The Ashes 2013-14 November 26, 2013

Lehmann rejects sledging summit

88

Australia's coach Darren Lehmann has rejected suggestions of talks with England to set boundaries for acceptable sledging during the Ashes series. His comments arrived the day after his counterpart Andy Flower said he would seriously consider a meeting in the aftermath of a heated Brisbane Test and Jonathan Trott's withdrawal from the tour.

While insisting it had nothing to do with Trott's departure due to a stress-related illness, England were unhappy about Australian batsman David Warner's public description of Trott's dismissals as "pretty weak".

Flower stressed the importance of "playing the game of cricket on the pitch" at the same time he expressed hope that Trott's exit would not become grist for the Ashes banter mill that chugged away incessantly at the Gabba.

"I'll have a think about it," Flower said at the press conference where Trott's departure was announced when asked if talks with Lehmann were necessary. "I think both sides must concentrate on playing the game of cricket on the pitch. In a competitive way but finding the right balance.

"I don't think Trott should be raised on the pitch. We're there to play cricket. A balance has got to be found on the pitch between competitiveness and not overstepping the line."

But Lehmann was not prepared to entertain thoughts of a meeting, saying that while he wished Trott well in his recovery, Flower's team had offered plenty to say to his players in Brisbane and also during the earlier Ashes encounter in England. Australia's players feel their aggressive attitude in the first Test had contributed to their victory and Lehmann seemed in no mood to dilute it.

"From my point of view, Andy looks after his side and I look after my side, that's what you do in the game of cricket. I played cricket with Andy at South Australia, I talk to him all the time, but at the end of the day, he's in control of the England cricket team and we've got to try and get the Ashes back,'' Lehmann said on the Adelaide radio station 5AA. "Trott has gone home and we hope he gets well soon. We do care about that but we're still going to play really hard cricket."

Warner avoided a sanction by both the ICC and Cricket Australia for his comments but has been counselled about his words by Lehmann and team management. He withdrew from a scheduled radio commitment in Sydney on Tuesday and his media appearances are expected to be minimal for the rest of the series.

The tourists were far less perturbed about Michael Clarke's threatening on-field words to conclude a confrontation between James Anderson and George Bailey in the final minutes of the first Test, even though their inadvertent broadcast by Channel Nine drew an ICC fine for Australia's captain.

"I was happy that 'Bails' gave him a bit back, that's part and parcel of the game. They're all grown men out there, they will work it out,'' Lehmann said. "I just know we copped a lot in England and we didn't shy away from that. That's what happens when you go away, so I don't see what the difference is from England to here. We're on the other end of it, that's just the way it goes. Both teams play hard and as long as it stays on the field I'm happy with that."

James Sutherland, the CA chief executive, has meanwhile offered his own message of support to Trott. "All the staff, management and players at Cricket Australia wish Jonathan Trott well," he said. "We hope to see him fit and healthy and back on the cricket field soon."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • fayyaz03 on November 29, 2013, 11:28 GMT

    Sledging or no sledging. England will bounce back. They are tough cricketers. A little lesser than this series but there was great amount of pressure on england when the lost the first test against India in their last visit. But they ended up winning the test series. On paper they are a better batting side and experienced bowling unit.

  • willsrustynuts on November 29, 2013, 9:12 GMT

    Would you expect anything else from the coach? This team is being built in his image...not a BRAND of cricket I am interested in watching.

  • yoogi on November 28, 2013, 7:03 GMT

    Well ok, I dont think anyone hesitates to call indians fast track bullies or minnows in pacy tracks. That doesnt mean playing with the minds of indians. I am sorry for trott, but the opposition got every right to say that he feared even if it is not that way. They are right in trying to intimidate him on and off the pitch. You might say to bhuvi kumar that he bowls quick spinners, and if it hurts him in a way that it shows in his bowling, then that is good for you. Whats wrong with that? The only way trott could have continued is to continue to play and score a half century in the next game to silence the critics. Not time off the game.

  • Biggus on November 28, 2013, 5:40 GMT

    @coyknobby:-The Windies bowled a lot more short stuff than Johnson in their day, and it's not Bodyline without a leg side umbrella field, the reason being that no more than two behind square on the leg side allows batsmen who are good enough to score freely. That the English were not good enough to do so does not perforce make it Bodyline, any more so than the delivery from Bob Willis that broke Rick McCosker's jaw in the Centenary Test. Neither qualifies as such.

  • mravikiran on November 28, 2013, 4:53 GMT

    Winning "Ashes" should not be a result of "burning bridges".

  • Chris_P on November 27, 2013, 23:10 GMT

    @jmcilhinney. In answer to your question, Anderson complained to the umpires, who weren't really in a giant rush to respond given his history.

  • on November 27, 2013, 19:21 GMT

    It's a big boys game, if sledging a batsman out is an effective tactic then it should be employed, just as you'd exploit technical weaknesses in batsman's game. Playing the game at the highest level requires the complete package, mental and physical strength, so players need to be able to withstand the vigorous attacks in both of these realms. All the sledging in the world is irrelevant if you can't back it up with good cricket, which is exactly what the Aussies are doing right now, so England need to fight back with their own performances if they are to render the Australian verbal assaults impotent, rather than having silly talks about something that's part of the game as much as bouncers or aggression.

  • RagTagTeam on November 27, 2013, 13:47 GMT

    @coyknobby I fail to see how this was anything like bodyline. If you look at the groupings of the balls bowled, it was largely (a lot more than 60%) around the stumps. It's just that the shorter balls were getting a lot of the wickets and highlights time, but that's not surprising. The only "demon" in this pitch was pace and bounce... The ICC either need to ban all sledging and fine everyone who does it or not fine anyone. Why don't they concentrate on things that actually affect the game, like over rates, ridiculous drinks breaks and tying your shoes laces entirely to waste time.

