** 12th man.” That’s another area the Indian cricketers are found wanting. Glenn McGrath was all over Sachin Tendulkar like a rat, when he got the master blaster out to a horrendous LBW. Tendulkar reaction - an anti climax. Not even a shake of the head.

The Indian fans who have followed their team religiously on the telly for the past 10 years would all agree that teams like Australia and South Africa have got away with some very very objectionable remarks. The cocky Yorkshire man Geoff Boycott once remarked that the Aussies use words that he had never ever heard. The current ICC ruling on sledging has received a mixed response. It states that a team found guilty of sledging on the field would be docked five runs. Predictably the Australian captain Steven Waugh is up in arms against the decision. The Kiwis have welcomed it. And much more surprisingly the former Indian captain Sachin Tendulkar has spoken his mind over a controversial issue. "Let's give this rule a fair run and then comment upon it," he said.

A few years ago South African all rounder Brian McMillan was caught uttering racial comments at his coloured opponents. But in a white dominated cricketing scene he got away, scott free. Finally, cricket’s governing body, the ICC, has decided to put its foot down on a burning issue. There are a few doubts about the technicalities involved in implementing the rule. But most of the ICC members agree that it's high time a rule should be in place. Ian Chappel, sometimes wrongly credited as the father of sledging, agrees too!

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