Ten memorable cricket sledges


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The Independent Online

James Anderson v Mitchell Johnson – Ashes 2010/11 – Third test, Perth

England and Anderson were reeling in the Perth heat, giving Johnson the confidence to start a war of words with the Lancashire bowler on his lack of recent wickets. Johnson piped up: “Why are you chirping now mate, not getting any wickets?” The two were often described as shy, but Anderson responded seconds later by taking Johnson’s partner Ryan Harris, before turning around to the Australian to ‘shush’ him. England lost the test, but won the series 3-1.


Chris Gayle v Michael Clarke – West Indies v Australia, Champions Trophy group stage 2006 – Mumbai

To everyone’s bemusement, Gayle looked intent on disrupting the Australian batsman’s flow, with the two involved in lengthy discussion in between balls. The West Indian was fined 30 per cent of his match fee for his behaviour after shouldering Clarke in his side’s 10-run win over the Aussies in the group stage. Gayle also needlessly threw the ball in Clarke’s direction, only for it to fly over wicket keeper Ramnaresh Sarwan’s and run out for a boundary. To add insult to injury, the West Indies lost to Clarke’s Australia in the final.


Kevin Pietersen v Yuvraj Singh – India v England 2008 – Second test, Mohali

Pietersen’s ego was never going to mix well with Yuvraj’s sureness, and after a series of incidents at the crease, England’s captain labelled the Indian a “pie-chucker” and a purveyor of “left-arm filth.” Yuvraj responded by simply calling Pietersen “useless”, pointing out that he has already dismissed him twice so far that winter. The feud was drawn, and so was the test match, but India won the two-match series 1-0.


James Ormond v Mark Waugh – Ashes 2001 – Fifth test, The Oval

Despite Waugh undoubtedly having a greater mark on cricketing history, Ormond well and truly came out on top of this war. Upon arrival, Waugh said to Ormond: “Look who it is. Mate, what are you doing here? There’s no way you’re good enough to play for England.” Ormond replied: “Maybe not, but at least I’m the best player in my family.” Australia trounced England 4-1 on their own patch, but this minute battle was won by an Englishman.


Andrew Flintoff v Tino Best – England v West Indies 2004 – First test, Lords

While standing in the slips, Flintoff was doing his best to wind up Best, and as the West Indian prepared to face Ashley Giles’ off-spin, England’s most vocal character warned him to “mind the windows”. The batsman charged out of his crease hoping for a big hit, but completely missed the ball and was stumped by Geraint Jones. Flintoff’s words had the desired effect and the Lancashire bowler couldn’t help but chuckle as Best trudged off to the pavilion.


Adam Gilchrist v Mohammed Kaif – India v Australia 2004 – Fourth test, Mumbai

Australia were incensed when Kaif was given not out after Gilchrist had caught him from behind. The Aussies were sure the ball had clipped his glove but the umpire did not agree. Gilchrist was clearly heard saying: “That was off your glove,” implying Kaif should have walked. He went on to ensure Kaif’s guilt, adding: “The whole world is watching, champ.” Australia had already secured the series win, despite India going on to win the test.


Ryan Sidebottom v Dinesh Karthik and “the jelly bean scandal”– England v India 2007 – Second test, Trent Bridge

With India at 139-0, Ryan Sidebottom’s final ball of the over went straight through to the wicketkeeper. His frustration got the better of him as he launched an angry outburst at Indian batsman Karthik, who then mocked the bowler’s reaction. Things turned sourer later on, with jelly beans being left on the pitch by an unknown England player, much to the annoyance of Zaheer Khan. England captain Michael Vaughan was forced to issue an apology after the game.


Darren Gough v Shane Watson – England v Australia 2005 – ODI Series, Chester-le-street

When Australia stayed over at Lumley Castle in Durham before their clash at Chester-le-street, there was rumoured to be a ghost on the prowl. The evening left Watson so spooked out that he decided to sleep on the floor of Brett Lee’s room for comfort. The England players couldn’t resist mocking Watson, with Gough doing his best impression of a ghost and telling the Aussie: “Don’t worry, you can sleep in my bed tonight."


Spectator and umpire v Phil Tufnell – Ashes 1990/91 – Second test, Melbourne

Even the crowd have got involved in the verbals, this time at the expense of England spinner Tufnell. After losing count of how many deliveries he had left in the over, Tufnell asked the Australian umpire Peter McConnell if he knew, to which he replied “Count them yourself, you pommie b*****d.” An embarrassed Tufnell later retreated to the boundary before one Australian spectator bellowed: “Oi, Tufnell. Lend us your brain, we’re building an idiot!”


Mitchell Johnson v Scott Styris - Australia v New Zealand 2010 – First ODI, Napier

Styris faced a fired-up Johnson as the match drew to a close with New Zealand chasing victory, before hitting the Australian for four in the 46 over to leave Johnson irate. He shoulder-barged the Kiwi, but was hit for four again in the next ball. A verbal exchange ensued, and Johnson then deliberately clashed his head onto Syris’ helmet, which led to the pair receiving hefty fines. Styris had the last laugh, as he led the Kiwis to victory in the remaining overs.