  • on November 27, 2013, 12:50 GMT

    @Greatest Game, have you forgotten that Lara also scored a 4th inning century against warne

  • jmcilhinney on November 27, 2013, 12:41 GMT

    @Chris_P on (November 27, 2013, 8:59 GMT), where exactly has Anderson complained about anything? Anderson hasn't said a word about what Clarke said to him. This has become a big issue for two reasons: Clarke was caught on the stump mic and Trott has bee revealed to have been suffering from anxiety or depression or the like and has had to quit the tour. Despite what you and others seem to want to believe, England haven't complained at all about what Clarke said. Any issues that England have had are related to comments made about Trott specifically and then only because he has a specific illness. If Trott was well but just out of form then we wouldn't have heard a word from England at all. Any whinging is coming from fans, not the team.

  • fayyaz03 on November 29, 2013, 11:28 GMT

    Sledging or no sledging. England will bounce back. They are tough cricketers. A little lesser than this series but there was great amount of pressure on england when the lost the first test against India in their last visit. But they ended up winning the test series. On paper they are a better batting side and experienced bowling unit.

  • willsrustynuts on November 29, 2013, 9:12 GMT

    Would you expect anything else from the coach? This team is being built in his image...not a BRAND of cricket I am interested in watching.

  • yoogi on November 28, 2013, 7:03 GMT

    Well ok, I dont think anyone hesitates to call indians fast track bullies or minnows in pacy tracks. That doesnt mean playing with the minds of indians. I am sorry for trott, but the opposition got every right to say that he feared even if it is not that way. They are right in trying to intimidate him on and off the pitch. You might say to bhuvi kumar that he bowls quick spinners, and if it hurts him in a way that it shows in his bowling, then that is good for you. Whats wrong with that? The only way trott could have continued is to continue to play and score a half century in the next game to silence the critics. Not time off the game.

  • Biggus on November 28, 2013, 5:40 GMT

    @coyknobby:-The Windies bowled a lot more short stuff than Johnson in their day, and it's not Bodyline without a leg side umbrella field, the reason being that no more than two behind square on the leg side allows batsmen who are good enough to score freely. That the English were not good enough to do so does not perforce make it Bodyline, any more so than the delivery from Bob Willis that broke Rick McCosker's jaw in the Centenary Test. Neither qualifies as such.

  • mravikiran on November 28, 2013, 4:53 GMT

    Winning "Ashes" should not be a result of "burning bridges".

  • Chris_P on November 27, 2013, 23:10 GMT

    @jmcilhinney. In answer to your question, Anderson complained to the umpires, who weren't really in a giant rush to respond given his history.

  • on November 27, 2013, 19:21 GMT

    It's a big boys game, if sledging a batsman out is an effective tactic then it should be employed, just as you'd exploit technical weaknesses in batsman's game. Playing the game at the highest level requires the complete package, mental and physical strength, so players need to be able to withstand the vigorous attacks in both of these realms. All the sledging in the world is irrelevant if you can't back it up with good cricket, which is exactly what the Aussies are doing right now, so England need to fight back with their own performances if they are to render the Australian verbal assaults impotent, rather than having silly talks about something that's part of the game as much as bouncers or aggression.

  • RagTagTeam on November 27, 2013, 13:47 GMT

    @coyknobby I fail to see how this was anything like bodyline. If you look at the groupings of the balls bowled, it was largely (a lot more than 60%) around the stumps. It's just that the shorter balls were getting a lot of the wickets and highlights time, but that's not surprising. The only "demon" in this pitch was pace and bounce... The ICC either need to ban all sledging and fine everyone who does it or not fine anyone. Why don't they concentrate on things that actually affect the game, like over rates, ridiculous drinks breaks and tying your shoes laces entirely to waste time.

  • on November 27, 2013, 12:50 GMT

    @Greatest Game, have you forgotten that Lara also scored a 4th inning century against warne

  • jmcilhinney on November 27, 2013, 12:41 GMT

    @Chris_P on (November 27, 2013, 8:59 GMT), where exactly has Anderson complained about anything? Anderson hasn't said a word about what Clarke said to him. This has become a big issue for two reasons: Clarke was caught on the stump mic and Trott has bee revealed to have been suffering from anxiety or depression or the like and has had to quit the tour. Despite what you and others seem to want to believe, England haven't complained at all about what Clarke said. Any issues that England have had are related to comments made about Trott specifically and then only because he has a specific illness. If Trott was well but just out of form then we wouldn't have heard a word from England at all. Any whinging is coming from fans, not the team.

  • Smahuta on November 27, 2013, 11:04 GMT

    @Meety - I think he is trying to say the the best way to deal with sledging is to ignore it completely. That Aus team dominated everyone they played not because of their sledging but because they were a bloody good side. Now this team needs to sledge even more because they are pretty average and need every advantage they can get. We will see how far it takes them when Mitchell Johnson starts to spray it all over the place again as we know he will. After that , all you got to so is get clarke out early and that's an innings win for England because the rest of the team can hardly hold bat between themselves.

  • DaisonGarvasis on November 27, 2013, 10:32 GMT

    Yeah, when England wins they can chat and talk - you should all take it coz they are just having fun. But if they lose, dont say anything coz that's morally not right.

  • Vic010 on November 27, 2013, 9:37 GMT

    In my opinion sledging is fine as long as you don't personal / racist etc. I only hope the Ozzies don't mention Trott though. Now that would be low. @Chris_P of course KP won't moan about sledging - guess where he was brought up!!! We all know Saffas don't mind a word either...

