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Former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff has revealed that sledging was “10 times worse” 20 years ago.
Flintoff’s comments come after Australia opener David Warner was fined 50 per cent of his match fee for verbally abusing India batsman Rohit Sharma. During the incident, Warner repeatedly told Sharma to “speak English”.
“Twenty years ago, sledging was 10 times worse,” Flintoff 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 – Daryl 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 also noted that players should continue to sledge their opponents, just as long as they know 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,” he said. “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.”