The rivalry between Australia and England never misses the headlines, irrespective of the two teams playing each other. The two opponents played an engaging Ashes this year in England that ended in a 2-2 draw.
However, one of the top draws of the series remained England all-rounder Ben Stokes’ memorable knock of 135 not out in the third Test in Headingley that saw the hosts winning from an improbable position. Chasing 359 to win, England had lost their ninth wicket on 286 but the last pair of Stokes and Jack Leach added unbeaten 76 runs to win it for their team to equalise the series 1-1.
Moments from that historic Test became live again recently when the New Zealander-born Stokes wrote in an extract from his new book ‘On Fire: My Story of England’s Summer to Remember’ that Australian cricketer David Warner had uttered words in that match that boosted him to play that incredible knock.
“I had extra personal motivation due to some things that were said to me out on the field on the evening of day three when I was trying to get through to stumps. A few of the Aussies were being quite chirpy, but in particular, David Warner seemed to have his heart set on disrupting me,” Stokes wrote.
‘They use Warner’s name to push their books’ sales’ – Tim Paine
But Australia Test captain Tim Paine has now stood by his team-mate Warner and even went on to say that England players make use of Warner’s name to give a push to the sale of their books. The Ashes was Warner’s comeback series in Tests following a year-long ban that he served along with former captain Steve Smith since the Sandpapergate scandal in South Africa in March 2018.
“I was obviously standing next to David the whole time and you are allowed to talk on the cricket field. But by no means was he abusing him or sledging him. It just seems to be a common trend in England that they like to use Davey’s name to spike book sales. So good luck to them,” ESPNcricinfo quoted the wicketkeeper-batsman as saying.
Paine also pointed out the abuses that were allegedly hurled at Warner in England during both the ICC World Cup and the Ashes that followed it. The dashing southpaw had a phenomenal World Cup, finishing just one run behind the tournament’s highest scorer, Rohit Sharma, but saw a completely contrasting outcome in the Test series.
“I was standing right next to him, I had absolutely no issue. The way David handled himself during the Ashes was excellent. Particularly given the fact he wasn’t scoring a hell of a lot of runs and I’m pretty sure he was on the end of a fair bit himself on and off the field in England,” Paine, who himself had a verbally active series against India last year, said.
“So I thought he did a great job of handling that and held himself really well throughout the series. They write books to sell and they have to get headlines to get sales,” he added.
Paine became the first Australia captain since Steve Waugh to retain the Urn on England soil in an Ashes since 2001.
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