Intense cricket and Sledging go hand in hand. Some excerpts from finest ashes sledges ever:-
“I don’t mind this lot chirping at me but you’re just the bus driver” – Nasser Hussain to the Australian opening batsman Justin Langer.
“How anyone can spin a ball the width of Gatting boggles the mind.” – Martin Johnson (sports journalist for the Independent) after Shane Warne’s magical first ball to Mike Gatting.
“Hell, Gatt, move out of the way, I can’t see the stumps.” – Shane Warne, stopping in the middle of his run up to give Mike Gatting a quick sledging, during the opening match of England’s 1994-95 Ashes tour.
“Chappell was a coward. He needed a crowd around him before he would say anything. He was sour like milk that had been sitting in the sun for a week.” – Ian Botham on Ian Chappell.
“You’ve got to bat on this in a minute, Tuffers. Hospital food suit you?” – Craig McDermott to Phil Tufnell after the England spinner had just got him out.
“You’re just upset because no one loves you any more” – Kevin Pietersen to Australian all-rounder Shane Watson, who had just been dumped by his girlfriend.
“A cricket tour in Australia would be the most delightful period in your life … if you were deaf.” – Harold Larwood one of England’s fast bowlers during the Bodyline series.
“In my day 58 beers between London and Sydney would have virtually classified you as a teetotaller.” Ian Chappell on being told that David Boon had drunk a record 58 cans of beer on the team flight to England in 1989. Boon claimed that he was afraid of flying!
“With the possible exception of Rolf Harris, no other Australian has inflicted more pain and grief on Englishmen since Don Bradman.” – Mike Walters (The Daily Mirror) reflecting on Steve Waugh’s retirement.
“Mate, if you just turn the bat over you’ll find the instructions on the other side” – Merv Hughes to Robin Smith, Graeme Hick and pretty much any other England batsman whom he ever bowled at.
“I am not talking to anyone in the British media … they are all pr*cks.” Allan Border Australia’s captain, during a press conference at Hove in 1993.
“At least I have an identity. You’re just Frances Edmonds’ husband.” – Tim Zoehrer sledging England spinner Phil Edmonds.
“I don’t want to see you Mr Warner. There are two teams out there; one is trying to play cricket and the other is not.” – Bill Woodfull, the Australian captain, to the England manager Pelham Warner, during the Bodyline series in Adelaide.
“England have only three major problems. They can’t bat, they can’t bowl and they can’t field.” Martin Johnson’s assessment in The Independent at the start of England’s tour of Australia 1986-7. England of course, won the ashes that series which led Johnson to remark: “Right quote; wrong team.”
“I’ll bowl you a f***ing piano, you Pommie poof. Let’s see if you can play that.” – Merv Hughes to England opening batsman Michael Atherton.
“I dunno. Maybe it’s that tally-ho lads attitude. You know, there’ll always be an England, all that Empire crap they dish out. But I never could cop Poms.” – Jeff Thomson Australian fast bowler, 1987.
Mark Waugh: “F**k me, look who it is. Mate, what are you doing out here, there’s no way you’re good enough to play for England.” James Ormond: “Maybe not, but at least I’m the best player in my family”.
“Don’t bother shutting it, son, you won’t be there long enough.” – Fred Truman to incoming Australian batsman as he opened the gate on his way out to the middle at Lord’s.
“Tap that one down you little b*stard.” – Tony Lock bowls a bouncer at Richie Benaud following Richie’s prolonged spell of gardening.
“Take a good look at this arse of mine, you’ll see plenty of it this summer.” – David Steele to Rodney Marsh.
“You are a damned lot of sneaks.” – WG Grace to Midwinter, The Oval, 1877.
“I think I was saying 3-0 or 4-0 about 12 months ago, thinking there might be a bit of rain around. But with the weather as it is at the moment, I have to say 5-0.” – Glenn McGrath ahead of the 2005 series.
“So how’s your wife and my kids?” – Rodney Marsh the Australian wicket keeper to Ian Botham. Botham’s response “The wife’s fine – the kids are retarded.”
“The aim of English cricket is, in fact, mainly to beat Australia.” – Jim Laker
“You can’t f****** bat.” – Merv Hughes to Robin Smith letting him know what he thinks of his batting during the Lords Test of 1989.”Hey Merv, we make a fine pair. I can’t f****** bat and you can’t f****** bowl.” – Smith retorts back to Hughes immediately after he cracked one of his ensuing balls to the boundary.
Then on the next tour: “It’s four years since I bowled to you and you haven’t improved” – Merv Hughes. The next ball goes for four. “Neither have you” responds Smith.
“The traditional dress of the Australian cricketer is the baggy green cap on the head and the chip on the shoulder. Both are ritualistically assumed.”” – Simon Barnes (The Times).
“Aussies are big and empty, just like their country.” – Ian Botham.
“What do you think this is, a f****** tea party? No you can’t have a f****** glass of water, you can f****** wait like the rest of us.” – Allan Border to Robin Smith during the Trent Bridge Test in 1989.
“Who’s this then? Father bloody Christmas?” – Jeff Thomson to David Steele.
“A six-foot, blond-haired beach bum bowling at 90mph trying to knock your head off and then telling you you’re a feeble-minded tosser… where’s the problem?” -Michael Atherton on Glenn McGrath.
“I couldn’t work out what he was saying, except that every sledge ended with ‘arsewipe’.” – Michael Atherton on Merv Hughes.
“No good hitting me there, mate, nothing to damage.” – Derek Randall to Lillee after being hit on the head by a bouncer.
“All right, which one of you bastards called this bastard a bastard?” – Victor Richardson’s response to Douglas Jardine’s complaint that a slip fielder had sworn at him.
“Let’s have you right under Nasser’s nose.” – Ian Healy placing a fielder yards away at cover when Nasser Hussain was batting.