Sledging ban has blunted Australia's competitive edge: Watson

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Northampton (UK), July 23 (ANI): Australia's competitive edge has been blunted since Cricket Australia ordered the team to stop sledging, feels all-rounder Shane Watson.

"One thing Cricket Australia have said to us is to make sure we know where the line is and don't cross it. It is a sticky one because the hardest thing is to be extremely competitive and not cross the line," The Sun quoted Watson, as saying.

"As a group we don't want to lose the edge. That is the reason we have been so good in the past because of how competitive we are and we don't take a backward step. We have to make sure we do everything we can to win," he added.

Cricket Australia had asked its players before start of the Ashes series not to indulge in sledging, but fast bowler Peter Siddle denied receiving any message from the board.

Australian players, who are famous for their verbal taunts as their on-field brillance, had received letters banning them from sledging.

But any lingering doubt was set aside by fast bowler Siddle here at Lord's on Tuesday when he said with a grin: "If it was sent, I don't think we've received it yet."

Senior England batsman Paul Collingwood, however, still expects Ricky Ponting's men to be verbally aggressive in the Ashes series.

Collingwood said sledging is embedded in Australia's cricket culture and mere advice was not enough to stop them from doing that. (ANI)

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