  • Chris_P on November 27, 2013, 8:59 GMT

    @Meety. Good to see you back. Had a great few days at the Gabbatoir! Now I got an idea why we lose state of origin matches up there, their crowds are brutal! Very enjoyable, lots of plusses for us, a few problems still there but overall, very satisfying. Anderson went down in my books big time. Him complaining after being England's serial sledger for the past 4 years was a bit rich. Poor form, Jimmy, man up! You would never see KP complain.

  • VivGilchrist on November 27, 2013, 8:47 GMT

    This is only a problem because England are whinging about it. They were dishing it out to the Aussies back home (especially Anderson), but because we didn't sook about it, it wasn't a problem. The shoes on the other foot and Wow! Look at the outrage! Also let's not forget the crowds and the media. Now because it's there turn to be on the receiving end the take the moral high ground. Bravo England, Bravo.

  • coyknobby on November 27, 2013, 8:44 GMT

    Jimmy may well be, as the the Aussies claim the seldger in chief but we have not been exposed to it on the stump microphones. He has never been caught threatening an opponent with physical harm nor indeed using language such as Mr Clarke enjoys. That being said nobody can be as naive as to assume it hasn't taken place. It has been eighty odd years that we have listened to the Aussie moans over the Bodyline series. This first test was as close as the Aussies "legally" come to revenge for the percieved injustice of leg theory. They fielded the maximum number of players they could behind leg. They bowled short at the player and almost without exception on the leg stump line. They attacked tail end batsman with intimidatory bowliing and revelled in the feral nature of their teammates. Bodyline was to combat the best batsman of all time and in a backhanded way was a compliment to him. Larwood and co were open in what they wanted to achieve. This is Bodyline, just hiding behind the rules.

  • Meety on November 27, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    @ Greatest_Game on (November 27, 2013, 7:09 GMT) "...The sledging only frustrated the Aussies..." - yep, frustrated to nearly 15yrs of dominance over the Saffas! Winning anything that mattered & the Saffas have often been described as chocolates? no - umm jokers, no - oh that's right - CHOKERS! LOL! == == == @jmcilhinney on (November 27, 2013, 4:28 GMT) - Andersons reputation is in tatters, he is the master of sledging a batsmen with his hand over his mouth so TVs can't show what he says.

  • Greatest_Game on November 27, 2013, 7:09 GMT

    Sledging is useful only if it gets a response, but can backfire as Aus found out in 97. Jacques Kallis, in his 7th test, scored his maiden century in the 4th innings as SA batted out 122 overs to save the 1st test. The fielders went hard at this kid on his 1st Aus tour, but he neither acknowledged nor even looked at them as he ground out 101 in 6 hours & 279 balls.

    Hours of fruitless sledging got to Greg Blewett & he (allegedly) broke & yelled "What's wrong with you, mate? Are you deaf?" Wisden does report that Kallis had "an indifference to the sledging of the close fielders that left them wondering if he was deaf."

    That did it. The Aussies went quiet, & he followed Miandad as only the 2nd batsman to score a century against Shane Warne in a 4th innings.

    The sledging only frustrated the Aussies, built confidence in a youngster, & made his reputation as sledgeproof, ultimately neutralising the tactic when he bats. Those who do try soon give up. They know the story.

  • on November 27, 2013, 7:00 GMT

    The England team and supporters should be the last to complain about sledging. The England team invented it although the Australian team mastered it. The English supporters lead by the Barmy Army sing about opposition players and nothing is sacred whether it be a medical condition or how your girlfriend and your mum don't get along. They pride themselves on unsettling opponents and putting them off their game. Suck it up.

  • on November 27, 2013, 6:26 GMT

    That's right capt. Harry, blame the Aussies. Sledging only comes into the game when the side is winning or has the upper hand. Something Australia hasn't had for a while. Anderson has been England's chief sledger over the past few years but it appears he can give it out but can't take it. They are playing international cricket and things will always get heated, that's just par for the course.

  • Aviator003 on November 27, 2013, 6:25 GMT

    Man up England. If there are 2 constants through out Andy's tenure - preparation and trying to control. If anything is out of expected - cry!

  • Mitty2 on November 27, 2013, 6:01 GMT

    @greatest_game, but this game there's no silve lining. No big Cook century in the last innings to give confidence. This loss is far more demoralising than the one in Ahmebad. Eng will not win the Ashes with a certain loss coming in Perth.

  • on November 27, 2013, 5:45 GMT

    toothless governing body allowing individuals to deface the great game. sledging, an unfortunate reality of a great game. why don't they allow guns and canons to just finish the opposition for good, afterall words are like stones, that injured a person more than a batsman.

  • Greatest_Game on November 27, 2013, 5:05 GMT

    @ Naveed Khan is sure that "England is on the back foot. They have lost the Ashes, whether it would be contest or not, that is the debate."

    Just over a year ago a lot of comments like Naveed's were being made. Many posters said the same thing after England received a 9 wicket thrashing at Ahnedabad, & the schadenfreude was bubbling over on the sc. Then to the rescue came Monty, & in Mumbai he & Swann ran merrily thru India after Cook & KP, in THAT innings, turned the series on it's head, fittingly on a rank turner. That was exactly 1 year ago, to the day!

    After that, the debate was whether India could make it a contest? Sadly, India failed the real test, facing spin on the sub-continent, & Eng's remarkable spin turnaround, after being whitewashed by Pak, was complete.

    Eng are not the same team they were before Pak set them down, and SA stole all their silverware, but they are still a force, & Aus is still very fragile - saved by the tail in inngs 1!

