Warne fears Ashes becoming 'stale' through 'over-zealous' officiating against sledging

London, July 6 (ANI): Australian spin legend Shane Warne has said that he feared that the upcoming Ashes series may become stale through over-zealous umpires stamping down on sledging between the sides too hastily.

According to the Guardian, Warne believes that players in both the teams may fall foul of too much policing, especially in the aftermath of Australian batsman David Warner's after-hours altercation with England's Joe Root.

Viewing the Ashes combat as the most uncompromising cricket in which he featured, Warne said that he relished the verbal jousts synonymous with himself and compatriots like Glenn McGrath and Merv Hughes, adding that umpires needed to be careful about the fine line between tough officiating and allowing the players to express themselves.

Warne further said that as sports lovers, people would want to see tough, formidable characters that they love to hate, and would also want a strong contest, adding that a little sledging like "you're not getting me out', 'over my dead body', helps a player stand out in the game.

However, Warne also said that whenever there is a bit of sledging and verbal assaults between players, the game gets stamped out quickly, after which players venture into their shells and become too afraid to express themselves.

Warne also said that there is a line between sledging players in the field and having altercations with them off the field, in a hit to Warner.

Meanwhile, the former leg-spinner predicted a series of surprises when the Ashes begins in Nottingham next week, tipping the uncapped all-rounder James Faulkner to emerge as one of its stars, and the fast bowler James Pattinson to challenge Pakistan legend Shoaib Akhtar's status as the only man to register a 100mph delivery in international history.

Stating that Faulkner strikes him as being a player who wants to be in the middle when the game becomes tough, Warne said that that is a special trait to have for a player, adding that Faulkner also manages to keep his performance level most of the time.

Terming Faulkner as a probable nucleus of the Australian team going forward, Warne also praised Pattinson, saying that the youngster can be a superstar with his bowling prowess and can be a real handful if he manages to stay on, adding that both Pattinson and Faulkner are going to stand-out and make a name for themselves in this series. (ANI)

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