x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Ashes round-up: Panesar fined, Warne critical and Border bullish

England left-arm spinner reported by police for drunken behaviour while his teammates are called 'smug' and 'arrogant' by former Australia cricketer.

Shane Warne has called Graeme Swann and some of his fellow England cricketers arrogant despite Old Trafford draw.
Shane Warne has called Graeme Swann and some of his fellow England cricketers arrogant despite Old Trafford draw.

Monty Panesar, the England bowler, has been fined for drunkenly urinating in public, police said on Wednesday.

The Sun newspaper said the 31-year-old left-armer was asked to leave Shooshh club in Brighton, East Sussex, after complaints from fellow clubbers.

Police said in a statement: "A 31-year-old man received a fixed penalty notice for being drunk and disorderly after being seen urinating in public near the Shooshh Club in Kings Road Arches, Brighton, around 4.13am on Monday."

Sussex said it was investigating the incident surrounding Panesar, who was in the England squad to play Australia in the third Ashes Test last week but did not make the starting side.

"Sussex County Cricket Club can confirm that an incident took place involving Monty Panesar in the early hours of Monday 5th August," it said on its website.

"The matter is under full investigation and the club will make no further comment at this stage."

Panesar made his England debut in 2006 and has taken 164 wickets in 48 Test matches. His last appearance was against New Zealand in March.

Warne critical of England's attitude

Australia Test great Shane Warne has criticised England's attitude and behaviour during the third Ashes Test, accusing Matt Prior of being "smug" and questioning whether they are being deliberately "arrogant and dismissive".

England retained the urn on Monday when the Old Trafford Test – which they were on course to lose – was washed out by rain, meaning their 2-0 lead was preserved heading into the final two matches of the series.

Andy Flower's men came in for some criticism throughout the game for alleged time-wasting, and Warne has this morning gone one step further.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Australia's all-time leading wicket-taker singled out wicketkeeper Prior and spinner Graeme Swann, as well as querying whether Flower was instructing his players to act in a certain way.

"A lot of us reporting and commentating on the game were really taken aback by the way the England players were interviewing and behaving in press conferences and after-match interviews," he said.

"It has caught the attention of those who report on the game, especially mine.

"Yes, England are a very good cricket team and it is their choice how they convey messages to the press and act on and off the field, and also how they want to represent themselves individually and collectively as a team.

"But to me there were a few moments at Old Trafford when I thought, 'Hang on, who do you think you are?'

"I saw an interview with [Sky Sports'] Ian Ward after day two and he said it had been a tough couple of days for England, which it had been, but Graeme Swann replied, 'No, not really. We will just go out and bat now on this flat Old Trafford wicket'.

"Matt Prior was also very smug in his comments, which leads me to think perhaps it is a conscious effort or direction from Andy Flower to be arrogant and dismissive of the opposition. Let me tell you this, if you lose respect for the game and the opposition, cricket has a funny way of biting you on the backside."

Warne's comments come on a morning when a number of England's players were photographed in national newspapers smoking in the street in the wake of the Old Trafford draw.

Warne does not believe that any arrogance sits well with them, though, and has urged them to think about the longer-term ramifications of such an attitude.

"Maybe Flower wants to create an atmosphere of everyone is out to get us. He might even think England play better like that. But it is not working," he added.

"Most of the English guys are good fellas and I sense some of them feel a little uncomfortable. They might be winning but you are a long time retired and individuals have to work out if that is how they want to conduct themselves at press conferences and in public.

"I'm no saint here and I carried on and went over the top plenty of times on the field, but never when speaking at cricket grounds about the game and the opposition.

"I was always respectful to both and felt grateful for the opportunity to have the chance to play international cricket and especially respectful and humble to the opposition.

"Maybe that is why I have picked up on this conscious effort to appear dismissive of everyone."

England 'worried' and 'vulnerable', says Border

Allan Border, the former Australia captain, on Wednesday also cranked up the pressure on England ahead of the fourth Ashes Test, saying Alastair Cook's team appeared vulnerable and worried.

After the second Test at Lord's, Border – known as "Captain Grumpy" – slammed Australia's top three as "embarrassing" while telling Shane Watson to sort himself out, but he has had a change of heart.

"What a difference two weeks can make. In the space of 14 days, my perception and gut-feel about this Australian side has changed," said Border, who captained the side 93 times as it rebuilt in the mid-1980s, laying the foundations for a long period of dominance.

"England has retained the Ashes and well done to them, but the performance of this largely inexperienced Australian team has filled me with confidence."

Border, who played 156 Tests scoring 11,174 runs, said it looked like Australia had "drawn their own line in the sand" at Old Trafford, in much the same way Australia did during the 1986/87 series.

Border's Australians lost that series 2-1 but won the World Cup in 1987 before starting 16 years of Ashes domination in 1989.

"They showed real fight and England are worried," he said in a comment piece on the Cricket Australia website.

"The Poms were playing catch-up cricket from day one, going slow with over rates and doing everything they could to negate our chances of winning. At the end of the day rain saved England – it's as simple as that.

"The way this side is going over the next few months, look out. Australia has the momentum.

"Old Trafford proved England is vulnerable," he added. "Australia has broken the spell [James] Anderson and Swann had over them, playing Cook's two go-to men with more assurance.

"The confidence in the group has grown and the boys can sense they're back in the contest. England has some good cricketers, but what this kind of performance does is put doubts in their minds.

"Cook, [Jonathan] Trott and [Kevin] Pietersen don't look as insurmountable as they once did. I reckon we've turned a corner."

The fourth Ashes Test starts in Chester-le-Street, the headquarters of northeast county Durham, on Friday.

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