Odysseus Patrick writes that despite being the winners of four World Cups in cricket, Australia's reputation is low when it comes to on-field discipline which is marred by bad-mouthing their opponents. He also says that the Aussies have not learnt anything even after Phil Hughes' death.
From The New York Times:
"For a cricketing superpower, Australians have a poor on-field reputation. Mutually respectful competition has been replaced by ugly belligerence. Derogatory, threatening or racist remarks are not only a routine part of the Australian game, they have become a form of psychological warfare used to establish dominance over opponents. The practice is called “sledging,” apparently drawn from the phrase, “as subtle as a sledgehammer.”"
"Last year the Australian team toured South Africa, one of its strongest rivals. The Australians’ abuse on the field was so bad that a South African batsman, Faf du Plessis, said they were like a “pack of wild dogs.” The Australians’ response: to mock du Plessis by barking. “There had been sledging in every game of senior cricket I have played in,” said Matthew Day, a former player for Tasmania State."
"That’s why international athletes exert such a powerful social influence on young people. In Australia, there are few more potent role models for young men than first-class cricketers. For the sake of our boys and girls, it is time to stop celebrating abuse in cricket, or any other sport, and call it out for what it is: boorish behavior that tars the game, demeans its participants and diminishes our societies."
Read the rest here.