Clarke did not deny telling England’s number 11 to “get ready for a ******* broken arm” as he took guard to face fast bowler Mitchell Johnson, a comment Anderson was visibly unimpressed by.
England captain Alastair Cook, who saw his team capitulate to a crushing 381-run defeat in Brisbane, admitted it was “war” on the pitch and took issue with Australia batsman David Warner describing England counterpart Jonathan Trott as “weak”.
Clarke though felt everyone involved need to accept it was all part of the banter surrounding an Ashes series. Put on the spot about his alleged comment to Anderson, Clarke said: “You must have great ears. Through my career, there has always been banter on the cricket field and I cop as much as I give, that’s for sure.
“That’s part and parcel of the game ... but all the England players know we certainly respect them, and we understand we have to be at our best to beat them. I’ve heard a lot worse said on a cricket field than what the Australia players or the England players said throughout this Test match.”
Cook slams Warner
Cook stopped short of calling for any disciplinary measures by the ICC against Warner for his remarks about Trott, but there was no mistaking his disapproval. “I think the comment by David Warner was pretty disrespectful to any professional cricketer really,”
Cook said. “On the pitch it’s pretty much a war anyway, so there’s always going to be a few battles and a few words. That’s the way people want to watch cricket being played - tough, hard cricket - which, on the pitch, is fine. “When you play each other for quite a few games in a row the niggles do increase.”
Clarke claims the tough-talking merely demonstrates how much the Ashes means to those involved: “It’s because both teams want to win so badly. We all respect the history and traditions of the game. Australia v England has always been competitive ... I think that’s great for the game.
“I certainly understand and respect that there’s a line - and both teams shouldn’t overstep that line - and I hope that hasn’t been the case through this Test.