Anderson fires back at Paine ahead of Ashes

1 month ago 20
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Veteran quick Jimmy Anderson acknowledged there will always be wars of words ahead of an Ashes series, but has called on the Australian skipper to show some respect and empathy.

The pace bowler is the latest man to respond to Tim Paine's earlier remarks that nobody was forcing the English to make the trip down under amid the tourists' concerns about quarantine regulations.

"It is dangerous to start talking like that, especially when we already have one player [Ben Stokes] missing because he is looking after his mental health," Anderson said in the UK Telegraph.

Jimmy Anderson during the fourth Test against India last month. (Getty)

"I get it that this is an Ashes series and we are going to have this bit of pantomime stuff away from the cricket, but let's just keep it respectable."

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Paine made headlines on both sides of the world, after his remarks in September that the series would begin with or without England captain Joe Root, who until recently had refused to commit to travelling to Australia.

The Barmy Army entered the fray earlier this month, when they tweeted a stat comparing Root and Paine's relative batting performances.

With England eventually naming a very strong team for the trip, Anderson said that they couldn't afford to let comments distract them now.

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"It is important everyone knows what to expect when we get there," he said.

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"There is always a lot of hype and noise around the Ashes in the build-up to it. Making everyone aware of that and having ways of blocking it out are important.

"It is designed to distract us. There are always little things that crop up. That is inevitable but it is important we try to focus as much as we can on the cricket. That is our job. Our job is not really to get involved in any off-field war of words. We have to focus on our jobs on the field and perform for our country."

Tim Paine, right, and David Warner during last summer's Test series against India. (Getty)

Anderson was the first player to commit to the tour, although said he had to make the difficult decision to not bring his family. He also urged the governing bodies to discuss starting the series in New South Wales instead.

"As with the stuff already, there have been discussions and I'm sure this will be something that will be brought up between ECB and Cricket Australia as well," Anderson said.

"I'm sure it is common sense to be talking about something like that but it is something way out of players' hands."

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