The Ashes featuring Australia and England is one of the fiercest cricket rivalries in the world. Both the teams leave no stone unturned to unsettle the opposition. They often have a go at each other trying to establish supremacy. Few of these battles have made for gripping viewing but at times they tend to go overboard too. This rivalry is never short of a verbal barrage.
We look at 5 such epic sledges that the ashes encounters have produced:
#5 Mark Waugh-Jimmy Ormond
Mark Waugh was one of Australia’s key players during their reign at the top. He played a key part in the mental disintegration aspect too. Waugh junior welcomed debutant, Jimmy Ormond to the crease with a taunt.
He quipped, “Mate, what are you doing out here? There’s no way you’re good enough to play for England.” Ormond didn’t shy back, he retorted, “Maybe not, but at least I’m the best player in my own family.” The debutant had the last laugh.
#4 Anderson-Johnson Battle
Mitchell Johnson was all over England in the 2013-14 Ashes series down under. He produced one of the most fearsome spells of bowling to leave the England team in shatters. None of the batters had an answer to Johnson’s hostility. But England did manage to have a small little win against him through James Anderson.
Johnson irked Anderson asking, “Why are you chirping now mate, not getting wickets?”. Anderson immediately responded picking up Ryan Harris’s wicket on the other end. He calmly showcased a symbol asking Johnson to keep quiet!
#3 Ian Healy-Nasser Hussain
Nasser Hussain was one of the respected England captains. Steve Waugh his counterpart knew that it was important to get under his skin to perturb him. When Hussain walked into bat, Waugh asked Ponting to field at silly point. He told Ponting, I want you right under his nose. To which veteran keeper, Ian Healy cheekily quipped, “That could be anywhere inside a 3-mile radius”.
#2 Michael Clarke’s warning to James Anderson
Michael Clarke was a ruthless captain. He too played the game with the spirit of destroying the opposition. The knowledge of players’ welfare was not on his mind back then. In a troublesome phase of sledging, Clarke warned James Anderson to protect his arm. Johnson who was spewing venom didn’t spare lower-order batters. Hence Clarke warned Anderson to be prepared if in case his arm breaks.
#1 Rod Marsh-Ian Botham
Rod Marsh and Ian Botham are considered to be ashes stalwarts. They had epic battles over the years to establish oneupmanship. The duo had no love lost between them and always engaged in cheeky banter.
But the one that takes the cake between these two is the one that took place in the 1982-83 series. Marsh welcomed Botham to the crease with an awkward question saying, “How’s your wife and my kids?”. Botham went one better replying, “The wife is good, but the kids are retarded”.