Calcutta/Perth: Former Australia captain Ian Chappell believes the International Cricket Council (ICC) should crack down on the verbals between England and Australia or risk ‘fisticuffs’ on the field.
He also claims batsmen are within their rights to pull away if they are being abused while waiting for a delivery, which is what James Anderson did on the final day of the Brisbane Test to spark a row with Michael Clarke.
“I was delighted that Jimmy (Anderson) pulled away and went over and spoke to George Bailey,” said Chappell. “The only thing that disappointed me was that it took a No. 11 to stand up for his rights.
“As a batsman you are entitled to peace and quiet out there. I tell you, mate, I would not be putting up with the crap that’s going on out there.”
Chappell rubbished the notion that sledging is “part of the game” and said the idea “that it makes you a tough player if you’ve got plenty to say is the greatest load of bollocks I’ve heard in my life.
“If the ICC don’t stop all the chatter that’s going on, the more chatter you allow the more chance that something personal will be said,” Chappell told 3AW’s Sports Today.
“And something personal will be said at the wrong time and you’ll have fisticuffs. I think we’re getting close to the fisticuffs. The Ashes could soon get physical.
“You imagine something really personal being said when a guy is going through marital problems or something like that. The wrong thing will be said and who knows what might happen. Particularly, if a guy has a bat in his hand.
“I don’t say it’s right at that point yet, but it will happen, particularly if they (administrators) keep letting it go down this path. If I was playing now, firstly, I’d tell whoever was talking to shut up or it’s going to be a long day, because I don’t face up until you shut up.
“Now I’ve let the umpire know I want a bit of peace and quiet, if he doesn’t do anything about it, I’d take the law into my own hands. When I get to the non-striker’s end when the bowler starts his run-up, I’ll start talking to the bowler.”
Fast bowler Mitchell Johnson has promised there would be no let up in their attitude. He said Australia would exploit Adelaide’s uneven bounce and heap more misery on England.
“I’ll still come in with the short ball because it is up and down in Adelaide, so it makes it even harder I think,” the left-arm paceman said.
“At the Gabba, you know it’s true bounce. But Adelaide is not true bounce. So I think that makes it a lot more difficult to play the short ball, and obviously reverse swing comes into it as well.
“I don’t like facing bouncers. No one does. When the ball’s coming past your nose on a fast wicket, it’s never nice,” said Johnson.
“I’m not sure if it’s fear (in the minds of the English batsmen) but I’ll definitely continue to use it, because it definitely worked.”
If England think their two-day tour match in Alice Springs against a Chairman’s XI will be a quiet interlude from the red-hot Ashes series, Michael Beer says they are in for a surprise.
Beer will captain a team of callow youths and battlers grafting on the fringes of their states against England for the match starting on Friday. Beer said his team would also try to land a few verbal blows if it helped soften up the English ahead of the second Test in Adelaide next week.
“Obviously if you’re playing against a cricket side and there’s any way you think to make them uncomfortable, you’ll do it,” Beer told reporters on Thursday.