While a lot of modern-day cricketers believe sledging and a little bit of chirping on the field are okay as it adds to the excitement of the game, International Cricket Council (ICC) boss David Richardson feels otherwise.
“I think in most cases sledging/chirping is a waste of time, often resorted to by players who are trying to psyche themselves up or boost their own lack of confidence, and very often it’s counter-productive,” Richardson, in his MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture on Monday, said.
While Australia have been known to come hard at their opponents and playing the ‘Australian Way of Cricket’, others teams have also not shied away from taking on their opponents and indulge in a banter, which many times become ugly and tarnish the ‘Gentleman’s Game’ image of cricket.
“Sledging that amounts to no more than personal abuse, fielders giving send-offs to batsmen who have been dismissed, unnecessary physical contact, players threatening not to play in protest against an umpire’s decision and ball tampering. This isn’t the version of our sport that we want to project to the world,” Richardson insisted.
He also said that ball-tampering, verbal abuse and on-field confrontations are threatening the spirit of cricket and recent poor behaviour by players has to stop.
Richardson also spoke about the red-ball cricket and greed that while day-night Tests would address the issue of accessibility to an extent, it would take more work, and the context provided by the ICC Test Championship would help.
“Day-night Tests will be great, but it won’t be the saviour of Test cricket,” he said. “It’s more about how we market Test cricket. It’s playing on selected weekends, maybe long weekends when people are available to come and watch. It’s giving context to Test matches.
“I’m exceptionally excited about the Test league that is now being introduced, it starts after the World Cup next year – two-year league, nine teams, and the two teams at the top of the table at the end of it play each other in the final, probably at Lord’s,” he added.