This week Michael Clarke has been fined 20 per cent of his match fee after he was captured by the stump microphone telling England rival James Anderson to “get ready for a broken f***ing arm”.
Clarke accepted the fine on Monday morning and Cricket Australia chief said that the pair agreed the incident was regrettable.
However, the ICC has been accused of double standards holding Clarke accountable when there were numerous verbal sledges throughout the match that were not captured by the microphone, and went unpunished.
Is sledging just part of sport? In highly emotional situations it seems that all players seem to sledge and this has been going on for the past 136 years. It is just now that microphones are starting to pick up the banter.
In August, the last test match between Australia and England, the stump microphone picked up an exchange between the England player Kevin Pietersen and Michael Clarke. Clarke reminded Pietersen, a South African, of his unpopularity among his adopted countrymen, and Pietersen retorted, ”Nobody in your team likes you, and you’re the captain.”
There was one thing wrong with this report. Anyone watching the exchange saw that it ended with Clarke and his teammates laughing their heads off while Pietersen was uncharacteristically speechless.
What the microphone had missed was Shane Watson’s reply to Pietersen: ”At least he’s still got a job.” Pietersen had been so disliked in his tenure as England captain that he was sacked after a few months. Hence the Australians’ laughter.
But because Watson’s comment wasn’t picked up by the mike, it didn’t officially happen.
It makes you wonder, how often has Anderson threatened, denigrated or bullied Australian players in the past six months? Was Michael Clarke just the one who was caught out?
Or should the Australian’s lift their game and avoid lowering themselves to sledging…?
Let us know your say… Do you think sledging is just part of sport? Or that it should be banned all together…?