Cricket fights, anyone?

I recently saw the classic movie Kenner, starring NFL running great Jim Brown.

In one scene he and his side kick are in some Asian country in which people are throwing money around betting–not on cocks–not on Chong Li–but on crickets. Yep. Killer crickets.

Are certain species of crickets cannibalistic, or were these classically trained crickets who were just acting? They seemed to have quite an attitude.

Intuition speaks here, and nothing else, but I wouldn’t think a cricket could be trained…and I don’t believe that they are cannabilistic either.

I have nothing to add but the image of a Laurence Olivier of crickets posturing on stage.

I think I’ll go get a drink now.


Staging cricket fights is an ancient Chinese tradition, as this site on Chinese Cricket Culture attests.

I only opened this thread because I thought it was going to be about excessive sledging.

Me too mate. I wish somebody had warned me. :smiley:

Not having heard this term before, I did a quick web search and get the feeling that sledging is what we know here in the US as “trash-talking”, or maybe “taunting.” It also seems that they’re trying to get rid of it.

But I’m guessing based on context clues. Is that it, or does it also include stuff like breaking one of those funny flat bats over a guy’s head? :smiley:

Reading this made me think of “Enter the Dragon” that I saw for the first time this last week… in it they have Praying Mantises that fight each other and bet on it… So I assume that crickets would be close to the same thing.

Sledging is verbal abuse, usually done by the feilding side for the purpose of intimidating a batsman. In some teams it is encouraged by management while in others it is consided bad form. In International Cricket it seems to be viewed as a way of showing will to win, mostly by teams trying to copy the very sucessful Australian side who are masters at the art of sledging.

As to how sucessful it is, is debatable. Most International batsmen are too focused to let a little verbal effect their game.

Curiously enough, the Sth African term for “sledging” is “chirping”.

Bit of history on the term “sledging” (hey we ARE fighting ignorance here).
In 1973 Ian Chappel’s Australian side toured NZ. Anyone familiar with Aussie cricket will know Chappeli’s boys were very tough and unlikely to take a backward step. They DID make frequent comments though they generally were of the ‘one-liner’ variety and more to entertain teammates than intimidate the batsmen.

Bad blood on this tour - with both the kiwis and the NZ press and locals (see below) - saw the onfield side of things get a bit testy and the comments became more personal and snipey.

One player unhappily described another (through the press) as “subtle as a sledgehammer” and in typical aussie fashion it was shortened to sledge amongst the team. You sledged someone by giving it to him. And the verbal intimidation was born.
As an aside this was also the tour which gave us our first “Ugly Aussies” label for the cricket team. Amusingly it wasn’t for the onfield antics or aggression as many suggest. It was because of the side’s failure to attend a function in a small country town (despite the fact that they tried and were prevented by the weather).

Back on track, I recall reading about cricket fighting as a youth. By “as a youth”, I mean about in third grade, so my information might be suspect. The gist of it though was that male crickets don’t especially like other male crickets a great deal. This, however, isn’t typically enough to make them fight when you toss them into a jar and rattle them around. So, you’d take a tiny piece of straw and wedge it into the joint where the head meets the thorax, and that would give you grumpy cricket. Two grumpy crickets would fight each other; biting with their powerful jaws (manibles, whatever) and kicking one another with their hind legs. Apparently, this was great entertainment to Chinese children who would keep prize crickets in cages made of bamboo. I don’t really say that sarcastically – given that I used to catch bees and wasps and throw them into spider webs to see if the spider would get its bite in before the insect stung or bit the spider, I can’t pass judgement on the youth of China.