A Campaign Against Sledging & Intimidation on the Cricket Field

Michael Roberts

My upbringing was heavily impregnated with cricket and its sporting values. The practices of sledging and verbal one-upmanship in order to unsettle batsmen was simply unthinkable to those so nourished. When Sri Lanka’s team under Arjuna Ranatunga had a prolonged tour of Australia in 187, they happened to spend a lot of time in Adelaide.  I was introduced to Arjuna and Ruwan Kalpage at a dinner at the house of Tilak Gunasekera (alas not more with us) and his wife Dawn (nee Buultjens). There I received first-hand tales of the degree to which Australian cricket was, so to speak, impregnated with the sledging form of one-upmanship.


My distaste for this type of activity was deepened when I witnessed the pressures directed at the Sri Lankan cricket team touring Australia in 1995/96 — this time by some of the umpires targetting Murali and his alleged act of throwing decisions which discounted his peculiar anatomy — a plasticine wrist identified THEN by Dr Buddy Reid and an Uni-Western Australia physiology team).

The result was a series of essays that eventually found a ‘permanent home ‘in a book called ESSAYING CRICKET. SRI LANKA AND BEYOND, Colombo, Vijitha Yapa Publishers, 2006.

The degradation of ethics on the cricket field has continued intermittently over the following decades. The cricketing world recently witnessed an outstanding instance of verbal and bodily threat recently when Mohammed Siraj threatened Charith Asalanka with words and bodily posture at ‘point-balnk range during the World Cup match in Mumbai.

Aaagh ……….. MUMBAI, yes. The location and the moment both have a bearing of the “conditions of possibility” for such domineering behaviour.


An Early Plea in 1990: Ban Verbal Assaults within the ….   https://thuppahis.com › 2017/03/08 › an-early-plea-in…

8 Mar 2017 — Michael Roberts “SinBin for Verbal Intimidation” is the title of a plea in an article presented by me in Essaying Cricket.

The ICC is Imbecile: Verbal Assaults permitted within ………https://thuppahis.com › 2017/11/23 › the-icc-is-imbeci…

https://thuppahis.com › 2013/11/27 › verbal-assault-o…

 27 Nov 2013 — Michael Roberts Ever since I began to write on cricket in the late 1980s … It enabled those better versed in verbal intimidation in all its …Intimidating Assault Tactics behind Phil-Hughes’ Death by … …………………Thuppahi’https://thuppahis.com › 2016/10/27 › intimidating-ass…

The Will to Win in Australian Cricket. Outcomes………………………….. https://thuppahis.com › 2018/03/28 › the-will-to-win-i…



Filed under Uncategorized

2 responses to “A Campaign Against Sledging & Intimidation on the Cricket Field

  1. Lam Seneviratne

    Would Siraj have confront a batsman from Pakistan or Afghanistan with this point blank verbal assault? Most unlikely ,as there could be a reaction from those countries beyond the cricket pitch.

Leave a Reply