If sledging was a subject, the Australian cricketers would have been double doctorates. Over the years, they have used this technique to distract and intimidate their opposition players and score a psychological advantage. There have been instances of ugly fights involving Aussies (remember Glenn McGrath-Ramnaresh Sarwan spat) which have earned the former world champions a label of being ‘bullies’.
The cricket fans would remember yesteryear Aussie speedster Merv Hughes. The burly Victorian pacer was known for his lethal bouncers which instilled fear in the minds of batsmen. While they continued to succumb to his vicious pace, Hughes also used sledging as a weapon in his disposal. But Hughes found himself shocked when he was sledged and taunted on the field. The long moustached fast bowler’s troublemaker was none other than Pakistani batsman Javed Miandad.
Few years ago, Hughes during a panel discussion revealed how Miandad called him a ‘fat bus driver’ during a Test match in Adelaide.
“You should be driving buses,” Miandad quipped.
“I beg your pardon,” Hughes recalled saying that.
“You are a bus driver, too fat to be playing cricket.”
Miandad did not stop here and continued to mock Hughes for his physique. After bearing the taunts, the 53-Test veteran decided to get the better of him. Miandad failed to read a rising delivery which touched his gloves and was grabbed by Peter Taylor in the slips. While a distraught Miandad was heading towards the pavilion, Hughes teased him by saying “Tickets please.”
An Australia vs Pakistan contest has always been a heated one with players from both the sides almost coming to blows on numerous occasions. While Hughes was a victim on the above-mentioned occasion, there were instances when he would openly rush to intimidate the Pakistani batsmen. Here’s an incident involving him and Pakistani pace legend Wasim Akram.
Hughes was involved in the famous on-field spat with Michael Atherton during an Ashes Test. Both the players exchanged angry glances when the latter survived a rising delivery from the moustached pacer.
The Aussies gained more notoriety during a Test match in the Caribbean island when Craig McDermott and Merv Hughes tried to unsettle the West Indian batsmen. Just see the video yourself.
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