    It has only just begun, Naveed

  • jmcilhinney on November 27, 2013, 4:28 GMT

    The idea of a meeting to set ground rules seems a bit silly to me. The rules are set by the ICC and enforced by the umpires. It would be rather classless of the Aussies to bring up Trott's issues as a way to get under the England players' skin but it's up to the umpires to decide what is acceptable and enforce it. I don't like what Clarke said but I'm no naive enough to believe that other players from all countries haven't said similar. If Clarke was defending Bailey because of what Anderson said to him, what did Bailey say to Anderson before that? Where does it end. Lehmann says that Australia won't stop playing aggressive cricket but sledging is not playing aggressive cricket; it's sledging. Does he mean that it's not possible to play a game aggressively without verbally abusing the opposition? I think that all players who engage in it make themselves look like fools, so there's a lot of foolish looking players.

  • sray23 on November 27, 2013, 3:59 GMT

    I think it is bad taste if Aus bring up Trott in the 2nd test, but at the same time, this is test cricket. If Aus bring it up, it's up to Eng to give it back. A bit of heat in battle and controversy is just what cricket needs to keep fans interested. These are quite boring times of flat pitches, petty boardroom politics, meaningless ODI/T20 cricket flooding the calendar and mostly medium pace bowling. A bit of niggle will do no harm to inject some passion. Bring it on!!

  • on November 27, 2013, 3:31 GMT

    Clarke is guilty of more than just sledging. We are talking about a number 11 being threatened with bodily harm. It would be unfair to compare the current crop of the aussies with the generations past. Steve Waugh, Glenn Mcgrath etc targetted the top opposition batsmen and not the tailenders. The class of yesteryears has been replaced by the crass of the current crop.

  • Shaggy076 on November 27, 2013, 2:46 GMT

    Flower can start by giving Jimmy Anderson the same critisism as he has given Warner for, his off the field sledging in his book. Then we may know he is serious at the moment it appears he is happy with English sledgingand only wants to put an end to the Aussie giving it back.

  • Capt.Harry on November 27, 2013, 2:32 GMT

    It is time something be done about those arrogant Australian cricketers. Every time things don't go their way they resort to sledging. I thought Clarke would be a different captain but I guess I was wrong.. cricket is a gentleman's game and the match referees must step in and fine the verbal abusers heavily.Anyhow you take it Australia has always used this as part of their armory to discredit the opposition to gain some silly mental advantage. I say if they are not punished by the respective authorities then stand up to them and give them back a heavy dose of their own poison. I have never supported Australia and I never will until they change that horrible attitude.Right for you Trotty. They have lost 3 ashes in a row and are becoming desperate .No game/sport is worth playing if sledging is allowed .Part of the game my foot !!!!!!

  • Gauss on November 27, 2013, 2:18 GMT

    Wonder if England would agree to a summit on time-wasting?

  • Kernas on November 27, 2013, 2:06 GMT

    Clarke was only pointing out that if Anderson was going to defend the short ball, by turning and presenting an arm, he'll get his arm broken. Anderson would really have had something to cry about then!

  • Insult_2_Injury on November 27, 2013, 2:04 GMT

    How laughable has this whole thing become? Discussions between coaches to nut out acceptable levels of sledging! Here's a thought; how about England just harden up and cop it, just like Australia did in England? Would we have heard a thing about this if the microphone didn't pick up Clarkes' comments? Would Flower have been looking for another angle to distract Australia's focus? Would Flower & Cook have been looking at something equally meaningless to get the Aussie media to target the Aussies rather than the insipid performance of the 'gun Ashes holders"? Just accept this the same way the world did when WG Grace invented sledging; let the players respond AND leave it on the field.

  • Adoh on November 27, 2013, 1:58 GMT

    I think sledging is fine so long as it is witty or intelligent. Brash abuse or threats are neither intelligent nor funny, and I do not consider these sledging.

  • chechong0114 on November 27, 2013, 1:41 GMT

    jw76 have u ever watched major league baseball, just to answer your question.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on November 27, 2013, 1:19 GMT

    @FFLAGW, sledging has been going on since the days of WG Grace. How dare these cricketers behave like thugs with their f words and intimidating posturing when millions of little children are looking up to them across the globe! Ridiculous to suggest that this kind of boorishness is acceptable.

  • hmmmmm... on November 27, 2013, 1:14 GMT

    This is all media beat up - Flower never asked Lehmann and Lehmann is saying there is no need. The only people proposing a conversation (and now giving it a headline ready title,) are journalists. Let's talk about the cricket and get ready for what is now set up as a competitive and exciting series.

  • Moutarde on November 27, 2013, 1:08 GMT

    I don't see Flower asking for a summit anywhere?

  • Joll on November 27, 2013, 1:07 GMT

    Why is sledging fine? Why is it acceptable? You don't see Tiger Woods sledging Phil Mickelson on the golf course, or Nadal sledging Federer on the tennis court, so why is it acceptable in cricket? Sledging, basically, is openly abusing your opponent in the hope it will put him off his game. How truly sporting!

    Easy way to cure sledging is for the umpires to report it to the match referee and the player involved is then automatically banned from the next match. If 3 players are involved, all 3 are banned from the next match. If a player has "form", he is banned for 2 or more matches. Overnight, sledging is eradicated and the game returns to being a genuine sporting contest, not a war of abusive words.

  • OneEyedAussie on November 27, 2013, 0:47 GMT

    This highlights a disparity in culture. When Johnson was openly mocked by the English players, press and crowds in an attempt to psychologically destroy him and ruin his career, the response from Australia was that he needed to harden up and find a way to deal with it. We dropped him. He came back better. We didn't ask for mercy because we knew we were owed none and none would be given. If Johnson had have left the tour in 2009 do you think he would have received the graceful comments from the English that Trott has received from Australians? I very strongly doubt it. This what makes Flower's "consideration" of a sledging summit so tastily hypocritical.

