England fast bowler James Anderson has called for the end of verbal hostilities between Australia and England in the lead up to next month's Ashes.
The Ashes series is always hotly contested and tempers have flared on numerous occasions over the past few years. Anderson in particular has been embroiled in many verbal altercations in recent Test matches against Australia.
The New Zealand team, who recently toured England, has been commended over recent years for the well mannered way in which they play their cricket.
Anderson said he hopes the game is played in the same sort of spirit for the rest of the English summer against old rivals Australia.
"I hope it's played in the same nature as the New Zealand series, that was a really positive series and the nature of both sides' cricket was helped by the spirit the game was played in," Anderson said.
"(But) there's a different relationship between the two teams, the Ashes is a huge series for both sets of players.
"If there is needle, it's something I thought I thrived on or needed in the past but having played in the last few months, I think it's important we get the balance right of playing in the right spirit, but also having that competitive edge to win a game of cricket for your country."
However, Australia is well known around the cricket world for sledging and a fierce win at all costs mentality, making it unlikely that sledging will be avoided.
Read more at Cricket.com.au