Image courtesy of: The Times
“Some of those scenes were ugly at the end of that game and we do have a duty to play the game in the right way”
England captain Alastair Cook has denounced both teams for the “ugly” scenes that ensued towards the end of the first Ashes Test in Brisbane and stated that it cannot happen again.
Cook was referring to the incident where Australia captain Michael Clarke told England pace bowler James Anderson to “get ready for a broken f***ing arm” after he allegedly threatened to punch debutant George Bailey in the face.
As a result of his outburst, Clarke was fined 20 per cent of his match fee.
“It’s important that both sides recognise a couple of scenes in that last game weren’t great for the game of cricket,” Cook said. “I think both sides recognise that. “It’s important we play in the right way. People want to see real tough cricket, it’s what they enjoy, especially between Australia and England, but there’s got to be a boundary we don’t cross.
“Maybe last week we let emotion get ahead of ourselves a little bit on some occasions and it became a little bit ugly. Michael and I have responsibility as captains to make sure that doesn’t happen.
“Some of those scenes were ugly at the end of that game and we do have a duty to play the game in the right way. We want to play tough cricket just like Australia do but we have to make sure we stick to those boundaries and I bear a responsibility for that.”
Even though Clarke was the only one to get penalised by the International Cricket Council (ICC), Cook admitted that his side were just as much to blame as they had poked the bear once too often.
“We know the responsibility we have when we pull on the shirt,” he said. “And no matter how much emotion there is in the game, we know how many are watching us and we know what responsibility we have to the game. Whether we got it right or wrong in that game I don’t know but we have got to make sure we behave as appropriately as we can out there. There are always guidelines.”
However, Cook conceded that he wasn’t totally against sledging as it can prove to be a useful tool.
He even went on to reveal that sledging had affected his own concentration while batting in the past.
“Anyone who says they’ve never been affected by sledging is lying,” he said. “Something will always be said or done which will distract you for that split second. You might listen to it and get a little bit annoyed. The skill of it is how you handle the next ball. I don’t think anyone will say they don’t hear it or don’t recognise it.
“It’s not a tea party and nor should it be. People pay to see tough competitive cricket. People are wanting to see hard Test cricket. That’s what people love about the Ashes or love about any competitive cricket.
“And it will be tough cricket here. It’s going to be brilliant cricket over the next five days. We have to come back and prove we’re a good side after the loss in Brisbane and obviously Australia want to keep us down, so I think it’s going to be a great Test match.”