I cannot find Chappelli's reference to sledging in my library. However
for those interested, this is a rough paraphrase of the etymology of this
Just about the time that Ian Chappell had just taken over the captaincy of
Australia, a batsman had been given out, returned to the dressing room and
let fly with the famous expletive f**king etc. which can also be used in
the vernacular to refer to the act or procreation.
Later Chappelli was asked by some media types what the batsman had said.
He responded that it was a word which is like "Percy Sledge's song 'When A
Man Loves A Woman' " referring to a classic rock/soul ballad. Somehow
over the summer it had metamorphosed into someone "doing a Sledge" when
using foul language in the field. In the fullness of time the term Sledge
became associated with any form of verbal attack aimed towards the
I welcome anyone to refine or correct this rough version. Rick Eyre,
When I played, I must admit that I did indulge in a bit of on field
'discussion'. I did not abuse the batsmen so much as make fairly quiet
comments to my team mates which were intended to be overheard by the
batsman and disrupt his concentration. Was I right to do so? Probably
not, but it could be fun at times.
As an Umpire, I did not instantly jump on the slightest evidence of
sledging as some do. However, immediately it got foul, abusive, personal
or disruptive, I would sternly ask the Captain to calm his troops down and
that generally worked. I will not, and have never, tolerated foul or
abusive language on the field as a player, coach or Umpire. Foul or
abusive language has no place in a game I revere.
Once I was asked by a captain just what I as an Umpire would tolerate on
the field. I replied that if he could make me laugh, it's OK. It's not a
funeral service, it's a game and we are supposed to have fun.