Merv Hughes approves of Poms' clowning ways ahead of Ashes

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London, June 4 (ANI): England's pre-Ashes treatment of Australian all rounder Andrew McDonald has the backing of Australian selector and former master on-field sledger Merv Hughes.

"It's open slather - if you've got red hair and freckles and you look like he does, it's just open slather for mine," Hughes said, with the slightest hint of a grin.

The Victorian all-rounder received the tabloid treatment after he was picked in the Ashes squad, with former England captain Bob Willis comparing him to Ronald McDonald. The Sun duly doctored a photo of McDonald to make him look like the fast-food clown.

While England make fun of McDonald, Hughes is adamant there is a far more serious side to his selection.

"They will be having a look at what he's done in Test matches and they won't have an overall view of how he's performed," Hughes said.

"If you follow cricket closely, the role that he's played in the side has been magnificent.

"He's bowled for long spells and that's allowed the fast bowlers to reload, so Ricky (captain Ricky Ponting) can attack with them. His batting has been OK, without being solid - but he showed in that last Test match (in South Africa) . . . what he's capable of," The Sun quoted Hughes, as saying.McDonald has laughed off his depiction in the English press, pointing out the "Ronald" caricature is hardly new to him.

"Pretty original, Bob (Willis), obviously over six foot tall, red head and last name McDonald, it's quite original, I've never heard it before," McDonald said sarcastically.

McDonald was not so jovial a fortnight ago in the lead-up to the naming of the Ashes squad.

But some Australian commentators have also questioned his selection, even though he played throughout the three-Test series earlier this year in South Africa. (ANI)

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