Simon Barnes

The art of the sledge

Sledging has never been terribly witty or clever

‘Good morning, my name’s Cowdrey.’ England batsman Colin, later Lord Cowdrey, to the Australian fast bowler Jeff Thomson.

‘That’s not going to help you, fatso. Now piss off.’

Lord, who wrote those lines — was it Oscar Wilde? Noël Coward? Woody Allen, maybe? Or was it just a primordial example of sledging: the art and science of the cricketing insult?

Sledging is hot again as the Test series in South Africa against Australia reaches new heights of bad vibes.

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