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Difficult to wipe out sledging: Atapattu

New Delhi, Mar 24 (UNI) Former Sri Lanka captain Marvan Atapattu and retired Kiwi all-rounder Chris Harris today said sledging will remain an integral part of international cricket despite the best efforts of the ICC and the BCCI.

''Even when we played India or Pakistan, this kind of chit-chat happened,'' Atapattu told newspersons here. ''We would target an individual and say something to him to see if that affects him. But once we came out of the ground, everything stayed behind.'' ''I'm not encouraging it, but the thing is you can't wipe it out,'' he added.

According to Atapattu, sledging is as old as cricket itself and though the line had been overstepped on quite a few occasions in the recent India-Australia series, it was not the first time that the game has witnessed such incidents.

The 37-year-old criticised the exclusion of Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid from the Indian one-day side.

According to him, senior players of such stature and experience should not have been dropped all of a sudden. Instead, the selectors should have been proactive in notifying them about their future plans.

''I always believed that there should be a nice blend of youth and experience in any team. But dropping cricketers like Sourav and Rahul all of a sudden is not right,'' Atapattu said.

''If I had been in their place I would have been disappointed,'' he added. ''You should treat your senior players with a lot of respect and dignity.'' UNI AB PK KN2026

Story first published: Monday, March 24, 2008, 21:03 [IST]
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