There was nothing in it: Tim Paine plays down Joe Root-Matthew Wade sledging incident on Day 3
Umpire Kumar Dharmasena had to intervene as Matthew Wade and Joe Root had a go at each other (Reuters Photo)
- Matthew Wade walked up to Joe Root and the two exchanged some words
- Ben Stokes allegedly called David Warner a f*****g prick during the lunch break
- Tim Paine played down the incidents saying, "there was nothing in it all"
Australia captain Tim Paine played down the incident involving teammate Matthew Wade and England captain Joe Root during Day 3 of the 5th Ashes Test at The Oval on Saturday. Paine said the players in question were just talking to each other and nothing more should be made out of it.
Matthew Wade and Joe Root were involved in an animated chat as soon as the Englishman came to the crease to bat with England 1 down for 54 runs in the 17th over of their second innings.
"The incident - Joe Root and Matthew Wade were talking to each other - there was nothing in it at all. I think we've been fantastic, I think both sides have played this series in good spirit. It's competitive Test cricket and people are going to talk to each other.
"I don't know why it's such an issue - it's fine. They are grown men having a conversation, no-one is swearing, no-one is abusing anyone. It's Test match cricket, and I don't understand why so much is made of something so little, particularly given the standard of cricket being played. I think there's so much more to talk about," Paine said at the press conference after the day's play.
Stump microphones also picked up some chatter between England all-rounder Ben Stokes and the Aussies, with someone even mentioning "yeah, Bristol!", a reference to the infamous incident at a Bristol nightclub in 2017.
Stokes was later heard calling Australia opener David Warner a f*****g prick when they players were walking off the field during the lunch break, as claimed by UK journalist Isabelle Westbury.
Lots of aggro on the field during that morning session and Stokes in particular not happy.Isabelle Westbury (@izzywestbury) September 14, 2019
As he walked off he called David Warner "a fucking prick".#Ashes
Sparks flew throughout the day as England dominated the proceedings in all the three sessions after they resumed their 2nd innings at 9 for 0 on Day 3.
Opener Joe Denly's fluent 94 put England in control and the hosts moved on to 313 for 8 to lead Australia by 382 runs at the close. Denly fell six runs short of his maiden Test century and Stokes made a sparkling 67 in bright sunshine at The Oval to put England in a strong position to level the series at 2-2.
Denly was also asked about the Wade-Root incident but he too didn't dwell much into it.
"It's two very competitive teams playing in a pretty big series, and I think Matthew Wade is a very competitive player just trying to do his best for Australia. Of course there's always going to be a bit of niggle out there, but nothing too over the line or anything like that. Just a bit of friendly banter," Denly said.