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Ashes 2021/22

Glenn McGrath says ‘political correctness’ is costing England in the Ashes

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Glenn McGrath would love to see more “battle” between Australia and England, with the former Australia quick adding that the body language of the visiting team is a “little bit too nice”.

The England team have had a disastrous start to the Ashes campaign, with heavy defeats in the first two matches leaving their hopes of regaining the urnhanging by a thread. While the side went down by nine wickets at the Gabba, they were handed a 275-run mauling at Adelaide, and the overall lack of intensity in the England camp has irked McGrath. The right-armer wants to see more emotion from the touring side, which, he feels, seems to be lacking as the players engage in friendly banter and duels with the opposition.

Speaking to The Telegraph, McGrath said, “Every time you hear one of the English or Australian players interviewed, they use a nickname. Broady, Jimmy, Kez. I was asking the other day, ‘Who’s Kez?’ Oh, Alex Carey.’ They’re a lot more familiar with each other than we were when I played. That’s the way everything’s going, isn’t it? There’s a lot of political correctness. People are a bit nervous about being aggressive and playing hard.”


Days after Joe Root was seen having a laugh with Mitchell Starc after being hit on the box by the left-arm quick, McGrath stated that the friendly equation between the two teams could get “ugly very quickly” for the England side.

“I remember, when Nasser Hussain came out here with England, they weren’t even allowed to talk to us or say ‘G’day’. It’s all about body language. How much does it mean, representing your country? England have to go back to the drawing board and have a real good think about this. With the IPL and the Big Bash, these players know one another well. When you see batsmen and bowlers joking around at the end of the over, even when it’s one-sided, you think, ‘Oh, OK.’ I’d like to see some emotion out there in the middle.

“I’d love there to be more of a battle. Australia aren’t going to take their foot off the throttle, now that they have Pat Cummins coming back. James Anderson looks like he’s down on pace, and the ball’s not swinging. This could get pretty ugly very quickly.”

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