  • dunger.bob on November 27, 2013, 0:43 GMT

    A summit you say. Sounds lofty. High and mighty even. Maybe even the moral high ground that every country on the face of the earth has over us.

    Despite what I've read in these comments I'll never be convinced the cricket is not a contact sport. If you get out LBW it means the ball has contacted you. A hard, heavy missile travelling at over 90 mph in some cases. That sounds like contact to me.

    It's a hard game and because it lasts so long there is more time for the players to get under each others skin. Lots of other sports are done and dusted in 90 minutes so there's hardly time for a brouhaha. You can be out there for 5 days in a game of cricket.

    One last thing. The Asians sledge. Big time in some cases.

  • CantFindMyScreenName on November 27, 2013, 0:32 GMT

    It's interesting that there's supposed to be some form of summit now.

    I wonder if Flower will call in the Barmy Army to lay off Mitchell Johnson, who clearly was going through his own "personal, stress related issues" in 2009, and still to this day is hounded by them.

    The Barmy Army and England were almost boastful that this 'bullying' from the crowd put Johnson off his game and contributed to his poor performances.

    But now all bets are supposed to be off?

    I agree, Trott should be left alone. But it's starting to sound very much like once the shoe is on the other foot, England want to cry foul.

  • Macker60 on November 27, 2013, 0:19 GMT

    jw76 and YorkshirePudding, Clarke did not threaten to punch any one he did however threaten bouncers. ie get ready for a broken arm especially to a player that leads with his forearm when fending bouncers. That comment although said in the heat of the game was also designed to play with a batsman's mind on how he plays the next balls.But do you know what you are missing Test Match Cricket is alive, Again in Australia and England. if you don't agree then read some of the comments supporters of cricket from other countries India being the leader in this, and most of these guys love the game. One more thing to say sledging as it is called is part of any sport it all part of getting into the opposition heads breaking there concentration. And yes there are ground rules and most player do not transgress,

  • on November 27, 2013, 0:14 GMT

    It's not about who started it, who's doing it now, or who did it in the last series, it's about this sort of behaviour being stupid, lacking wit and intelligence and being plain verbal assaults at each other. It's pathetic and should stop. I don't care how long it's been going on, it doesn't happen in most other sports, it doesn't happen in the workplace so it shouldn't happen here. Lehmann saying they are grown men, well act like it, real men don't need to sink to that level of behaviour to try and win a game. Let the bat and ball do the talking.

  • Regulators on November 27, 2013, 0:04 GMT

    Yep gotta agree with Boof on this one, and wasn't it only a couple of days ago that Flower himself was saying something along the lines of "we set our standards and they set theirs". Australia will have adressed the recent sledging related headlines internally and to think they are gonna sit down mid series to discuss what can and cant be said in the heat of battle is laughable. Australia cops plenty from teams all over the world, including England and Jimmy Anderson has been a serial offender during Englands successful years. Fair enough Warner's comments to the media on Trott now look even worse and i'm sure the Aussies will keep the sledging confined to the field, but to Anderson and co on the field, i say let em have it boys!! And England will give some back too and they'll all shake hands after the game

  • RednWhiteArmy on November 26, 2013, 23:59 GMT

    England sure will be fired up for adelaide. A first innings aussie collapse & its 1-1.

  • on November 26, 2013, 23:58 GMT

    Well done boof, this is the way to go. Aussies copped enough in last Ashes and its time for payback. Pommies didnt play with right spirit (Broad didnt walk) in last Ashes so they must get this treatment.

  • Mitty2 on November 26, 2013, 23:53 GMT

    @crickettwins and @jw76, lol cricket hasn't been a 'gentleman's game' for decades. Equating sledging to "barbarity"... Really?

  • Derek_Haines on November 26, 2013, 23:15 GMT

    I'm an old fashioned Aussie cricketer, whose playing days are long past, but when I played (albeit second division Suburban turf), we played very hard and very tough. Enough of the platitudes; it's Aussies against the Poms, so get in their faces and play hard, tough, rough but fair. As for David Warner's comments, well, if he saw fear in the oppositions eyes, that's good stuff. That's what cricket (war?) is about. It's only unfortunate that what has transpired regarding Johnahton Trott is sad news, but Warner seems to have known nothing of it when he made his comments. As for Micheal Clarke's recorded comment to Jimmy Anderson, well, it's very pale to what I have heard, and said on a cricket field. It's The Ashes, so let the battle rage, and may the best team win.

  • Craptastic on November 26, 2013, 22:43 GMT

    @YorkshirePudding - you seriously can't think that Anderson/Clarke have just made the first threat of physical violence ever on a cricket field? Thommo wanted to see blood on the wicket and the 70s/80s Windies fielders were pretty good at reminding the batsman about what their bowlers were going to do. Either you ban sledging completely or put up with it because its impossible to police in parts, with some element of "subjectivity".

  • on November 26, 2013, 22:28 GMT

    Used to be that three sports - Golf, Tennis and Cricket were for Gentlemen. The unwritten rules more important the written. However things have turned from ugly to totally unacceptable. I dread the day when an out of form batsman going through emotional/psychological issues may take a bat to the head of the feilder God forbid. I am not sure there is a line to draw anymore. Cricketers have crossed that line long ago. The under dog that copped a lot in the recent past is only going to give more on home conditions. I dont see an end to this so called "banter". I am sure the English gave a lot in England and for Flower wanting to set limits is laughable. The Ozzies must be hysterical.

  • ShutTheGate on November 26, 2013, 22:14 GMT

    @ cricketwins - cricket a gentlemen's game??

