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Ugly Ashes are here to stay

By AAP .
10 December 2013 01:51AM EST

THE ugly Ashes are here to stay with both Australia and England unrepentant about their petulance.

Finger-pointing, name-calling, cursing and even shoulder-brushing are the norm, all in the name of "good, hard Ashes cricket".

Numerous Australian and England cricketers have trotted out that line in defence of this bitter Ashes series.

"You (journalists) can say all you want, but being out there, there was not much being said," Australian paceman Peter Siddle insists.

England batsman Joe Root sang from the same hymn sheet.

"This is Ashes cricket, you'd expect that ... it makes entertaining cricket to watch," he says.

So if you thought Test cricket was the ultimate battle between a bat and a ball, apparently you're mistaken.

Apparently, it's a war of words; of bully-boy banter; a schoolyard staring contest.

Apparently, Mitchell Johnson can't be content to just take English wickets, it's part of the game that he delivers some foul language too.

Apparently, Johnson and Englishman Ben Stokes can literally rub shoulders, but not break the cricket law which prohibits inappropriate physical contact.

Apparently, Stuart Broad and James Anderson can't play with their mouths closed, nor can Michael Clarke.

Apparently, it's "good hard cricket" for Johnson and Broad to walk from the field at the end of a day, all the while continuing their verbal stoush.

"Broady asked Mitch where to go for dinner," says a patronising Siddle.

Apparently, wicketkeepers Matt Prior and Brad Haddin don't just need gloves in their kit bag, they also have to chirp away like one-trick budgies.

And apparently, Shane Watson can't just watch and listen to the sledging. He has to make things worse by offering his two cents worth between overs - as he did frequently in Adelaide.

Cricket is a high-paying job for those in Test arenas. But what other workplace allows bullying and verbal assault?

The antagonists defend themselves by saying this type of stuff has gone on forever.

"There was no more than what we have seen in the history of cricket," Siddle says.

Maybe so. But times change.

And as Test cricket struggles for relevance in the non-Ashes world, it's time for a modern image makeover.

Your view first

Add your comment... Comments (3)
Betty K 10 December 2013 7:33AM

Who wrote this article? It is a load of junk.

SportsNewsFirst 10 December 2013 3:11PM

Steve Larkin from AAP in Adelaide

regular joe 10 December 2013 10:22AM

This is rubbish. Political correctness gone made amd media behaving like rabid dogs in trying to make a story and "drama". Most average people don't care about the sledging and love to see this passion. Get off your high horse mate.