London: Australian leg-spin legend Shane Warne feels sledging is a legitimate weapon in cricket but said it should not be used to wind up someone like Sachin Tendulkar, who a bowler should rather befriend.
"I do believe that sledging is a legitimate weapon as long as it does not become abusive. Foul language or an aggressive tone are signs of a frustrated player," Warne said.
"I found it an extremely effective tactic against an insecure batsman who could be intimidated. South Africa's Darryl Cullinan springs to mind as a good player who was not confident against Australia, particularly leg spin," he said.
AN ICON: Sachin Tendulkar has scored the most centuries in both Tests and ODIs.
"On the other hand, with Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara, it was better to be friends and make them smile rather than wind them up," he wrote in his column for The Times.
Warne touched upon the issue in the wake of the racism row involving Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds.
"The sledging issue has become topical again after the Harbhajan Singh appeal - even being described as un-Australian by Michael Jeffery, the Governor-General," Warne said.
"I am not in a position to comment specifically on the Harbhajan case, but I do believe that sledging is a legitimate weapon," he said.
Ridiculous to ban those joining ICL
Warne also voiced his support for the Indian Cricket League, saying it was "ridiculous" and "short-sighted" to ban players like Shane Bond for associating with the Essel Group-backed venture.
"I think of the IPL and ICL together in promoting and expanding the game. With that in mind, it is ridiculous that Shane Bond should be banned for taking part in the ICL," Warne, who will be one of the top draws of the Indian Premier League, said.
"It just strikes me as short-sighted that one of the most exciting bowlers in the world is no longer allowed to play for New Zealand. He is one of their best players," he said.
Warne, who agreed to play for the IPL for a hefty sum, said both the tournaments were good for the sport.
"I think this is an incredible time for world, as well as Indian, cricket. The IPL and the Indian Cricket League are not only good for the players, but also for the spectators at the grounds and watching on television," Warne said.
"The Indian venture will pay off for everyone, even the (English) counties. The new leagues in India are providing tremendous opportunities for players and giving cricket more exposure in its biggest marketplace," the leg-spinner added.