Former Aussie greats slam BCCI's proposal for ban on sledging

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Sydney, Feb 17 (UNI) Blasting the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for its proposal to ban sledging, former Australian players said the move would make the game colourless.

Taking note of the Sydney Test fiasco involving Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds, the BCCI had proposed to the ICC that sledging be banned from international cricket.

The Board is expected to initiate the process in the ICC meeting on February 23, by urging all Test playing nations to support its stand.

Aussie greats like Steve Waugh, and Craig MacDermott feel that enforcing a ban will not solve the problem and will only make the game dull.

Former Australia captain Steve Waugh, wondered if the ban would be enforced on officials, umpires and even spectators.

''How you would enforce such a ban? If you ban players from sledging, does that rule then apply to officials, umpires and spectators as well?'' Waugh asked.

The 42-year-old added that he prefers to call on-field provocation as a banter and not sledging.

''I do not refer to it as sledging, I refer to it as banter.

Banter is part of the game. And if there was no banter, you could not have a laugh and there would be no stories to tell.

''Without banter I do not think you would have many people watching the sport. In this case the Indians have to be careful of what they wish for, otherwise they run the risk of taking the colour out of the game,'' Waugh was quoted as saying in The Daily Telegraph.

Former pace spearhead Craig McDermott said sledging is a part of the game and termed the BCCI's move to call for its ban as ridiculous.

''It has been happening since day dot and it is usually in jest,'' McDermott said. ''To police sledging would be impossible, unless every player was miked up and the umpires were rehearsed in every language.'' UNI XC RKM AB PM1815

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