August 6, 2003

Ganguly: 'Sledging part of modern-day cricket'

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Sunil Gavaskar's speech at the Colin Cowdrey memorial lecture raised the issue of sledging in international cricket, but Sourav Ganguly has played down its importance, calling it a "part of modern-day cricket". In an interview with ESPN-Star Sports, Ganguly said: "I don't totally disagree with Gavaskar, these things happen. There are a bit of words exchanged on the field these days. It happens with every team. But the players have learnt to live with it. It is a minor issue which should not be blown out of proportion."

Ganguly said that he wasn't worried by the Australian team's reputation for sledging, but admitted that the tour to Australia presented a huge challenge to his team. "We know what the conditions will be in Australia, we know what to expect. It is going to be a tough tour. We have to be honest and work really hard and raise our game if we have to compete with them."

India are scheduled to play four Tests in Australia later this season, their first tour to that country since being blanked 0-3 in a Test series in 1999-2000, but Ganguly indicated that he would try to gain some psychological points over Australia when they visit India for a one-day triangular tournament in October. "Obviously, Australia are a great side, but they have not won against us at home."