The Art of Sledging
Author: J. Harold
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Rating: 3.5 stars
By Archie Mac
17 Nov 2008
In his latest book, Turn, Turn, Turn...Please,
Kerry O'Keeffe had a chapter titled Sledging-An Overrated Art
. I wonder if 'Skull' would change his mind after reading this amusing little book The Art of Sledging
The author J. Harold has collected the best sledges throughout the history of cricket, including my all time favourite between Merv Hughes and Javed Miandad:
Miandad; Merv you remind me of a fat bus conductor
Hughes, after dismissing Javed; Tickets please!
The author also features probably the worst sledge picked up by the stump microphone, from Kevin Pietersen directed at West Indian Chris Gayle
KP; You're making me cross. You're making me cross. You're making me cross.
After the above effort maybe Kevin should leave it to the experts, which on the amount of sledges attributed to them in this book is still the originators of the neologism the Australians, and for sheer quality it would seem the king of them all is either Ian Healy or the legendary Fred Trueman.
The author often introduces a sledge with the heading Hughes vs Javed Miandad (for example). One that surprised me was; Bill Woodfull vs Douglas Jardine, when Jardine goes to the Aussie dressing room and demands an apology for someone calling him a bastard out on the pitch. To which he is given the reply 'Which one of you bastards, called this bastard, a bastard!'.
Now I have probably read more books on Bodyline then is healthy for one individual, and most mention this confrontation but all give the Australian as the much more forthright Vic Richardson - Grandfather of one of the creators of the term 'sledging' Ian Chappell - as opposed to the proper teetotal Headmaster Bill Woodfull.
The book also gives examples of classic sledges from the crowd including the legendary 'Yabba', and for those would be sledges the book finishes with some useful sledges the average park cricketer can use on unexpecting opposition.
This publication would make an ideal Christmas present for the cricket tragic in your life, or even an amusing coffee table book.