David Warner called the upcoming Ashes "War"    Getty Images
David Warner called the upcoming Ashes “War” Getty Images

You may call it a war or you may not, but David Warner is certainly treating The Ashes is one. The name itself is as intense and there is a plethora of emotions around it. Warner’s comments did not go well with former England cricketer Marcus Trescothick. He branded Warner “pathetic” for mentioning Australia need to “find some hatred” for England this summer Down Under and described the contest as “war”. Warner will have some who will agree to him but Trescothick, the 76-Test veteran, cleared the fact that the English players do not subscribe to similar thoughts. However, the pre-series exchanges are an Ashes tradition and now both Warner and Trescothick have got tangled in the same.

The Ashes 2017-18: David Warner labels series as 'war'
The Ashes 2017-18: David Warner labels series as 'war'

“I don’t think they will get that involved. To come out with those sort of comments is not needed,” Trescothick told BBC Sport. “There’s always the hype that comes around before the Ashes, so I don’t think it’s something the players will be drawn into. I think it will just be a good distraction, hopefully, for Australia and they can get caught up in the war of words. I think it’s pathetic.”

What Warner said

In the 2013-14 Ashes, Mitchell Johnson had steamrolled the Englishmen as Australia walloped the visitors 5-0 to reclaim the urn. Warner had then mentioned about the “scared eyes” of the Englishmen when they faced the barrage of bouncers from Johnson. The left-armer ended with 37 wickets from 5 Tests. Last week Warner claimed that his comments had played some role in back of the English players’ minds.

However, a lot has changed since then. Warner is a changed man, wiser and matured. He has almost put an end to sledging, much to the dismay of many former teammates including Johnson. Warner had also bagged the 2016 Sports Dad of the Year title.

Will The Ashes bring back the old Warner?

When asked what did The Ashes mean to him. Warner told ABC Radio,”The history, the pride that is at stake. As soon as you step on that line its war. You try and get into a battle as quick as you can. I try and look in the opposition’s eye and work out how can I dislike this player, how can I get on top of him. You’ve got to find that spark in yourself to really take it to the opposition. You have to delve and dig deep into yourself to get some sort of hatred about them.”

He later also mentioned that he had seen the footage of Ben Stokes’ video and compared it with the Joe Root-punching incident from 2013. Warner said he was suspended for far too less.

Angry Englishmen

Trescothick is not alone. Warner’s ‘war’ comments have not gone well with many former English cricketers.

“They want to get [England] down, abuse and sledging, a war, that’s what it is to them not cricket. It’s a test of character for our lads,” tweeted Geoff Boycott.

David Warner: My transgression was lot less than what we've seen on the Ben Stokes' footage
David Warner: My transgression was lot less than what we've seen on the Ben Stokes' footage

Boycott’s fellow Yorkshireman and 2005 Ashes winning-skipper Michael Vaughan added some humour into his tweet and expressed his disgust. “Better get some Tanks and Machine Guns ready then …. What nonsense !!!?” He tweeted.

Stiff challenge ahead for England

England had reclaimed the urn in 2015 by clinching the series 3-2 at home but Trescothick believes England have a task on hand to defend it: “We’re a little bit unsettled as a team, obviously with the Stokes affair going on, and there’s a few issues in the batting line-up which they need to get sorted. The combination of being that little bit not quite ready in what their team selection makes it quite tricky going into that environment because it’s quite harsh, it’s quite tough. As a country they [Australia] really go for you so I think we might find it quite tricky.”

The first Test begins on November 23 at The Gabba, Brisbane.