02-14-2008, 09:08 PM
India board proposes sledging ban
By Chris Whyatt
Harbajan Singh was alleged to have 'sledged' Andrew Symonds
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is to propose a complete ban on sledging at a meeting with the game's rule-makers next week.
Niranjan Shah, BCCI secretary, told BBC Sport that sledging is damaging the game and that he will raise the issue with the International Cricket Council.
"Sledging is not required in cricket. It's not good for the game," he said.
"Cricket is a gentleman's game, not a contact sport. We don't see why there should be any abusive language at all."
Sledging - the verbal abuse of players - was once defended as a legitimate tactic by former Australia captain Steve Waugh, though he preferred the term "mental disintegration".
India's recent Test series in Australia was marred by controversy after spinner Harbhajan Singh was charged for allegedly racially abusing Australia's Andrew Symonds, though the off-spinner was later cleared at an appeal.
Shah said that any word which was offensive should not be tolerated and that the issue of interpretation caused great problems.
"What is not particularly bad in one country can be very offensive in another," he said.
"It's better just to cut out everything that could remotely cause a problem.
"Our board is unanimous on this and I think the ICC will be receptive to our proposal."
The BBCI will formally make the request at the ICC chief executive committee meeting in Kuala Lumpur.
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