Australia’s David Warner risks a suspension if he gets involved in another ugly on-field incident during the World Cup, but England will not go out of their way to bait him, according to paceman James Anderson. (Full Coverage| Venues | Fixtures)
The hot-headed opening batsman has two code of conduct violations to his name after incidents in matches against India.
The International Cricket Council has warned that players carrying black marks into the World Cup face immediate suspension for any breach of the code.
The temptation to provoke Warner may be playing in a few minds, but Anderson, England’s chirper-in-chief, dismissed the idea of targeting the 28-year-old during the teams’ World Cup opener in Melbourne on Saturday.
“Having played against him (Warner) in the past, I don’t think he needs too much encouragement,” Anderson wryly told reporters at the MCG.
“We’re going out there to concentrate on what we do, we’re going to try to be aggressive with the ball up-front all the way through the innings and try and take wickets.
“Our main job is to get them out, not to rile them up, so we’ll be concentrating on that.”
Anderson has had some famous confrontations with arch-rivals Australia, riling the team’s top fast bowler Mitchell Johnson and being threatened with violence by Australia captain Michael Clarke during the last Ashes campaign.
Clarke was fined part of his match fee after he snarled at Anderson to “get ready for a …. broken arm” at the Brisbane test in the 2013/14 series.
One of the few seasoned players in England’s squad, Anderson will pad up for his fourth World Cup in front of 90,000 fans at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the same venue where he made his 2002 one-day international debut.
As a 20-year-old with a handful of A matches under his belt, Anderson opened the bowling and took 1-46 against a powerful Australian team.
Over 12 years later, Anderson will be expected to shoulder the load for England again against the World Cup co-hosts and tournament favourites.
“The 20-year-old version of me was just happy to be there and enjoying the occasion,” he said.
“I guess the abuse at the time was a bit of a shock. And tomorrow it won’t be a shock,” he said of the traditional Australian welcome to touring English teams.
“I know now that you just have to enjoy occasions like these, to play at the MCG in front of a full house against Australia in a World Cup is something every player dreams of and we’re all so excited about tomorrow, can’t wait.”
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