The Ashes: Captain Cook accuses David Warner of being disrespectful

Written by Associated Press | Brisbane, Australia | Updated: Nov 25 2013, 17:57pm hrs
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.

Australia crushed Cook's team by 381 runs on Sunday to continue a 25-year unbeaten run at the Gabba and take a 1-0 lead in the five-test series. But England has won the last three Ashes series, and has made a habit in recent seasons of coming back after losing the first test of away series.

England was bundled out for 136 in the first innings _ losing six wickets for nine runs in one collapse _ and for 179 in the second.

Warner scored 124, his first Ashes century, on Saturday and then 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 after a test that ended with both teams clearly trading verbal insults on the field and umpires intervening. ``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.''

It has only been three months since England retained the Ashes with a 3-0 series win at home. The return series has been brought forward to leave time on the schedule for Australia's preparations for the 2015 World Cup, which it is co-hosting with New Zealand.

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.''

Both captains declined to comment on whether Warner had a case to answer to the International Cricket Council for his off-field conduct. The combative Australian opener has been in trouble with cricket authorities before, most notably when he allegedly punched England batsman Joe Root in a night club before the last Ashes series.

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 England tailender Jimmy Anderson before Johnson bowled at him. The pair have had a long-running feud.

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 over-step 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.''