The Ashes: Stuart Broad top villain among England's 'Urinators'

Published: Oct 30, 2013, 01:09 IST | AFP |

England's Stuart Broad is relishing the role of Ashes villain but he won't be the only target of boos in a team dubbed "the Urinators" by the Australian press.

The lanky pace bowler was labelled "public enemy" over his contentious decision not to walk in the first Test of the recent Ashes series, which England won 3-0.

Broad can expect a raucous reception, especially after Australia coach Darren Lehmann called him a cheat and urged fans to send him home crying -- comments that drew a fine. But he's not alone in a team that drew strong criticism for oafishly urinating on the Oval pitch during beer-soaked celebrations for this year's Ashes win.

Spin bowler Monty Panesar will also be braced for some cat-calls after he was caught, in a separate incident, urinating over bouncers after being thrown out of a nightclub. Outspoken batsman Kevin Pietersen -- one of the alleged Oval urinators -- is another who often finds himself in the sights of Australian fans.

But far from playing down the walking controversy, the spiky Broad has fanned the flames by saying he would "look forward to" exchanges during the upcoming series. "The head coach of Australia has called for a barrage, but I am one of these characters who thrives off a bit of niggle," Broad said. "It's strange, because off the field I am a shy, quiet person. I prefer to watch a bit of TV at home. But get me on the cricket field and I like it all kicking off.

"So it's something I look forward to. It will be interesting out there. I don't quite know what to expect from the crowds in Australia, but I'm certainly not expecting cheers." Broad refused to give himself out in the first Test in July when umpire Aleem Dar missed an edged catch to slip, which Australia were unable to challenge because they had used up their two available reviews.

England went on to win a nail-biting match by 14 runs. The incident has not been forgotten by Australian fans. In a Fox Sports poll asking which English cricketer most got under Australians' skin, Broad was top with 43 percent. His tally far outstripped England's infamous Bodyline series captain Douglas Jardine (20 percent of the votes) and former star all-rounder Ian Botham (11 percent).

Broad does not shrink from his feisty image and he said England revelled in being an "unpleasant" team to play. "We do have a win-at-all-costs mentality. I think we're quite an unpleasant team to play against," he said. "Teams won't play against us and enjoy the experience. That's what we want. "You always have a responsibility to the fans and youngsters because you're role models. You have to play hard but fair, that's how the spirit of the game is defined.

"We've been accused of all sorts, but those things aren't remembered, it's winning the series that will be remembered."  Among the Australian players, David Warner will be prepared for more booing from visiting fans after he was jeered repeatedly during the recent series in England.

Warner earned the ire of England supporters as well as a suspension after he punched opener Joe Root in a Birmingham bar, in an unprovoked
attack. England won the July-August Tests 3-0 and they are bidding to win a fourth successive Ashes series for the first time since 1890.

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