Cow Corner

‘Get ready for a broken f****** arm’: How the Ashes turned nasty

Cow Corner

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England captain Alastair Cook branded Australian batsman David Warner "disrespectful" after a tempestuous finale to a hopelessly one-sided first Ashes Test at the Gabba.

Warner described under-pressure England's batsman Jonathan Trott as "weak", which infuriated Cook with a debate about 'respect' ensuing after the final ball of the match.

"The way that Trotty got out today was pretty poor and weak. Obviously there's a weakness there and we're on top of it at the moment," Warner told reporters after day three.

"He's probably worked hard in the nets on the short ball, but trying to face 150 kph short ball from Mitch Johnson the way to go is probably not trying to back away," was Warner's advise to the player who has played 26 more Tests than him.

"I think he's got to get new sledges as well because it's not working for him at the moment," added Warner.

Trott has now left England's Ashes squad due to a pre-existing stress-related illness - coach Andy Flower said Warner's sledging was not responsible for Trott's departure.

[Trott leaves England's Ashes squad with stress]

The volatile batsman's controversial comments came before his captain Michael Clarke was very clearly heard to shout, "Get ready to have your f****** arm broken ... get ready for a ******* broken thumb" at tailender James Anderson.

Put on the spot about his alleged comment to Anderson, Clarke said: "You must have great ears. Through my career, there has always been banter on the cricket field - and I cop as much as I give, that's for sure. That's part and parcel of the game.

"All the England players know we certainly respect them. I've heard a lot worse said on a cricket field than what the Australia players or the England players said throughout this Test match."

The Australia captain went on to say, "It's because both teams want to win so badly. There's a line and both teams shouldn't overstep that line. It's about trying to do whatever you can to help your team have success."

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Cook said he thought the testiness between the two teams was the result of playing back-to-back Ashes series this year, while slamming the Australia batsman for his comments.

"I think the comment by David Warner was pretty disrespectful to any professional cricketer really," Cook said.

"On the pitch it's pretty much a 'war' anyway, so there's always going to be a few battles and a few words. That's the way people want to watch cricket being played - tough, hard cricket. When you play each other for quite a few games in a row the niggles do increase."

Clarke responded by talking about respect - both for the game and for opponents - but the Australia skipper should not have to defend his side's brash approach much as England should not criticise it.

"I think we all respect the game, the traditions the history. Australia versus England has always been competitive no matter which team has won," he said.

"There is not one English player that anyone has a personal vendetta with or anyone disrespect as a cricketer."

The fact is that England cannot complain about receiving 'disrespectful' banter and chat out in the middle because it will only highlight their shortcomings and come across as sour grapes.

Australia won the match fair and square in emphatic fashion and now it is the tourists' job to scrutinise their own conduct in the match rather than reflect on the rights and wrongs of the hosts' approach.

England have it all to do if they are to turn around their fortunes in this Ashes series and Clarke and his team certainly have the upper hand after inflicting a humiliating and chastening defeat.

Ashes series have never been notable for the respect between the two sides, rather for the competitive edge that has distinguished the contest from other match-ups over the years.

England must now focus on how they are going to win back the respect of everyone through their performances on the field during a tour which has got off to the worst start possible.

['Even our WAGs are hotter than yours']

[Australia thrash England by huge margin]

[Party night for jubilant Australia]

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