Mind the Windows Tino: Cricket's Top 10 Sledges

After the West Indies’ Shannon Gabriel had to return back to the Caribbean with a back problem following the first test at Lords, his replacement saw the return of a certain Mr Tino Best, much to the delight of Freddie Flintoff. Back in 2004, with Flintoff at the height of his powers, the West Indies were touring and in action at Lords. With England looking to bowl their opponents out in the second innings, Tino Best came to the crease against spinner Ashley Giles. This prompted Flintoff to infamously ask Tino to ‘mind the windows’, a comment that caused Best to charge down the wicket, only to miss the turning ball and get stumped for his troubles. In celebration of Tino’s return to England, here are 10 of the best sledges cricket has ever heard:

10. James Ormond vs. Mark Waugh

Back in 2001, Jimmy Ormond, a young bowler of just 23, made his full test debut against the Australians. As he walked out to bat, he met the usual Aussie chirp upon his arrival at the wicket. Mark Waugh could always offer a few choice sayings to unsuspecting batsman and on this occasion he asked Ormond: “Mate, what are you doing out here? You’re not good enough to play for England.” Ormond’s reply? “Maybe not. But at least I’m the best player in my own family.”

 

9. Rod Marsh vs. Ian Botham

Botham and Marsh were both great characters of the game who could be expected to provide a few fireworks. However, when Beefy marched to the crease during an Ashes clash, Marsh greeted him with the question: “How’s your wife and my kids?” Never one to miss an opportunity, Botham piped up: “The wife’s fine, but the kids are retarded.”

 

8. Eddo Brandes vs. Glen McGrath

Glen McGrath bowling at the Zimbabwean number 11 Eddo Brandes, who was a chicken farmer by full-time trade, was never going to be much of a contest. However, as the Aussie flashed another delivery past Brandes’s outside edge, he snarled at the batsman: “Why are you so fat?” Quick as a flash, Brandes retorted: “Because everytime I f**k your wife, she gives me a biscuit.”

 

7. Fred Trueman vs. Raman Subba Row

Truman was a fiery Yorkshireman who wasn’t afraid to voice his opinion on the pitch. He also wasn’t afraid to sledge his own teammates. During one game, Trueman caught the batsman’s outside edge, only for it to race to the boundary after passing through Subba Row’s legs. He apologised to Fiery Fred, saying: “Sorry Fred, I should have kept my legs together.” An angry Trueman replied: “So should your mother.”

 

6. James Anderson vs. Mitchell Johnson

During England’s comprehensive Ashes victory in 2010, pace bowlers Anderson and Johnson had a battle of wits going on throughout the series. However, Jimmy showed that actions speak louder than words and I’ll let the video tell the full story…

 

5. Tony Greig vs. David Hookes

Tony Greig may have been the captain of England, but just like much of the present day team, his origin of birth was South Africa. So in 1977, when 21-year-old Hookes walked out to bat on his debut for the baggy green and golds, Greig inquired: “Sonny, when are your balls gonna drop?” Hookes then responded: “I don’t know, but at least I’m playing cricket for my own country!”

 

4. Arjuna Ranatunga vs. Ian Healy

Sri Lankan skipper Ranatunga wasn’t exactly the slimmest of figures on the cricket pitch and Aussie keeper Ian Healy was quick to point that out on a number of occasions. However, during a one-day clash between the two countries, Ranatunga called for a runner after suffering a minor injury. Healy however, doubted the necessity for a runner, declaring: “You don’t get a runner for being an overweight, unfit, fat c***!!!”

 

3. Viv Richards vs. Greg Thomas

The West Indian was at the top of his game, playing for Somerset against Glamorgan in the Country Championship. However, on this occasion Thomas was enjoying a bit of luck, making Richards play and miss a number of times. Frustrated at his lack of wickets, Thomas walked up to Richards and held up the ball, telling him: “It’s red, round and weighs about five ounces if you’re wondering.” Next ball, Richards dispatched the bowler clean out of the ground and into the river, quipping “You know what it looks like, go and find it.”

 

2. Merv Hughes vs. Robin Smith

Australian paceman Hughes was famous for three things, his lightening-fast bowling, his legendary moustache and also his quick-witted sledging. Hughes never missed the opportunity to rile his opponent and could produce a top ten list of his own. However, he had a great ongoing battle with England batsman Robin Smith, once telling him to turn over his bat where he’d find the instructions to use it. However, during one test in 1989, Hughes had Smith all over the place during one particularly fine spell of bowling and snarled at the Englishman: “You can’t f*****g bat.” Smith promptly dispatched the next ball to the boundary and yelled down the wicket: “Hey Merv, we make a fine pair. I can’t f*****g bat and you certainly can’t f*****g bowl.”

 

1. Sharne Warne vs. Darryl Cullinan

Whenever South Africa and Australia clashed during the 1990’s, the highlight of the game was often the slanging matches between Warney and South African batsman Darryl Cullinan, who notoriously struggled against the King of Spin. However, on one occasion, Cullinan, who had been out of the game for the best part of two years with injury, walked to the wicket with Warne awaiting. The larger-than-life Aussie proclaimed: “I’ve been waiting two years for this opportunity to humiliate you in front of your own crowd.” Cullinan replied nonchalantly: “Looks like you’ve spent it eating!”

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