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Eoin Morgan: England will not sledge about ball-tampering

Morgan’s men set to face Australia.

Eoin Morgan is ready to face a new-look Australia (John Walton/PA)
Eoin Morgan is ready to face a new-look Australia (John Walton/PA)

Eoin Morgan insists England will not use the ball-tampering scandal as ammunition for sledging in the five-match one-day series against Australia.

Australia will face their first international action since March’s shameful ball- doctoring incident when taking on England at The Oval on Wednesday.

Captain Steve Smith and deputy Warner received year-long bans for the ball-tampering that stunned Australian cricket in March’s third Test against South Africa.

Steve Smith will be missing when England face Australia (Jason O’Brien/PA)

Cameron Bancroft – who doctored a ball with sandpaper amid South Africa’s 322-run win in Cape Town – was also banned for nine months by Cricket Australia, with head coach Darren Lehmann resigning.

Morgan has vowed England will approach the Australia series with “service as usual” on a sledging front – but promised his side will not touch on March’s events.

Asked if England would use the ball-tampering in sledging, Morgan replied: “No. If you look at it in that, it probably could be ammunition. It will be service as usual.

“We play our cricket pretty hard, positively, aggressively, so we’ll continue to do that.

Australia captain Tim Paine (left) and England captain Eoin Morgan (John Walton/PA)

“I’m expecting a tough series. Every time we’ve played against Australia, the side we’ve come up against has played hard, tough cricket, so we’ll expect that as well.”

New head coach Justin Langer has pledged Australia will respect the line between banter and abuse in the wake of March’s ugly scenes on and off the field.

Asked if Australia can stick to those promises, Morgan replied: “To be honest I don’t know, I’ll only be able to tell you after tomorrow.

“We can speculate as much as we like, but the proof is in the actions.

Jos Buttler will return for England (Steven Paston/PA)

“So we’ll only find out tomorrow. I think it’s going to be a good series.”

Confirming Jos Buttler will slot back into England’s line-up following Sunday’s shock six-run defeat to Scotland, Morgan said his side have to learn from that surprise reverse in Edinburgh.

Morgan added: “It’s no good losing the lesson and the game, you’ve got to take something from it.”

Press Association


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