1. Cricket is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy (Stephen Fry)
2. FOOTBALL offers the world clichés; RUGBY produces facial deformity; HOCKEY provides an acceptable outlet for psychotic violence; CRICKET alone breeds myths... More quotes here.


The Greatest Ever Sledges

Alleged witticisms on cricket pitches (many of these may of course be apocryphal..)

Glenn McGrath & Eddo Brandes: After Brandes played & missed at a McGrath delivery, the Aussie bowler politely enquired:
"Oi, Brandes, why are you so fat?""Cos every time I f**k your wife she gives me a biscuit," Brandes replied
"Daryll, I've waited so long for this moment. I'm going to send you straight back to that leather couch" Shane Warne, to Daryll Cullinan after the South Africa batsman admitted that he'd sought psychological help in dealing with Warne. Cullinan was out for nought and missed the rest of the series
Rod Marsh & Ian Botham: When Botham took guard in an Ashes match, Marsh welcomed him to the wicket with the immortal words: "So how's your wife & my kids?"
Daryll Cullinan & Shane Warne: As Cullinan was on his way to the wicket, Warne told him he had been waiting 2 years for another chance to humiliate him. "Looks like you spent it eating," Cullinan retorted.
Are you going to get out, or do I have to come around the wicket and kill you?" West Indies fast bowler Malcolm Marshall, to Australia's David Boon during a Test in Australia
"Bye-bye love, bye-bye happiness, hello loneliness, I feel I'm going to die ..." Sri Lanka wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara to Nasser Hussain in 2003 amid speculation that Hussain might be on the way out of the England team
"What do you think this is, a f***ing tea party? No you can't have a f***ing glass of water, you can f***ing wait like the rest of us" Allan Border, the Australia captain, to thirsty England batsman Robin Smith during a Test at Trent Bridge in 1989
"Looks like you don't fancy it very much, Depardieu" Shane Warne to burly South Africa all-rounder Brian McMillan. "Listen, a lot of people go missing every day in South Africa and one more won't be noticed. Next time you're in South Africa I will take you fishing and I will use you as bait for the sharks" McMillan's response
"Who's this then? Father bloody Christmas?" Jeff Thomson to David Steele as he walked out on debut in 1975
"Umpire, I'm going round the wicket. Call the ambulance" Yorkshire fast bowler Steve Kirby during a Roses match at Headingley in 2001. Chris Schofield hit the next ball into the West Stand for six
Historic Ashes Quotes - some classics!"A six-foot blond-haired beach bum bowling at 90mph trying to knock your head off and then telling you you're a feeble-minded tosser... where's the problem?" Michael Atherton's view of cricket, toned down for the official website of the Professional Cricketers Association, prior to the 2001 Ashes series
Fred Trueman bowling. The batsman edges and the ball goes to first sip, and right between Raman Subba Row's legs. Fred doesn't say a word. At the end of the over, Row ambles past Trueman and apologises sheepishly. "I should've kept my legs together, Fred". "So should your mother" he replied.
Yet another Australian witticism with this time porky Sri Lankan batsman Arjuna Ranatunga the victim. Shane Warne, trying to tempt the batsman out of his crease mused what it took to get the plump character to get out of his crease and drive. Wicketkeeper Ian Healy piped up,"Put a Mars Bar on a good length. That should do it."
James Ormond had just come out to bat on an ashes tour and was greeted by Mark Waugh....... MW : "F*ck me, look who it is. Mate, what are you doing out here, there's no way you're good enough to play for England" JO : "Maybe not, but at least I'm the best player in my family"
"With the possible exception of Rolf Harris, no other Australian has inflicted more pain and grief on Englishmen since Don Bradman."
The Daily Mirror's Mike Walters reflects on Steve Waugh's retirement
"In my day 58 beers between London and Sydney would have virtually classified you as a teetotaller."Ian Chappell on being informed that David Boon had consumed 58 beers on team flight to England in 1989. Boon claimed that he was afraid of flying
"How anyone can spin a ball the width of Gatting boggles the mind."Martin Johnson, in The Independent, on Shane Warne's ball of the century which bowled Mike Gatting in 1993 . "If it had been a cheese roll, it would never have got past him." Graham Gooch joins the fun
"Hey, hey, hey, hey! I'm f***ing talking to you. Come here, come here, come here, come here...Do that again and you're on the next plane home, son...What was that? You f***ing test me and you'll see." Alan Border, on the same tour, in a mid-pitch exchange with Craig McDermott at Taunton. McDermott asked to bowl at the other end
"I don't want to see you Mr Warner. There are two teams out there; one is trying to play cricket and the other is not."
Bill Woodfull, Australia's captain, to Pelham Warner, the England manager, during the nadir of the Bodyline series at Adelaide
"A cricket tour in Australia would be the most delightful period in your life ... if you were deaf."Harold Larwood England's main fast bowler on the Bodyline tour. He later emigrated to Australia
