The Best Sledging Moments Of All Time

20/11/2015 7:39 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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Australia's Glenn McGrath watches as England's Captain Michael Atherton, left, adds runs to England's score during morning play in the second day of the fourth test match at Headingley, Leeds Friday July 25 1997.(AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

A dog coaching the Australian cricket team? According to Michael Clarke, his dog could have done a better job than former national coach John Buchanan.

This is the latest slur to emerge in the ugly but apparently mesmerising world of sledges in sport -- now aimed just as ruthlessly off the field as on.

Of course Clarke could just be implying he has one very smart pooch.

Sledging seems to be nothing more than a direct and, more often than not, nasty tactic in the modern sporting era -- where it was once considered an artform -- with a fine line between sledges and outright insults, some of today's protagonists could learn a lesson or two from the great sledgers.

Muhammad Ali, arguably the greatest sledger of all time becoming known as the 'Louisville Lip', said before one of his famous bouts: "Joe Frazier is so ugly that when he cries, the tears turn around and go down the back of his head".

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Nice one! Certainly beats a straight out "my mate banged your girlfriend" jibe -- thank you Mr Krygios.

Cricket being a gentleman's game, the art of sledging has always been in the subtlety of wit and sting in equal measure.

England paceman Fred Trueman once told an Australian batsman coming on to the field “Don’t bother shutting the gate, son, you’ll be back soon.”

Or Glenn McGrath with a simple yet classic taunt that required consideration by its target -- England captain Michael Atherton -- "Athers, it would help if you got rid of the s*** at the end of your bat.”

(Atherton looks at the bottom of his bat).

“No, mate, at the other end," said McGrath.

Some players were just blessed with the knack of a well honed suggestion, like Australian bowler and all-round character of cricket Merv Hughes: “If you turn the bat over there’s instructions on the back.”

merv hughes australian bowler

While Michael Clarke can target his former team mates and mentors with pouty barbs, perhaps the best course is to leave the verbal thrust and parry of a well aimed sledge to the field of play; otherwise it ends up sounding a little like sour grapes spat out by a petulant teen who has taken his bat and gone home.

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