Sydney, June 5 (ANI): Former England cricket captain David Gower has slammed Australia as a country with no culture and has accused their cricketers of having 'animal mentality' and warned against 'feral' crowds.
Gower's remarks came ahead of the first of several meetings between the old rivals this English season, starting with Saturday's Champions Trophy clash at Edgbaston, that also include the Ashes, along with two Twenty20 fixtures and five more one-dayers, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
According to Gower, there will be no clash of cultures between Australia and England during the Ashes and the Champions Trophy as England will be playing against a country with no culture, adding that instead England should look out for sledging from their age-old rivals.
The report further said that Australia have led the rest of the world at sledging, with former Australia captain Steve Waugh elevating it to the status of 'mental disintegration'.
Gower, who captained England to victory in the 1985 Ashes series, further said that Australian crowds, as well as players, were adept at dishing out verbal abuse, adding that the opposition needed to be very thick-skinned while playing against Australia as the Australian crowd and the players can be feral and strike when they sense any weakness.
Stating that Australian players have an animal mentality which they apply in their verbal sledging to break down a weak opposition, Gower said that the best way to keep an Australian bowler quiet is to smile, to confuse them, and keep making runs.
According to Gower, Australia's chances of winning the Ashes have been diminished by the international retirements of star batsmen Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey, stating that Australia has lost the vital Ponting-Hussey axis, and added that much would depend on the batting form of captain Michael Clarke.
When the first Ashes Test starts at Nottingham's Trent Bridge ground in July, England will be bidding for a third successive Test series win over Australia - something they last achieved in the 1950s, the report added. (ANI)