Cricket’s greatest subcontinental sledges

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Virat Kohli shouldn’t be the primary Indian or Asian cricketer to excellent the artwork of a well-delivered sledge on an Australian tour.

There have been many subcontinental cricketers earlier than him who’ve by no means been shy of a intelligent jab on the Aussies or every other cricketing nation for that matter. Listed below are a few of my favourites.

Javed Miandad (Pakistan)
The pugnacious Pakistani batting legend was all the time up for a combat with the Aussies, be it verbal and even at instances, fairly bodily.

He as soon as lunged at Dennis Lillee together with his bat raised like a javelin thrower, because the legendary quick bowler held his fists up in retaliation. The umpires later defused the heated confrontation, however there was no denying that it was an unsightly scene which significantly marred the high-quality cricket performed in that 1981 sequence.

Nevertheless it was Merv Hughes’s sharp and witty retort in one other aggressive encounter with Miandad that deserves a most honourable point out right here.

Because the pair argued on subject, Miandad was heard calling him a ‘fats bus conductor.’ Hughes later dismissed Miandad, and because the Pakistani legend trudged off the bottom Hughes delivered the right send-off, operating previous him yelling ‘tickets please!’ Secure to say, Miandad was positively not boarding that bus anytime quickly.

Arjuna Ranatunga (Sri Lanka)
There’s no denying that if there was ever one cricketer that cherished to get beneath the Australians’ pores and skin on the sphere, it must be Sri Lanka’s portly cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunga.

Aussie cricket followers of the newborn boomer era will little doubt bear in mind the fixed jibes between Ranatunga and Shane Warne through the mid-90s to early 2000s. Apparently sufficient, Ranatunga’s greatest sledge to the Australian spin king got here after he had really bowed out from his stellar profession.

The yr is 2004 and Ranatunga, three years into retirement from worldwide cricket, was now closely concerned in creating the island nation’s subsequent era of celebrity cricketers.

Because the Australians touched down in Colombo for a full sequence towards Sri Lanka, their tour additionally occurred to coincide with Warne’s return to worldwide cricket, following a 12-month suspension on account of him consuming a banned performance-enhancing drug.

Warne delivered the primary blow to the Melbourne press, commenting on the Sri Lanka captain’s unprecedented weight achieve, claiming that ‘He’s [Ranatunga] most likely weighing in at round 150 kilos for the time being. He will need to have swallowed a sheep or one thing.’

Ranatunga was actually not one to again down, and in clear reference to Warne’s 12-month ban, well remarked ‘Effectively it’s higher to swallow a sheep than to swallow what he has been swallowing.’ Maybe Warne would have benefited from preserving his mouth shut on this event!

Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka)
A lawyer by background, Sri Lanka’s champion wicket-keeper batsman was by no means afraid of some sensible and witty quips behind the stumps, given his fluency with English.

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One in all Sangakkara’s greatest sledges must be through the 2003 World Cup, when Sri Lanka was taking part in South Africa in a Tremendous Six match.

Shaun Pollock was on the crease, and the Proteas required 120 runs to win with solely 5 wickets in hand. Realising the surmounting the stress of the state of affairs, Sangakkara determined to let the South African captain know precisely what was taking place.

Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara plays a shot

Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara. (AFP/Marty Melville)

‘Tons stress on the skipper hey?’ chirped the Sri Lankan legend. ‘Ah man the burden of all these expectations fellas! Twenty three million supporters, all relying on Shaun!’

Pollock wasn’t having a bar of it, and so did the climate. In the long run, rain had the ultimate say, the match was declared a tie, and Sri Lanka waltzed into the semi-final. The load of all these expectations must wait for one more likelihood in 4 years.

Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka) … once more!
The sensible alec wicket-keeper makes one other look, this time in a sledge aimed in direction of Sri Lanka’s large neighbour to the north. It was round this time that controversial Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh was gaining important consideration for his bowling motion, which some had deemed as unlawful and that he was certainly ‘chucking.’

Though the ICC had later cleared him of throwing, Sangakkara determined to provide Harbhajan a pleasant reminder as he arrived on the crease sporting a brief sleeve shirt.

“You look nice in these brief sleeves,” quipped Sangakkara, “why don’t you put on them while you bowl too?” irritating Harbhajan to no finish. The Indian spinner actually grew to become a a lot stricter adherent to the lengthy sleeved fraternity after that!

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Ravi Shastri (India)
It was throughout India’s 1991-92 Take a look at tour of Australia, a sequence that gave the world the primary true glimpse of the phenomenon that will be Sachin Tendulkar, that one other bout of sledging brilliance was witnessed.

Ravi Shastri was batting within the Boxing day Take a look at and drove straight to the twelfth man Mike Whitney, who picked up the ball aggressively to cease a fast single. Whitney, noticing Shastri’s eagerness to get off strike, got here again at him shouting “in the event you go away your crease once more I’ll break your f***ing head!”

Shastri was unmoved, and calmly replied “hey perhaps in the event you batted or bowled in addition to you speak, perhaps you wouldn’t be f***ing twelfth man!” Sufficient stated.


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