Barmy Army gets 'thumbs up' from Watson

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London, Aug 5 (ANI): English and Australian cricketers have joined forces to applaud the Barmy Army, saying that they have provided a ferocious atmosphere all through the Ashes series.

"I think the banter has been absolutely excellent throughout the series. I've had a lot of laughs and giggles out on the field especially in the last Test, just with the banter the Barmy Army have. It's what you expect when you come over here, some good fun banter with the crowds," The Independent quoted Australian all-rounder Shane Watson, as saying.

"I think things have stepped up a bit because it's getting closer to the end and we need to win. The intensity is really starting to rise up because we need it to. It's great cricket and it's great to have some really competitive banter out there," he added.

Regarding the constant boos that Australian captain Ricky Ponting faced during Test matches, Watson said that as the Australian captain you'd expect there to be a bit more banter going towards him to try to unsettle him.

Meanwhile, England fast bowler Graham Onions said that everyone respects the Australian team members and on-field it's a different matter altogether.

"I think as players, it's important that we don't listen to too much of what goes on. Inside the rope, it's just action, everything is happening so quickly, so you've got to take a moment. But when you're listening to the crowd, you have to remember that we have a lot of respect for everybody in that Australian squad," said Onions.

Onions further said that he reckons Ponting to be the best batsman around, and had too much respect for him to even boo him.

"I still class Ricky Ponting as one of the best batsmen in the world if not the best. Myself, I would never boo him because I have too much respect for him. Whatever happens off the field, away from the white lines that's out of my hands," he added. (ANI)

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