Arena: Where Sledgends Are Born?

- Vinith Bhandari , Journal Club



Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed below are solely those of the original author.

Sledging! A simple word to explain the practice of a player seeking to gain an advantage by verbally intimidating an opposing player. What happens when the audience gets involved in the same? The trash talk is often quite entertaining, but where do you draw the line? Where is the full stop?
The below article is based on my views and understanding of the recent issue.
I completely agree with the age-old saying; what happens on the field, stays on the field. But when the home audience keeps hurling abuses at the opponents, it becomes off the field and that is a very unsportsmanlike thing to do. This kind of a thing is definitely not in the spirit of the game and it gives a bad impression of our college to the teams playing.
England captain Douglas Jardine - who was public enemy No.1 in Australia during the tense Bodyline series - complained to counterpart Bill Woodfull about Australian players swearing at him, to which Woodfull replied: “Now which of you bastards called this bastard a bastard?”
Shane Warne was bowling to Sourav Ganguly, and Ganguly let a few go through to the keeper without offering a shot, Warne decided to remind him why they were all there; “Hey mate, the crowd didn’t pay their money to watch you let balls go. They came here to see this little bloke [pointing to Sachin Tendulkar at the non-striker’s end] play shots.”
Now this is what sledging is. What happened during the recent incident is something very different. We are aware of bottles being thrown at players even internationally, but should it ever come to that? You can disqualify players, give them cards, but what will you do to the audience? The audience cannot behave in barbaric ways, negligent of its attitude and charm its way into entertainment at the cost of a team it is hosting. To be honest, the crowd better behave, not just because they are being told to do so, but in sheer respect for an individual who has come here in spirit of sportsmanship. At this point, it is better to forget about the incidents that have taken place; but we should take a lesson from this fiasco and mend our ways accordingly.