Qantas Tour of England - ODIs
No abuse but no vow of silence for Aussies
New coach and captain set out their behaviour expectations as Australia readies to resume on-field action
Dave Middleton in London
7 June 2018, 09:11 AM AEST
The Australian men's cricket team will not stand silent on the field, but abusing opponents will not be tolerated as new captain Tim Paine and coach Justin Langer laid out the behaviour they expect.
The Aussies return to action this month for the first time since the South Africa Test tour and its ball-tampering scandal. There's been no shortage of fallout and soul-searching since and the new leadership has developed a blueprint for how the team should act.
"We're really clear on what our values are and what our behaviours and our expectations are," Langer told a throng of British press gathered at Lord's.
"We've just got to create the environment where it's a great change room, where their expectations are high.
"All culture is, is behaviour. We've just got to make sure our behaviours are really good on the field and off the field.
"If we've got good behaviours, then we've got a good culture and environment for all our young blokes to thrive and become as good players, and as good people, as they can become."
A key part for the Australians was defining "the difference between abuse and banter" and keeping a competitive edge on the field.
"We want to be more respectful in the way we go about it," said Paine.
"We don't think we're going to change the way we play in a really competitive spirit."
Australian cricket's reputation took a battering when sandpaper was used in an attempt to rough up the ball in Cape Town. But with new leadership and a host of fresh faces, this month's five ODIs and a T20 against England offers a chance to reset.
"Certainly, we're not going to be silent out on the field, we're going to be speaking, we're going to be trying to put pressure on opposition teams and players as we normally do," he said.
"But there's got to be a respectful element to it. We know what's right and we know what's wrong.
"You're going to hear us talking through the stump mic and see us talking on the ground. But it's up to me and Justin and our senior players that we stay on the side of banter and never go to abuse.
"While I'm captain and Justin's coach, it's never going to be accepted."
The Australians know they're in for a rough ride from the English crowds, and the tone was set early when a group of fans dressed up as Aussies and took sandpaper to England's Test matches against Pakistan.
"Even if we were so nice, everyone's going to still think we're a bunch of rough-head Australians," said Langer. "That's just how it's going to be, mate.
"We'll just go about our business really well. We'll behave well on the field and off the field and we'll still be called sledging Australians. It's been happening for the last 30 years."
Langer said the word 'sledging' carried an overblown negative connotation, and that it was the same thing as 'banter' but he would not cop abuse. The gritty former opening batsman used competitive family card games with his daughter as an example.
"If I play Uno with my daughter, there's lots of banter. We sort of sledge each other, but we don’t abuse each other," Langer said.
"Call it banter, sledging, whatever you want. Everyone talks about sledging, but there's a difference between banter and abuse. And abuse is no good.
"Doesn't matter if you're off the field or on the field, there's no room for abuse anywhere.
"But there's plenty of room for banter, or what we call sledging. It's a fun part of the game; it is actually part of the game."
Paine said the Australians were expecting, and ready for, a "pretty full on" reaction from the terraces.
"We expect that when we come to England we cop a little bit of a ribbing, and this time we come with a bit more reason for them to do it," Paine said.
"We've spoken about it, we're looking forward to it to be honest.
"It just adds a little extra spice, and will make it all the more memorable when we go home."
Australia's tour gets underway on Thursday with a sold-out day-night match against Sussex, coached by Jason Gillespie, at Hove on England's south coast. They have a second practice match back at Lord's on Saturday before the ODI series begins on June 13.
ODI squad: Tim Paine (c), Aaron Finch (vc), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Travis Head, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Shaun Marsh, Michael Neser, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, D'Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye
T20 squad: Aaron Finch (c), Alex Carey (vc), Ashton Agar, Travis Head, Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, D'Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Andrew Tye, Jack Wildermuth
Qantas Tour of England
June 7: Warm-up v Sussex, Hove (D/N)
June 9: Warm-up v Middlesex, Lord's
June 13: First ODI, The Oval (D/N)
June 16: Second ODI, Cardiff
June 19: Third ODI, Trent Bridge (D/N)
June 21: Fourth ODI, Durham (D/N)
June 24: Fifth ODI, Old Trafford
June 27: Only T20, Edgbaston (D/N)
Qantas T20I tri-series Tour of Zimbabwe
Sunday, July 1: Zimbabwe vs Pakistan
Monday, July 2: Pakistan vs Australia
Tuesday, July 3: Australia vs Zimbabwe
Wednesday, July 4: Zimbabwe vs Pakistan
Thursday, July 5: Pakistan vs Australia
Friday, July 6: Australia vs Zimbabwe
Sunday, July 8: Final