England captain Alastair Cook has accused Australian opener David Warner of being disrespectful by waging a verbal war outside the arena with comments that have already heated up the acrimony in the Ashes series.
Warner on Saturday unloaded on the England batsmen during a news conference by saying they had “scared eyes” when facing Australian paceman Mitchell Johnson and accused Jonathan Trott of being “weak” in the way he was dismissed.
“I think the comment last night by David Warner was pretty disrespectful from any professional cricketer really,” Cook said. “On the pitch it’s pretty much a war anyway. Always going to be a few words on the pitch, that’s the way people want to watch cricket being played. Tough, hard cricket. On the pitch is fine.”
Cook said playing 10 consecutive Tests between the same teams could explain the more intense exchanges.
“I think when you play each other for quite a few games in a row, the niggles can increase,” he said. “It’s competitive cricket.”
Australia captain Michael Clarke also had to field questions about his own conduct on the field after an on-field microphone picked up comments he directed at Jimmy Anderson before Johnson bowled at him.
Clarke didn’t deny making the comments, but didn’t think any of the banter in the first Test went beyond the boundaries of what was acceptable in the Ashes.
“It’s because both teams want to win so badly,” he said. “I think we all respect the game, the traditions, the history ... Australia vs. England has always been competitive no matter which team has won. I think that’s great for the game.
“I certainly understand and respect that there’s a line and both teams shouldn’t overstep that line and I hope that hasn’t been the case through this Test match. But I think the rivalry and the banter on the field, it’s give and take both ways.”