"Don't give the bastard a drink. Let him die of thirst." Douglas Jardine's favourite piece of barracking from Sydney crowd during Bodyline series, 1932-33
"Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, if Thomson don't get ya, Lillee must." The dominance of Australian fast bowlers Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson, captured in a Sydney Telegraph cartoon caption, 1975
"Come on Brearley, for God's sake! You make Denness look like Don Bradman." Melbourne barracker, not finding Mike Brearley to his tastes, Australia vs England, 1978-9
"England have only three major problems. They can't bat, they can't bowl and they can't field."Martin Johnson's famed assessment in The Independent at the start of England's tour of Australia 1986-7. England's recovery to win the Ashes later led Johnson to remark: "Right quote; wrong team."
"If you're playing against the Australians, you don't walk." Ian Botham, in court during Imran Khan libel action, 1996. Not walking had been suggested as an example of unreliable character
"All the never-say-die qualities of a kamikaze pilot." England's cricketers in the 1990s, as seen by an Australian journalist
"I dunno. Maybe it's that tally-ho lads attitude. You know, there'll always be an England, all that Empire crap they dish out. But I never could cop Poms." Jeff Thomson Australian fast bowler, 1987
"Hell, Gatt, move out of the way, I can't see the stumps." Dennis Lillee, stopping in mid-run at Lilac Hill, treats Mike Gatting to a spot of verbals for old times' sake, opening match of England's 1994-95 Ashes tour
"Tufnell! Can I borrow your brain? I'm building an idiot." One of the funnier Australian barrackers as Phil Tufnell was pilloried by the crowd in Newcastle, Ashes series, 1994-5
"A fart competing with thunder." England in Australia in 1990-91, as assessed by their captain Graham Gooch
"It was the most personal vitriol I have ever, ever received. `You faggot, you ****sucker, you dirty little prick'. This went on all day. I walked off a shattered man" Jamie Brayshaw, of South Australia, describing being sledged by Merv Hughes, the Victoria and Australia fast bowler
Merv Hughes was one of the greatest exponents of the "fine art" of sledging. Once during a tour game in South Africa, Hughes was bowling to Hansie Cronje. It was a flat wicket and Cronje was hitting Hughes for fours and sixes all over the place. "After the umpteenth boundary, Hughes headed down the pitch, stood near Cronje, let out a fart and said: 'Try hitting that for six.' It was five minutes before the guffawing stopped and play could resume.
"You've just dropped the Test, mate" Remark allegedly made by Waugh to Sourav Ganguly when the India captain dropped him at slip during the Calcutta Test of 2001. India went on to win
"Herschelle, you do realise you've just dropped the World Cup, don't you?" Remark allegedly made by Steve Waugh when South Africa's Herschelle Gibbs dropped him during a century at the 1999 World Cup. Australia went on to win the tournament
"Mind the windows, Tino!" Andrew Flintoff to West Indies tailender Tino Best at Lord's in 2004. Moments later Best duly tried to smash the large pavilion windows and was stumped
Keep going Ramps, you know you want to…. Warne to England's Mark Ramprakash. Moments later, Ramprakash charged down the wicket and was stumped
"He snarled at me constantly through his ludicrous moustache. He was all bristle and bullshit and I couldn't make out what he was saying except that every sledge ended with `arsewipe"' Michael Atherton, former England opening batsman, on facing Hughes
During the early years of cricket WG Grace was not a man who enjoyed getting out. On one occasion after about three balls one of his bails was on the ground. His comments as he replaced the bail was along the lines of "Windy out here isn't it Ump!?" "Yes it is," came the reply "hold on to your hat on the way back to the pavilion."
And of course Ian Healy's legendary comment which was picked up by the Channel microphones when Arjuna Ranatunga called for a runner on a particularly hot night during a one dayer inSydney... "You don't get a runner for being an overweight, unfit, fat c**t!!!"
However Robin Smith had the last laugh when Merv Hughes taunted the Hampshire batsman with claims that he couldn't bat. Smith thumped Hughes to the boundary for four and said, "Well Merv, we make a right pair, I can't bat and you can't bowl!"
Yet another Australian witticism with this time porky Sri Lankan batsman Arjuna Ranatunga the victim. Shane Warne, trying to tempt the batsman out of his crease mused what it took to get the plump character to get out of his crease and drive. Wicketkeeper Ian Healy piped up, "Put a Mars Bar on a good length. That should do it."
Graeme Hick, who never mastered top class fast bowling, had been under siege from a barrage of Merv Hughes' bouncers. "What does your husband do when he is not watching you play cricket?" Hughes asked. Hick, already rattled, lost concentration completely and was out the very next ball.
Ricky Ponting & Shaun Pollock: After going past the outside edge with a couple of deliveries, Pollock told Ponting: "It's red, round & weighs about 5 ounces." Unfortunately for Pollock, the next ball was hammered out of the ground. Ponting to Pollock: "you know what it looks like, now go find it."
