Warning over effect of sledging in cricket. The British Psychological Society

There is always intense rivalry when the England and Australia cricket teams play each other in the Ashes, but one expert has warned that this could be bubbling over into something far more serious and damaging.

Steven Sylvester, a Chartered Psychologist who once played first class cricket for Middlesex, said the stress and tension being displayed in the run-up to tonight’s Adelaide Test Match suggest that the fun of the game is evaporating.

Indeed, this series has already seen Australia Captain Michael Clarke warn an opponent to “get ready for a broken arm”, while Jonathan Trott has been forced to go home with a stress-related illness.

Both sides have vowed to continue the war of words that is ‘sledging’, but Mr Sylvester warns that this could mean the players are feeling out of control because of the stress of it all, such is the demand to win.

“Sledging doesn’t come from a healthy place. We shouldn’t be drawn into this battle,” he warned, suggesting the teams should abandon their ‘win at all costs’ mentality and think instead about the legacy they wish to leave for the cricketers of the future.

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