Saturday 17 March 2018

Cook fury as 'disrespectful' Aussies rub salt in wounds

Nick Hoult

Alastair Cook said last night that the Ashes series had turned into a "war" after his England side suffered a humiliating 381-run defeat by Australia in a bitterly contested first Test at the Gabba.

As the Australians chased victory yesterday, the stump microphone picked up Australian captain Michael Clarke telling England's last man, James Anderson, to "get ready for a f****** broken thumb" as he prepared to face Mitchell Johnson, forcing umpire Aleem Dar to step in.

In a spell before lunch, Johnson had verbally abused Cook in an attempt to unsettle the England captain as he tried to save the Test.

England have faced aggression at every turn from the moment they set foot in Australia.

It has come from the players on the field, taunts in media interviews and has been taken up by certain sections of the Australian press eager to unsettle the tourists.

David Warner upped the ante when he claimed that England had "scared eyes" facing Johnson and that Jonathan Trott's dismissal was "poor and weak" in the second innings on Saturday.

The kind of behaviour on the field yesterday has endured for generations between England and Australia and Cook accepted it was part of the battle, but he felt some of the comments had gone over the top.

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

"On the pitch it's 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, which on the pitch is fine."

It is very unusual for Cook to be so outspoken, so his comments on Warner are indicative of the anger building within the England dressing-room over the antics of some of the Australian players. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport