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Warner comments 'pathetic': Trescothick

Former England opener responds to Aussie vice-captain's line labelling the Ashes to war

England Ashes winner Marcus Trescothick has branded Australia opener David Warner "pathetic" for suggesting he needed to "find some hatred" for England this summer and describing the contest as "war".

Warner took the traditional pre-series exchanges of pleasantries up a notch this week when he said his method of getting fired up for the series was to "dig deep into yourself to get some sort of hatred about (England)". 

But former England opener Trescothick, a veteran of three Ashes series, including the famous 2005 series, in a 76-Test career, said he did not expect current England players to be drawn in by Warner's approach.

"I don't think they will get that involved. To come out with those sort of comments is not needed," Trescothick told BBC Sport.

"There's always the hype that comes around before the Ashes, so I don't think it's something the players will be drawn into.

"I think it will just be a good distraction, hopefully, for Australia and they can get caught up in the war of words.

"I think it's pathetic."

Warner famously said England's players had "scared eyes" when facing up to the short-pitched pace barrage of Mitchell Johnson midway through the first Test of the 2013-14 series, and last weekend added those comments "could have played a little role in the back of their minds" as Johnson steamrolled England to the tune of 37 wickets and a 5-0 whitewash.

An older, wiser, more mature and settled Warner, who was crowned the 2016 Sports Dad of the Year, says the Ashes still brings his deepest competitive edge to the surface.

"The history, the pride that is at stake. As soon as you step on that line it's war," Warner told ABC Radio when asked what the Ashes meant to him.

"You try and get into a battle as quick as you can. I try and look in the opposition's eye and work out how can I dislike this player, how can I get on top of him.

"You've got to find that spark in yourself to really take it to the opposition. You have to delve and dig deep into yourself to get some sort of hatred about them."


Another former England opener in Geoffrey Boycott also reacted angrily to Warner's comments, taking to social media.

"They want to get (England) down, abuse & sledging, a war, that's what it is to them not cricket. It's a test of character for our lads," Boycott wrote on Twitter.

Ashes-winning skipper Michael Vaughan derided Warner's use of "war" by writing on Twitter: "Better get some Tanks and Machine Guns ready then .... What nonsense !!!?"

On the field, Warner says he has learned lessons from previous run-ins with the ICC, and with a crackdown on verbals broadcast over the stump mic – which coincidentally began with former captain Michael Clarke's infamous exchange with Jimmy Anderson at the Gabba four years ago – he believes a more refined approach is called for.

Clarke opens up on 'infamous' sledge

"The subtle approach these days is how it goes," he said. "Look at the Indian series we played, it can get under your skin quite quickly, and the heat gets to everyone, so we just have to wait and see."

Trescothick did, however, say he expected England would "find it quite tricky" to defend the Ashes they won 3-2 at home in 2015.

"We're a little bit unsettled as a team, obviously with the (Ben) Stokes affair going on, and there's a few issues in the batting line-up which they need to get sorted," Trescothick said.

"The combination of being that little bit not quite ready in what their team selection makes it quite tricky going into that environment because it's quite harsh, it's quite tough.

"As a country they (Australia) really go for you so I think we might find it quite tricky."

Meanwhile, it remains to be seen how the current England squad handle the express pace of Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins in Australian conditions, however Warner said the squad net sessions had been an eye-opener.

"I can tell you now I'm very scared when it comes to the nets so hopefully they (England) are scared because it is challenging facing our guys," Warner said, tipping Cummins to be the weapon to put the heat on England's batters.

Cummins' fiery short-ball spell does trick for Aussies

"I think he will play a big role in this Ashes," he added. "To play back-to-back games after a long period off, it's a credit to him, he's really toiled hard."

Cummins has played five Tests now, all of them abroad, and is yet to feature in the same Test attack as Starc. Understandably, anticipation is high ahead of the Gabba opener on November 23.

"He's really, really pumped for this series and to play on his home soil," Warner said. "He's really excited and hopefully the adrenalin kicks in for him and he can fire big time."

2017-18 International Fixtures

Magellan Ashes Series

First Test Gabba, November 23-27. Buy tickets

Second Test Adelaide Oval, December 2-6 (Day-Night). Buy tickets

Third Test WACA Ground, December 14-18. Buy tickets

Fourth Test MCG, December 26-30. Buy tickets

Fifth Test SCG, January 4-8 (Pink Test). Buy tickets

ODI Series v England

First ODI MCG, January 14. Buy tickets

Second ODI Gabba, January 19. Buy tickets

Third ODI SCG, January 21. Buy tickets

Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Buy tickets

Fifth ODI Perth TBC, January 28. Join the ACF

Prime Minister's XI

PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Buy tickets

T20 trans-Tasman Tri-Series

First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Buy tickets

Second T20I – Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Buy tickets

Third T20I – Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Buy tickets

Fourth T20I – NZ v England, Wellington, February 14

Fifth T20I – NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16

Sixth T20I – NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18

Final – TBC, Eden Park, February 21