    When was it ever a about being gentle? It's aways been about being tough. If you're implying that it's a game for polite upper class then you're wrong!

  • Essex_Man on November 26, 2013, 22:05 GMT

    Verbal abuse is completely unnecessary and is not a sign of toughness. I can't recall the great West Indian fast bowlers having to resort to this sort of nonsense - and they were genuinely terrifying.

    Australia played some terrific, exciting cricket in Brisbane...but they should simply let the ball do the talking and not drag our great game into the gutter.

  • jb633 on November 26, 2013, 22:01 GMT

    I remember a lot of these same Aussie fans complaining about Virat Kholi dishing it out to their side as they were drubbed 4-0 by India. Sledging is part and parcel of the game and I have no issue with it. However the Aussies are terrible sports and gloating after victory is a very unnecessary trait. I guess they need to gloat about something though as their sport has been so far down the pan in the last ten years its not even funny.

  • CrikiLeaks on November 26, 2013, 21:41 GMT

    'Lehmann rejects sledging summit' - good.

  • hhillbumper on November 26, 2013, 21:39 GMT

    What a load of Horlicks.Just play the damn game and forget the words. As for Lehman I seem to remember his own taste in sledging is rather coarse. England pick Finn and bounce the Aussies because if someone hits you hit them harder.

  • Biggus on November 26, 2013, 21:34 GMT

    @YorkshirePudding:-Actually I think Jimmy Anderson is the guiltiest party on that issue, if he did indeed offer to punch George Bailey in the head. Excluding Clarke's expletive the threat of physical danger is part and parcel of facing fast bowling, so telling Anderson to get ready of a "broken arm" is, in my opinion no great sin, regrettable only for that expletive being broadcast. Punching someone in the head however would not be within the rules of the game no matter how you look at it. Whilst my best wishes are with Johnathon Trott for his recovery it should be noted that the English team came very hard verbally at us in the first innings, Trott included, so I think it's a little much to suddenly discover a concern

  • anton1234 on November 26, 2013, 21:25 GMT

    Andy Flower is ruining England by producing bowlers who just focus on line and length and reducing their firepower. I completely agree with Lehmann on this. If England can't take sledging they ought to be back home.

  • Woodsy86 on November 26, 2013, 21:12 GMT

    How is Andy Flower saying "I'll think about it" construed as him saying that he'd 'seriously consider' these talks? Don't tell me that the media are skewing what was actually said into making this actually seem like a story. You do realise that the players moved on at the end of the match, right? This is just getting pathetic.

  • Meety on November 26, 2013, 21:07 GMT

    England (& Anderson in particular) really come across as soft over this issue. They have put it in the headlights - maybe Cooks comments were with knowledge that Trott was going home - dunno. There is no way that Oz sledge worse than England. Just hurts more when you lose.

  • Westmorlandia on November 26, 2013, 21:06 GMT

    @cricktwins - Sure, there is no physical contact. But it's still a game where you aim a rock hard lump of leather at a guy's head at 90mph. It isn't a gentle game, and you don't need to be a gentleman to play it.

  • on November 26, 2013, 21:02 GMT

    Sledging will only stop when it fails to get a rise out of the target. So if a team wants it to stop, it must totally, 100% ignore anything spoken by the opposition. Then the sledging is surely a waste of breath and energy. Now -- if the ICC wants to do something about it, it could impose a 5 run penalty for each offense...as judged by the on-field umpires...

  • on November 26, 2013, 20:03 GMT

    Sledging has been going on in cricket since the time of WG Grace??? Not this kind. There was cussing, swearing, witty remarks but there wasn't direct threats of violence from captains of international teams. What's new is the nastiness and the gratuitous yobbishness.

  • CodandChips on November 26, 2013, 19:48 GMT

    Nothing wrong with a bit of sledging. But a "sledge summit" is ridiculous.

  • Chris_P on November 26, 2013, 19:36 GMT

    Where was Flower the last few Ashes series when some of the English players were running rampant with their mouths? Sorry Andy, either do it up front or wear it back. This is when men are supposed to show their mettle, when the heat is turned up. I didn't see many guys holding back when Watson was given the group send-off (personally had no issue with this either), nor did I see you stepping in to say something to them first.

  • Nathan74 on November 26, 2013, 19:06 GMT

    It is time for both cricket boards to get together and lay down the rule and cricket be played as it was supposed to be - A Gentleman's game. Lehman should be put on notice.He is already been fined by CA. He would not want that happening again.

  • Nathan74 on November 26, 2013, 19:02 GMT

    Lehmann is coaching a losing team who has had a rear win. Now he wants to win by any means. It is cricket for god's sake- not physiological warfare. He should remember Aussies have to go to England to play. This weekend they play rugby finals, they will have to go for Rugby world cup. Cricketers have to go to play next ashes. Media has long memory. They can expect the unexpected.

  • ashok16 on November 26, 2013, 18:51 GMT

    Only one of the two extremes will work. Either there is no conversation or all possible conversation short of physical touching/spitting/making noise during delivery is allowed. Anything in between will just be lines in the sand with Asian teams permanently feeling done by the system.

  • on November 26, 2013, 18:35 GMT

    Lehmann hasn't helped the public image of his team by not choosing to accept that his team may have crossed the line in some way

  • ThatsJustCricket on November 26, 2013, 18:30 GMT

    Oh, come now boys. Get on with it, will you? Funny really, I don't hear Eng players complaining too much about MC's comment on the field. You know why? Coz, that kind of stuff is quite common on the pitch, it's just that it hardly ever gets picked up by the stump mic, that's all. The match gets over, everybody has a drink, laughs about it and forgets it. The only reason people are peeved with Warner is that he went public with his comment on the media.

