Clark says no sledging could make the game boring
Australian paceman Stuart Clark feels that a crackdown on sledging could make matches "very boring".cricket Updated: Mar 25, 2008 11:57 IST
Australian paceman Stuart Clark on Tuesday warned that a crackdown on sledging -- the verbal abuse of players designed to put them off their game -- could make matches "very boring".
Clark, commenting on reports that the International Cricket Council has announced a "zero tolerance" policy, said the practice had been a part of the game for so long it would be difficult to eradicate or control.
"How are we going to remove something that has been so much part of the game? Put it this way -- it's going to be very boring for six hours if you can't talk to one another and can't do anything like that," he told Sydney radio.
"What is a sledge and what's not a sledge is my big question there."
Debate over offensive language and gestures reached fever pitch in Australia, with India's tour Down Under at one point in jeopardy after off-spinner Harbhajan Singh allegedly racially abused Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds during the second Test in Sydney in January.
The Indian bowler was later cleared of the charge by a New Zealand judge at an International Cricket Council (ICC) appeal hearing due to lack of evidence.
But the acrimonious tour has led to calls to the sport's governing body for sledging to be banned.
Clark said he strongly supported eradicating racial and political remarks from the game but that monitoring sledging would be near impossible.
"It's going to be a hard one to police because there are going to be times where people are going to be talking and it's going to be misconstrued or taken the wrong way," he said.
"I can't say what they (International Cricket Council) are thinking but the removing of sledging completely from the game of cricket... I think it's going to be detrimental to the game," he added.