England wicketkeeper Matt Prior has delivered a stinging rebuke to Australia spinner Nathan Lyon as the pre-series war of words between Magellan Ashes rivals continues to escalate.
The Australia off-spinner claimed that Prior was "scared" and had wanted to fly back home during England's last trip Down Under in 2013-14, with the hosts powering to a 5-0 triumph and pace ace Mitchell Johnson collecting an incredible 37 wickets to spearhead the triumph.
Prior, who represented England 79 times, played three Tests on that tour, scoring 107 runs at 17.83, before being replaced by Jonny Bairstow for the final two Tests in Melbourne and Sydney.
He made just four more appearances at Test level following that tour, the last coming against India in July 2014, and finished his career with seven centuries and a healthy average of 40.18.
"It was an unbelievable feeling knowing that they were broken," Lyon told the English press corps on Monday of the whitewash.
"Leading into (the third Test in) Perth we knew that they were, we knew Matt Prior wanted to fly home before the game started and he was one of the senior players.
"He was scared. It's four years ago. I think he's alright now."
Prior hit back at Lyon's claims on Twitter tonight, pointing to England's 3-1 victory in Australia in 2010-11.
"Last time someone spouted a whole load of BS about me I stayed quiet not this time.To be clear I may have been playing badly fair enough but there was no way I was getting on a plane home," he tweeted.
"You've embarrassed yourself … and this game has a funny way of biting back.
"I sincerely hope you're not part of a losing team on home soil. I still remember being sat on the outfield at the SCG after winning 3-1 while your press and fans were tearing into the Oz players.
"You want to end careers? Just make sure its (sic) not yours that ends."
Prior had earlier described Lyon's comments as "absolutely laughable".
"If that was the case and I was scared why didn't I go home then," he said.
"That's completely ridiculous and all I can do is laugh. It's wholeheartedly untrue. I stayed out there and what hurt me more was that I got dropped for the last two Tests."
Former England captain Michael Vaughan also took umbrage at Lyon's comments.
The last England tour saw Jonathan Trott fly home with a stress-related illness after the Brisbane Test, Graeme Swann quit cricket and fly home after the Perth Test, and Kevin Pietersen never to pad up for England again.
Joe Root was axed for the final Test in Sydney and coach Andy Flower also lost his job.
"Being part of that squad (in 2013-14) was unbelievable, and it's one of my fondest series," Lyon said.
"Seeing Mitchell Johnson scare all the Poms was unbelievable. You could sense the fear.
"I was at leg slip and I nearly had to push a couple of the guys back towards the stumps."
The first Test of the five-match series starts on Thursday in Brisbane.
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
Gillette 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
Gillette T20 INTL 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 13
Fifth T20I – NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16
Sixth T20I – NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18
Final – TBC, Eden Park, February 21