Cricket they say is a gentleman’s game while the sport is being played on the field, hardly any part of the word “gentle” is being followed. It is a bout of the bat and the ball while verbal volleys are present in abundance. In a twisted battle of the mind, it is also a test of time for the players who can get into each other’s skin faster.
However, this comes with a monumental risk of this entire episode backfiring. If it doesn’t, you become a hero for your nation, however, if it does, not only will you become a joke but the one whom you subjected your verbal attack at, that person gets an immortal opportunity to troll you for eternity.
We will look at five instances where sledging a cricketer backfired big time and the revenge was amplified by a thousand notches.
- Brian Lara versus Danish Kaneria, Multan, 2005
Lara taught an unforgettable lesson to Australia at Sydney when they tried to take a verbal dig at him, smashing a blistering 277. However, young Danish Kaneria of Pakistan tried to show his grit and get under Lara’s skin, but the result probably served as a forgetful chapter of Kaneria’s life.
It was in Multan in the year 2005 when West Indies was locked in a battle with Pakistan and Lara was on song. After smashing a boundary off Kaneria, he chose to play a defensive stroke in the following delivery. This enlivened the Pakistani spinner and he sarcastically clapped, citing, “
What followed thereafter was imperious carnage from the Caribbean legend as he peppered Danish for 26 runs in a single over which read 6,6,6,4. Kaneria never could come to grips with the humiliation inflicted on him and chose to shut his mouth for all the good reasons.
- Venkatesh Prasad versus Aamir Sohail, 1996 World Cup Quarter Final
In a bout of the arch-rivals, that saw India posting a mammoth total of 287 for 8, thanks to a scorching knock played by Sidhu, Pakistan was off to a flyer. Aamir Sohail and Saeed Anwar went after the Indian bowlers right from the very beginning. Despite Srinath drawing first blood for India after removing Anwar, Aamir Sohail carried on with the onslaught.
It was the 15th over when Aamir Sohail was on the top of his game and kept on hewing away at anything that was hurled by the Indian bowlers. After Prasad knocked Sohail with a nasty bouncer, the batsman retaliated in the strongest of ways as he sliced the Indian medium pacer with an emphatic shot in the off-side.
After this shot, Sohail chose to lift his bat and point it towards the boundary where he smacked his last stroke and challenged Prasad that he will execute the next shot in the exact same direction. This charged up Prasad and the next delivery was a sheer gem as it rattled the off-stump of Sohail and the Indian bowler wasted no time in showing the way of the stands to Sohail.
- Sachin Tendular versus Abdul Qadir, 1989-90
This was an exhibition match where India was duking it out with Pakistan and the crux of all the fanfare was a 16-year-old kid who dished out consistent brilliance through his blade. After Tendulkar scored a match-saving 58 in the fourth Test, India and Pakistan were scheduled to play an exhibition match of 30 overs.
Pakistan managed to post 158 on the board and India was well en route to victory as Tendulkar clobbered the Pakistani bowlers with consummate ease. Qadir, known for his credentials as the best spinner in the world at that point in time challenged Sachin, citing, “Bacchon ko kyu maar rahe ho? Humein bhi marke dikhao.” (Why do you hit kids? Hit me if you can)
The Little Master actually did oblige and consigned Qadir to the stands for a record 28 runs in the next over which read 6,4,0,6,6. Tendulkar notched up 53 runs from 18 deliveries out of which 27 came off that blinding over of Qadir.
- Glenn McGrath versus Ramnaresh Sarwan, Antigua, 2003
What is remembered in the history of Test cricket as one of the most humdinger chases of all time, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Glenn McGrath got enmeshed in a verbal battle which took an extremely ugly turn.
With 417 to win, Sarwan and Chanderpaul played a remarkable 72-runs partnership when this incident unfolded. While Sarwan just completed a single, McGrath went up to him and stoked the argument, quoting, “What does Brian Lara’s cock taste like?”
Sarwan handed him over a Roland for the nasty Oliver as he quoted, “I don’t know. Ask your wife.”
However, this really did not get down well with the Australia fast bowler as his wife was struggling with breast cancer at that point in time. He went ballistic and his response was, “If you fucking mention my wife again, I’ll fucking rip your fucking throat out.”
To aggravate the situation, Sarwan engineered a brilliant 105 to pen down one of West Indies’ most remarkable Test victories of all time.
- Yuvraj Singh versus Andrew Flintoff, 2007 T-20 World Cup, Kingsmead
No Indian would ever forget this duel which unfolded in the maiden edition of the T-20 World Cup. After Yuvraj smacked Flintoff for two consecutive boundaries, the current English pugilist lost his calm and volleyed a slew of debatable words at the in-form Yuvraj.
What unfolded after that was the brutalization of a young Stuart Broad as an expendable by Yuvraj Singh, getting spurred on by Flintoff. He smashed Broad for 6 sixes in an over which also changed the equation of the game and eliminated England out of the fray.