Alternate suggestion: In a County Championship match Greg Thomas had just beaten the bat of the West Indian legend Viv Richards. "It's red, round & weighs about 5 1/2 ounces," Thomas informed the batsman. Shortly afterwards, Richards hammered the ball out of the ground and responded: "You know what it looks like, now go find it."
"I am not talking to anyone in the British media ... they are all pricks."Allan Border Australia's captain, at a press conference at Hove in 1993
"Who's this four-eyed git? Knock his glasses off" Australian fielder when Geoff Boycott, walked out to bat for England on his Test debut in 1964
Robin Smith & Merv Hughes: During 1989 Lords Test Hughes said to Smith after he played & missed: "You can't f**king bat". Smith to Hughes after he smacked him to the boundary: "Hey Merv, we make a fine pair. I can't f**king bat & you can't f**king bowl."
W G Grace. Charles Kortright had dismissed W G Grace four or five times in a county game - only for the umpires to keep turning down his appeals. Finally, he uprooted two of Grace's three stumps. Grace stalled, as though waiting for a no-ball call or something, before reluctantly walking off with Kortright's words in his ears: "Surely you're not going, doctor? There's still one stump standing."
Merv Hughes & Javed Miandad: During 1991 Adelaide Test, Javed called Merv a fat bus conductor. A few balls latter Merv dismissed Javed: "Tickets please", Merv called out as he ran past the departing batsman.
Merv Hughes & Viv Richards: During a test match in the West Indies, Hughes didn't say a word to Viv, but continued to stare at him after deliveries. "This is my island, my culture. Don't you be staring at me. In my culture we just bowl."
Merv didn't reply, but after he dismissed him he announced to the batsman: "In my culture we just say f**k off."
Matthew Hayden stood for about two minutes telling me that I wasn't f***ing good enough ... `How the f*** are you going to handle Shane Warne when he's bowling in the rough? What the f*** are you going to do?' I hadn't even taken guard yet. He stood there right in my face, repeating it over and over. All I could manage was a shocked, nervous smile. I'd taken a bit of banter before but this was something else. All Warne does is call you a c*** all day ... When he walked past me he said: `You f***ing c***, what are you doing here?' And I remember looking at [umpire] Rudi Koertzen and he just shrugged his shoulders as if to say, `I know it's rough, kid, but that's the way it is' South Africa's Graeme Smith on his first taste of international cricket, against Australia, in 2002 "I could never imagine an Australian player coming out and saying that he was abused on a cricket field. That's just not the way we operate" Australia's Ricky Ponting, reacting to Smith's comments
"Mate, if you turn the bat over, you'll see instructions on the back." Merv Hughes to Graeme Hick after he failed to hit the ball.
"You're s***, Hayden, and so is your chicken casserole." An England fan during the 2005 Ashes series to Matthew Hayden, who had just written a cookery book
"Leave our flies alone, Jardine, they're the only friends you've got." A spectator to despised England captain Douglas Jardine as he swished away a troublesome insect on the 1932-33 Bodyline tour
"The only fellow I've met who fell in love with himself at a young age and has remained faithful ever since."Dennis Lillee on Geoff Boycott
"Count them yourself, you Pommie bastard."Umpire Peter McConnell's response after being asked by Phil Tufnell how many balls remained in the over
"I know why you're batting so badly - you've got some s*** at the end of your bat." Lillee to a young England batsman, who then inspects the toe of his bat only to be told by Lillee: 'Wrong end, mate.'
"Look, I don't mind the others chirping at me but you're just the bus driver of this team." Nasser Hussain to Aussie 12th man Justin Langer, when he tried to join in with his team's sledging
"Wooooooooh. Don't worry, Shane, you can sleep in my bed tonight." Darren Gough to Shane Watson after the Aussie all-rounder slept on Brett Lee's floor because he thought the team hotel was haunted
"Which one of you bastards called this bastard a bastard?" Aussie skipper Bill Woodfull to his side during the 1932-33 Bodyline series, when England captain Douglas Jardine said he was sworn at
"That's anywhere inside a three-mile radius."Aussie Ian Healy after Steve Waugh told Ricky Ponting to field at silly point 'right under Nasser Hussain's nose'
"You got an MBE, right? For scoring seven at The Oval? That's embarrassing." Shane Warne to Paul Collingwood, who was awarded a gong after the 2005 series. He scored seven and 10 in his only match
"It's no good hitting me there, mate, there's nothing to damage." Eccentric England batsman Derek Randall after being hit on the head by a Dennis Lillee bouncer
"Don't bother shutting the gate, you'll be back soon." Legendary fast bowler 'Fiery' Fred Trueman to an unnamed Aussie batsman as he walked down the pavilion steps at Lord's
"When in Rome, dear boy... " Mike Atherton's reaction to Aussie wicketkeeper Ian Healy when told he was a 'f***ing cheat' for failing to walk
I'll get you a piano instead - see if you can play that." Mustachioed Aussie fast bowler Merv Hughes after Graham Gooch played and missed at several deliveries

Gatting and Rana get at it

Shane Warne in Action