  • Sigismund on November 26, 2013, 18:28 GMT

    To all those who say sledging has always been a part of the game: yes, it has. But there is a huge and clear difference, not a mere line, between sledging and downright abuse. A few carefully-chosen, and even more carefully-timed, remarks in the earshot of your opponent are a fair and traditional part the game: an cunning effort to win mental battles and gain the upper hand. Piling into your opponent with aggressive and insulting abuse is simply uncouth, unsporting and unwelcome. I wish people would stop conflating the two. England are certainly not much better in this regard; but they and others seem simply to be buying into a culture which, it has to be admitted, was begun by the Australians no more than 40 years ago. The distinction is very clear and the umpires should be instructed to stamp it out. It sets a terrible example to all the kids who will only ever be attempting to enjoy the game as amateurs, and spoils it for them too.

  • Hanumall on November 26, 2013, 18:00 GMT

    Aren't we being too indulgent and tolerant towards 'sledging'? Cricket contests should be fairly won through superior cricketing skills and not through rowdy behaviour on field or by affronting a rival player with heckling and personal abuse. Cricket is not a game that is played with the tongue. Sledging is not a legitimate cricketing weapon like say 'reverse swing' or fast short pitched bowling.

  • AamirKhan-SuperStar on November 26, 2013, 18:00 GMT

    Overall it just feels England have already lost the ashes in their minds. Arent they paying too much heed to what opposition players have to say on field? Common get on with it and play fighting.

  • Vikramaditya100 on November 26, 2013, 17:51 GMT

    Sledging is a part of the game.... like it or not.... as long as it stays within the field and not racist or too personal its fine....

  • on November 26, 2013, 17:31 GMT

    Paul Marsh is absolutely right! This first Ashes test has returned us to the memory of the glory days of REAL TEST CRICKET in the past! It provided youths who were watching and didn't know, why test is the best format of cricket, by far. It brought out every ingredient of the game that made it so intriguing in the past: the players genuine passion to win; the electric atmosphere for spectators; the long days of mental grind for the players; the sharpness of intellectual and tact needed to outwit and conquer; the required preciseness and accuracy in skill; and the on-field social culture which is not fit for audio; but which caused Michael Clarke's unfortunate betrayal via stump microphones! To be honest, I didn't see any overdone act on the field - it's part of the battle! The line is only crossed, when any two players try to forget that cricket is NOT A CONTACT SPORT. Hence, until we all knew about Trott's unfortunate situation, I think that even Warner's statement was overblown!

  • cricketcricket1987 on November 26, 2013, 17:26 GMT

    Steve Waugh once described sledging as mental disintergration and that is exactly what it is! The idea of getting inside the mind of the opposition on a personally level is very dangerous and the consequences can be devestating. I am all for encouragement towards the bowlers and fielding, but any comments towards the batsmen which pass the line i.e. direct/personal and derogitory is a no no.

  • pinch-hitter75 on November 26, 2013, 17:22 GMT

    It's a shame for Trott but that's life. Cricket's tough and the tougher the cricket the better the cricket. Simply put who remembers anything about the 1926 Ashes compared to who remembers the 1932/33 Ashes? Who knows what they said to Bradman in '32 as there was no sound, I somehow doubt Jardine & Co wished him all the best as he (like Anderson) tried to keep his arms and ribs in tact. Well done Clarke, and Warner, well fair play perhaps you were just being honest as perhaps Trott's condition renders him to have scared eyes and perhaps it's better to know that rather than get pole-axed one day and end up in ICU. Why the heck let him play whist depressed anyway coz if the 27 cameras don't spot it the opposition will if they're any good. And perhaps the Froch/Groves ref got it right too. And finally, this very clever aggressive start has already reclaimed the Ashes in my view, lets wait and see. PS I'm a South African who couldn't care less about either side.

  • mk49_van on November 26, 2013, 17:16 GMT

    Aussies are doing what the always do - be nasty and trashy. If the poms want to get back - they need to mentally destabilize Mitch Johnson which is not hard to do given his history. A proper spanking in one spell and taunts to follow - will do it. Find out this personal weakness - nothing should be off limits - and then go for him hammer and tongs. Once he falls apart, the Aussies will crumble. The batting is lousy anyway and wont hold up to large score.

  • TheCricketEmpireStrikesBack on November 26, 2013, 17:14 GMT

    Sledging is a wonderful source of humour and colour in the game. This is men's cricket not a politically correct form of kindergarten. Let them sort it out like men on the field.

  • jw76 on November 26, 2013, 16:52 GMT

    I'm disappointed with Lehmann, who in the past I had always believed to be a fine, fair sportsman. Though he is right about the recent sledging activities of the English. But now it looks like the nasty will only get nastier, players being a little more careful not to be heard on the mike, and cricket will descend further into barbarity. Which other decent sports permit their players to abuse each other off like this? Even in tennis players are not allowed to slag each other off, but cricket turns a blind eye. Players can be terrifically competitive on the field without reverting to the barbarity of the school playground and worse.

  • xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx on November 26, 2013, 16:51 GMT

    Sledging has been going on in cricket since the time of WG Grace.

  • on November 26, 2013, 16:49 GMT

    England is on the back foot. They have lost the Ashes, whether it would be contest or not, that is the debate. England should have dished out banter more aggressively rather than trying to hold "banter Summit".

  • YorkshirePudding on November 26, 2013, 16:47 GMT

    @BRUTALANALYST, I agree sledging is part of the game, but making theats about doing physical damage is over the line, who ever makes them.

