What is sledging in cricket, rules & how to deal with it?

In this article let’s take a look at what sledging is all about and why does it take place in the first place in sports like cricket and football and how you can handle, deal with and overcome the sledging in sports like cricket.

This is the most comprehensive guide you can find online regarding what is sledging and how you can deal with it in cricket and other sports.

So without further ADO let’s get started.

What is sledging & why does it take place in first place?

Sledging is a term used in cricket to describe a devious practice whereby some players seek to gain an advantage by deliberately insulting or verbally intimidating the opposing player. The purpose is to try to weaken the opponent’s concentration, thereby causing them to underperform or be more prone to error.

As you have learnt earlier the main purpose of sledging in cricket and other sports is to distract the players and effect the concentration & focus of players so that others can make mistake and lose their wicket for example in cricket the opponent fielders

sledge the batsmen to force him to react to the words and distract his focus, concentration and force him to make errors and mistakes while hitting cricketing shots so that they can either get caught out in the field or get bowled out.

What are the rules of sledging in cricket?

First of all it is very important to know that sledging is a part of cricket and this is what makes cricket not just a physical game but also mental game between the players.

And when it comes to rules and regulations of sledging in cricket, of course there are rules and regulations which will monitor sledging and bad behaviour of players from ICC code of conduct rules.

Under the ICC regulations, players may be fined a percentage of the salary, banned for number of matches, or even banned for a number of years or life. The ICC appoints a match referee for each Test match, One Day International and Twenty20; the Referee has the power to set penalties for most offences, the exceptions being the more serious ones.

Cricket’s considered to be a gentleman game and the ICC Code of Conduct is part of the ICC’s continuing efforts to maintain the public image, popularity and integrity of cricket by providing: (a) an effective means to deter any participant from conducting themselves improperly on and off the ‘field-of-play’ or in a manner that is contrary to the ‘spirit of cricket’; and (b) a robust disciplinary procedure pursuant to which all matters of improper conduct can be dealt with fairly, with certainty and in an expeditious manner.

As a Batman you can either report to umpire of bad behaviour and sledging from the opponent players and if the sledging goes beyond point of limit from the fielders then umpires can take action or if the umpires notice any bad behaviour and miss code of conduct from fielders towards the opponent players or

from stump mic then they can either charge some fine of x percentage of amount of money the player will earn like 25% from the money he earns in the match after completion of match, the player will also get demerit points due to that offence or even ban the player in the middle of series due to miss code of conduct and bad behaviour on the field if the offence is of a higher level.

For example, Kyle jamieson who is the New Zealand fast bowling allrounder has used some inappropriate language aka sledging towards Yasir shah against Bangladesh in test match for which he was fined a 15% of the match fee and has got one demerit point after the completion of match.

This is where the code of conduct rules of ICC comes into picture in order to make the players stay disciplined on the field & act below the rules and regulations because millions of people watch cricket on the television across the world and many children and youth take inspiration of cricketers in their life so code of conduct rules are very important in cricket match.

The level of punishment the umpires can impose will depend upon the level of offence and for more information you can check out this PDF of all the rules and regulations of code of conduct from ICC by downloading it here.

Now that you know there are bunch of rules and regulations and code of conduct which will monitor sledging but most of the sledging in cricket goes unnoticed and what you can do about it as a cricketer let’s take a look.

How to handle and deal with sledging in cricket?

There are bunch of ways to deal with and handle sledging in cricket and popular methods are mentioned below

Practice doing meditation everyday for at least half an hour

Meditation is by far the best thing you can do to improve your concentration and keep yourself focused during distractions.

You should know that the primary purpose of any fielder, sledging to the opponent batsman is to distract them and make them react so that they can lose their concentration and make some error in the game and lose their wicket.

There are many benefits of meditation such as it not only helps you increase your concentration but also helps you get more mentally tough and it will help you manage and control your emotions more better especially if you are cricketer, and meditation will help you increase your self awareness, self-control and help you stay in present, reduce both mental and physical stress, increase patience creativity and imagination power which are amazing benefits and can change your life significantly as a cricketer.

There are many popular legendary batsman like Virat Kohli Rohit Sharma Justin Langer Ricky ponting and many more batsman do meditation in order to control their emotions and increase their concentration power.

And in my personal experience of doing meditation for more than two years now I have personally witnessed many amazing benefits such as controlling my emotions and thoughts more better now, and all you need to do is to spend at least half an hour everyday either morning or evening depending upon your convenience by sitting at a quiet place and just focus on your breath or you can chant mantras like Om and practice mindfulness and slowly over a period of time like three or four months you will start witnessing the benefits of meditation such as being calm and increasing concentration levels.

By the way you can also take the help of meditation and mindfulness applications like headspace, and buddhify.

Visualization & affirmation

Another thing you can do to deal with sledging as a cricketer is to start visualisation and practice affirmation everyday especially early in the morning and before falling asleep in the night.

Visualisation is a practice of visualising and imagining yourself in middle of the cricket match when opponent players are sledging you and you are being controlled and not getting distracted by the sledges but playing your cricketing shots freely and affirmations are positive sentences you tell to yourself that you are confident and do not get distracted by the sledges of the opponent team.

There are many benefits of both visualisation and affirmations like it will increase your confidence and whatever you say to yourself over a period of time in the form of affirmations, it will become a belief in your subconscious mind and you will act in certain way because of that belief and because of law of attraction all those things that you visualised and spoken to yourself will become true.

There are many top cricketers like Virat Kohli who is the best cricketer at present in all three formats of the game actually spoken about visualisation and said in an interview that he uses visualisation to train his subconscious mind to act in a certain way and it becomes a reality after practicing it over a period of time in his mind and because of this Virat Kohli is such a destructive batsman and has some of the best batting averages as we know today.

Increase your confidence by practising your game a lot in the nets

Another thing you can do to deal with sledging in cricket is to just increase your confidence by practice your skill more in the nets.

It is very important that you have high amount of confidence on yourself and on your game and you should know that sledging is a practice of trying to distract the opponent player and remind him that he is not a good batsman which makes him to do some errors and get distracted & lose his wicket.

Spend time after matches thinking about what went well. Spend time before matches planning how it could go perfectly. When you spend time thinking about all the good things you are doing, you believe in yourself.

How much time you need to spend on this kind of reflection depends on how tough you are on yourself and how many negative thoughts you have about your game

But if you have high amount of confidence and confidence only comes by a lot of practice of the game in the nets and a lot of self reflection and self analysis then irrespective of what others say about you and you’re game, since you have practiced your game quite a lot of time in the nets, you will have so much confidence that you do not care what others say about your game and you won’t get distracted easily because your mind gets tougher and more powerful and when the opponent fielder continuously sledges and you do not reply to him then he will get bored of it and stop sledging you.

Ignore them or confront them if it goes beyond a limit

another way to deal with sledging in cricket is either to ignore them or if it goes beyond a certain limit which quite regularly happens then you can also consider confronting them or address it to the umpire so that he can interrupt the fielder and stop him from sledging to you.

With that said let’s conclude the blog.


I hope you have now understood what sledging is and why does it take place and how you can handle and deal with sledging in sports like cricket and football.

Do comment down what are your thoughts regarding sledging and how do you handle it in the comments section below.

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