Acceptable in the noughties – sledging good, smoking bad?

How attitudes have changed.

Two incidents from a game last weekend – one sledge, one health related.

The sledge was actually quite tame, by the standards of what often passes between teams these days, but it certainly wasn’t respectful of the opposition – the sort of thing that you might share with a batting partner, perhaps, but not for the whole fielding side to hear. But the “culprit” genuinely did not see that he had done anything wrong. He saw it not as disrespectful, rather a challenge – let’s see if you can stop me slapping the ball to all parts. And he saw nothing wrong with making that challenge verbally.

After the game, one of our other younger players was clearly non-plussed by the opposing team, many of whom spent the time waiting to bat smoking. The fact that one of the team was even smoking when he was scoring clearly caused even greater consternation! Clearly, for this young player, smoking at a cricket match was more shocking than any amount of sledging, humorous or abusive.