22 Dec 2010

Australian cricketers playing poorly because they're not allowed to sledge

3:44 pm on 22 December 2010

The head of the Australian Cricketers' Association claims the form of the national team has deteriorated because players fear a public and official backlash against the sledging or verbal abuse of opponents.

Chief executive Paul Marsh says Australia's performance has worsened since players were warned to tone down their aggression after a bitter Test against India in Sydney in 2008.

Marsh says the Australian players have started second guessing their natural instincts and opponents have exploited that, with the Australians playing more timidly.