Summer Of Cricket
Top Tens Ashes Special
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Top Ten - Ashes sledges

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Oli Burley is ready for some flak after overlooking some classics in his top 10 Ashes sledges

Here at we love a bit of banter so agreeing on our favourite Ashes sledges was never going to be easy. Oli Burley is expecting plenty of mud-slinging after after a few tough selection decisions...

Shane Warne, Australia

"You got an MBE, right? For scoring seven at the Oval? That's embarrassing." Warne couldn't resist a little dig at Paul Collingwood in the final Test of the 2006/07 Ashes after the all-rounder had picked up a gong for being part of England's victorious 2005 squad. It rang true for many including Geoffrey Boycott who was far from impressed with the award, complaining it devalued his own OBE. For the record, Colly contributed 17 at the Oval.

Fred Trueman, England

"Don't bother shutting it, son, you won't be there long enough." It's all in the delivery, as 'Fiery' proved whether bowling or taking the mickey. The paceman couldn't resist this jibe at an incoming Aussie batsman as he trotted through the gate and out onto the hallowed Lord's turf. Self-deprecation is one thing - how often do you hear cricketers say "I'll be back in a minute"? But to be put down by England's premier strike bowler? That must hurt.

Nasser Hussain, England

"Look, I don't mind the others chirping at me but you're just the bus driver of this team. So you get back on the bus and get ready to drive it back to the hotel this evening." Our Nass was in the zone during the 1997 Ashes and not just with the bat as this retort to Justin Langer proved. The diminutive opener was chirping away after entering the fray as a substitute for Jason Gillespie in the first Test at Edgbaston when he got this volley. Nass scored 207 and didn't have to bat again as England won by nine wickets.

Ian Healy, Australia

"Let's have you right under Nasser's nose," quipped wicketkeeper Ian Healey, while placing a fielder several yards away from the bat during a warm-up game between England and Queensland at Cairns on the 1998/99 tour. Good, but probably not Heals' best. "Put a Mars bar on a good length. That should do it," he once said to Shane Warne who was trying to lure Sri Lanka skipper Arjuna Ranatunga out of his crease. Tasty stuff.

Barmy Army

The heady days of 2005 inspired some delicious fare from the Barmy Army but as a put down "You're only good at swimming", heard at the Oval as England headed towards victory in the series probably tops the lot. Only the previous summer an Ian Thorpe-inspired Australia had helped themselves to 15 medals in the pool at Athens, including seven golds, while Great Britain's sum tally was two bronzes - one apiece for Stephen Parry and David Davies. But when it came to defending the Ashes, the Aussies were out of their depth.

Dennis Lillee, Australia

Few, if any, batsmen chuckled when Lillee flew into bowl but anyone capable of walking out to bat with an aluminum bat and keeping a straight face as the ball 'pinged' off it - as Lillee did in 1979 - must have a keen sense of humour. It came to the fore in 1994 during a warm-up match between England and an ACB Chairman's XI, when faced by a rather rotund Mike Gatting, Lillee said: "Move out the way, Gatt. I can't see the stumps". Lillee picked off Mike Atherton and Graeme Hick cheaply in the game while Gatt finished 16no as England won by seven wickets.

Derek Randall, England

The Centenary Test of 1977 was memorable for so many reasons - some appalling batting early on, brilliant fielding and a 45-run margin of victory for Australia that matched that of 100 years previously.

Derek Randall stole the show with a glorious 174 and fortunately had no trouble recalling his innings despite being hit on the head by Lillee. But as he explained at the time,

"It's no good hitting me there, mate, there's nothing to damage".

Bill Voce, England

While we're on the subject of physical pain, the Australians can't say they weren't warned ahead of the 1932/33 series in which England attempted to nullify Don Bradman by deploying 'bodyline' fast bowling tactics. "If we don't beat you, we'll knock your bloody heads off", Voce told Vic Richardson at the start of hostilities. "Well bowled, Harold!" Douglas Jardine reportedly said after Larwood had pummeled Bill Woodfull in the chest during the third Test at Adelaide. No quarter given, then.

Allan Border, Australia

Opponents don't come much tougher than Border, who spent much of the 1989 series with an icy expression on his focused face as he sought to erase the pain of 1985 and 1986/87. Robin Smith gave him the perfect invitation to vent his spleen during the Trent Bridge Test, when the Judge requested some light refreshment while at the crease. "What do you think this is, a tea party?" said Border. "No you can't have a glass of water. You can wait like all the rest of us." How times have changed!

Robin Smith, England

Smith was a popular fellow in 1989, it seems. At Lord's Hughes became increasingly irate as Smithy played and missed at a few, prompting the mustachioed bowler to suggest the Judge couldn't bat. Smith responded by clattering Hughes to the boundary and replying: "Hey Merv, we make a fine pair. I can't bat & you can't bowl." Take that and party. Talking of knees-ups, Hughes once said to Athers "I'll bowl you a piano. Let's see if you can play that." Sharp.

Comments (4)

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Gary Webb says...

shane warne calling ian bell "THE SHERMINATOR"classic

Posted 19:20 31st July 2009

Joe Pateman says...

Mark Waugh to James Ormond: "Well, look who it is. Mate, what are you doing out here? There's no way you're good enough to play for England." Ormond's response? "Maybe not, but at least I'm the best player in my family..."

Posted 15:51 7th July 2009

Mark Higgins says...

No mention of the finest retort in the history of the game? Rod Marsh says to Botham "So how is your wife and my kids?" Botham replies "Wife's fine, kids are retarded." Quality!

Posted 22:50 2nd July 2009

Alan Bull says...

Oh come on!! You missed the best of the lot, to Tuffers: "lend me your brain i'm building an idiot" Yeesh.

Posted 19:30 30th June 2009

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