The ongoing Ashes 2021-22 between England and Australia has been played in relatively good spirits with negligible instances of verbal abuse or sledging and Aussie captain Pat Cummins shed light on why the hosts are not engaging in verbal duels with the opposition this time around.
The ongoing Ashes series has been notable for the spirit in which it has been played, with former Australia star Glenn McGrath claiming it has been “a little bit too nice”. Nathan Lyon, who talked about wanting to “end careers” the last time England made the trip Down Under, offered off-spin tips to England captain Joe Root.
Australia has made a notable effort to change its image in the wake of the 2018 ball-tampering scandal which saw Steve Smith, David Warner, and Cameron Bancroft all banned by Cricket Australia. Bancroft copped a 9-month ban, while Smith and Warner were banished for one year, making their returns in the 2019 Ashes series.
Australia Did Need To “Tone It Down A Little Bit”: Pat Cummins
Pat Cummins was named the new Australia Test captain after Tim Paine resigned from the post after a sexting scandal with a female colleague in Tasmania cricket from 2017-18 came to light and was made public. Cummins, who has led Australia to three wins in the ongoing series and retained the Ashes urn, said that he is “really proud” of the way his players have conducted themselves.
He added that Australia did need to “tone it down a little bit”, with a 2018 review into the team’s culture describing it as “winning without counting the costs”.
“You have to be aware of it. From a couple of years ago it was pretty obvious the world wanted all cricket teams, particularly the Aussie cricket team, to tone it down a little bit. I keep encouraging all of our players to be themselves. They do not have to try and impress anyone or sledge just because it might have been done like that in the past. Just be themselves,” Cummins told the Telegraph.
“No doubt, the first Tests have been pretty smooth sailing and it [sledging] is something to keep an eye on. But I’ve been really proud of how the lads have conducted themselves so far. You lead by your actions in this space. If I need to pull someone up [for sledging] I will but everyone is an adult here. They have heard it loud and clear from the outside what is expected of us and from cricket fans in Australia. I will not be taking all the credit, the boys have been fantastic themselves,” the Aussie captain added.
England managed to somehow draw the fourth Test match in Sydney, but will now face off in the final match in Hobart, another day-night, pink ball affair from January 14 onwards.