  • Tigg on November 26, 2013, 16:36 GMT

    Sledging is fine as long as the illusive 'line' is not crossed. Leave things like racism and mental health out of it and most people are fine with whatever is said. I don't think any English player has complained about what Clarke said and very few of the fans..

  • aashrit on November 26, 2013, 16:16 GMT

    Yeah!!! its grown up boys sport. But there should never be a personal comment on any sportmen while representing their country. anyways we @ india too are enjoying the ashes, let the fight begin!!.

  • gandabhai on November 26, 2013, 16:11 GMT

    What did Broad say a few weeks ago ? " Were not playing for a cheese sandwich". Both teams are giving each other as good as they get , no one can complain .Hope Trotty gets better soon.

  • cricktwins on November 26, 2013, 16:05 GMT

    Icc should ban sledging.. cricket is a gentleman's game.. no physical contact like football, hockey, rugby etc.. Cricket is played between bat and ball there is no need to abuse opposition players and their families.. sledging is cowardly act and contrary to the spirit of cricket..

  • BRUTALANALYST on November 26, 2013, 15:46 GMT

    Great news and good for him, Clarke also should have never been fined, sledging is part of the game and always has been it's supposed to be tough. I hope Brisbane was just a warm up and things are going to get even more heated this is supposed to be the pinnacle of TEST cricket after all. It has all been to friendly in recent years it's so refreshing to see some volatile fast bowling and aggressive intent there's nothing better to watch long live TEST cricket ! P.S I'm not an Aussie but I'm seriously loving the way they are playing here and despite most criticising Warner/Clarke it's given me more respect for them, England need to get up and stand up stop crying over spilt milk and folks stating the obvious. Game on TEST 2 this ASHES has got a much needed shot of adrenaline all the best to both sets of warriors GO HARD.

  • Diaz54 on November 26, 2013, 14:54 GMT

    Wow sledge summit, what's happening get on with it! No other country playing the Aussies have resorted to a summit, despite the fact they have been a used on the pitch and off it, for many years. These players mostly from subcontinent and West Indies have got on with it. Even the match referees have levied fines for retaliating to the receiving side

    What has Steyn for example subjected Haffeez to? Just think about it.! That's fine make it even playing field. Even Trott has had to say few things against certain opponents.

    I wish Trott well on personal grounds, but summit we do not need. Let's stand up and be counted get fast bowlers to retaliate.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Diaz54 on November 26, 2013, 14:54 GMT

    Wow sledge summit, what's happening get on with it! No other country playing the Aussies have resorted to a summit, despite the fact they have been a used on the pitch and off it, for many years. These players mostly from subcontinent and West Indies have got on with it. Even the match referees have levied fines for retaliating to the receiving side

    What has Steyn for example subjected Haffeez to? Just think about it.! That's fine make it even playing field. Even Trott has had to say few things against certain opponents.

    I wish Trott well on personal grounds, but summit we do not need. Let's stand up and be counted get fast bowlers to retaliate.

  • BRUTALANALYST on November 26, 2013, 15:46 GMT

    Great news and good for him, Clarke also should have never been fined, sledging is part of the game and always has been it's supposed to be tough. I hope Brisbane was just a warm up and things are going to get even more heated this is supposed to be the pinnacle of TEST cricket after all. It has all been to friendly in recent years it's so refreshing to see some volatile fast bowling and aggressive intent there's nothing better to watch long live TEST cricket ! P.S I'm not an Aussie but I'm seriously loving the way they are playing here and despite most criticising Warner/Clarke it's given me more respect for them, England need to get up and stand up stop crying over spilt milk and folks stating the obvious. Game on TEST 2 this ASHES has got a much needed shot of adrenaline all the best to both sets of warriors GO HARD.

  • cricktwins on November 26, 2013, 16:05 GMT

    Icc should ban sledging.. cricket is a gentleman's game.. no physical contact like football, hockey, rugby etc.. Cricket is played between bat and ball there is no need to abuse opposition players and their families.. sledging is cowardly act and contrary to the spirit of cricket..

  • gandabhai on November 26, 2013, 16:11 GMT

    What did Broad say a few weeks ago ? " Were not playing for a cheese sandwich". Both teams are giving each other as good as they get , no one can complain .Hope Trotty gets better soon.

  • aashrit on November 26, 2013, 16:16 GMT

    Yeah!!! its grown up boys sport. But there should never be a personal comment on any sportmen while representing their country. anyways we @ india too are enjoying the ashes, let the fight begin!!.

  • Tigg on November 26, 2013, 16:36 GMT

    Sledging is fine as long as the illusive 'line' is not crossed. Leave things like racism and mental health out of it and most people are fine with whatever is said. I don't think any English player has complained about what Clarke said and very few of the fans..

  • YorkshirePudding on November 26, 2013, 16:47 GMT

    @BRUTALANALYST, I agree sledging is part of the game, but making theats about doing physical damage is over the line, who ever makes them.

  • on November 26, 2013, 16:49 GMT

    England is on the back foot. They have lost the Ashes, whether it would be contest or not, that is the debate. England should have dished out banter more aggressively rather than trying to hold "banter Summit".

  • xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx on November 26, 2013, 16:51 GMT

    Sledging has been going on in cricket since the time of WG Grace.

  • jw76 on November 26, 2013, 16:52 GMT

    I'm disappointed with Lehmann, who in the past I had always believed to be a fine, fair sportsman. Though he is right about the recent sledging activities of the English. But now it looks like the nasty will only get nastier, players being a little more careful not to be heard on the mike, and cricket will descend further into barbarity. Which other decent sports permit their players to abuse each other off like this? Even in tennis players are not allowed to slag each other off, but cricket turns a blind eye. Players can be terrifically competitive on the field without reverting to the barbarity of the school playground and worse.