28 Nov 2013

Botham doesn't want Ashes to become a 'love-in'

12:59 pm on 28 November 2013

England cricket great Ian Botham says he doesn't want to see the Ashes turned into a "love-in" and has called on the tourists to take the fight to Australia.

The level of sledging is a hot topic following Australia's first Test win, with captain Michael Clarke fined for telling James Anderson to prepare for a broken arm after the English tailender allegedly threatened to punch Australia's George Bailey.

Botham wants England to fight back in the second Test in Adelaide starting next week.

He told the Daily Mail newspaper that if a batsman avoided the ball whizzing past his ears there was no chance of missing the barrage of abuse that followed.

England batsman Jonathan Trott returned home following the Brisbane defeat with a stress-related illness and coach Andy Flower doesn't want Trott's sensitive departure to become a topic of conversation on the field.

He's considering discussing the matter with his Australian counterpart Darren Lehmann.

Flower says a balance has to be found between competitiveness and not overstepping the line.

But Lehmann is showing little interest in talks with his former South Australia teammate, saying touring sides are always going to cop it like Australia did in England earlier this year.