The other thing that doesn't get mentioned a great deal, certainly not by the authorities of the sport, is the amount of banter that goes on out at the wicket between players.
Called sledging, its an effort to put the opposition off their game and destroy their concentration. And some of them are classics. My favourites include:
James Ormond and Mark Waugh
Waugh: "Mate, what are you doing out here? There’s no way you’re good enough to play for England."
Ormond: "Maybe not, but at least I’m the best player in my own family" in reference to Waugh’s older brother Steve who was captain of the Australian team.
Ian Botham and Rod Marsh
Marsh: "How’s your wife and my kids?"
Botham: "wife is fine, kids are retarded."
Mike Atherton and Ian Healy
Playing his first tour in Australia, Atherton had just survived an wicket appeal that Healy thought should've been given. The etiquette in cricket is if you are think you are out you don't wait for the decision, you walk off. In international competitive matches its not really done much, but it is in the spirit of the game, so not to walk is a sometimes controversial decision.
Healy: "You’re a fucking cheat"
Atherton: "When in Rome, dear boy…"
Glen McGrath and Eddo Brandes
McGrath: "Why are you so fat?"
Brandes: "Because every time I fuck your wife, she gives me a biscuit."
Daryll Cullinan and Shane Warne
Warne: "I've been waiting 2 years for another chance to humiliate you."
Cullinan: "Looks like you spent it eating."
Dennis Lilllee and everyone.
Dennis Lillee had a sledge that he employed against many batsmen during his long cricket career.
"I can see why you are batting so badly, you’ve got some shit on the end of your bat"
At this point the batsman would usually flip his bat over and examine the end, to which Lillee would respond
"Wrong end mate"