Former England all-rounder Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff has labelled South African Daryll Cullinan’s sledging as ‘the worst I have seen’.
International Cricket Council boss David Richardson has issued a warning in light of Australia’s David Warner’s latest on-field spat – where he told India’s Rohit Sharma to ‘speak English’ – saying the world body will come down hard on players who verbally abused their opponents at the upcoming ICC World Cup.
Warner has come under fire for repeatedly asked his rival to ‘speak English. However, Flintoff – fresh from his Big Bash League stint with Brisbane Heat – believed today’s on-field banter paled into insignificance to his baptism of fire.
‘Twenty years ago, sledging was 10 times worse,’ he told BBC Sport. ‘Now, with stump microphones and cameras all over, everything gets picked up.
‘One of the first Test matches I played against South Africa, there was one fella … he was the worst I have ever come across – Daryll Cullinan. ‘He was horrible. I was only young … the words he called me, I didn’t even know what they meant.
‘He just went at me and I don’t think there’s any place for that in any sport or any society.’
Flintoff -said there was a place for backchat but hoped the likes of Warner knew where to draw the line.
‘I don’t mind the odd chirp – Adam Gilchrist was fantastic at it because he’d do enough to put you off but not enough to upset you. Shane Warne was similar.
‘It seems you can walk onto the field, say anything you want about somebody and then walk off and forget about it. You wouldn’t walk into somebody’s office and let rip at them for 10 minutes and then go for a cup of tea.
‘As people you know the difference – you know right from wrong,’ Flintoff added.