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25-October 2013

The Ashes 2013-14:

Aussies give warm welcome to Alastair Cook's 'Urinators'

England celebrate their emphatic series win over Australia after drawing the fifth Test The Oval in August

The Aussies have already started the Ashes mind games ahead of next month's series opener in Brisbane, and England haven't even arrived in the country yet.

Famed Pom-basher-in-chief Malcolm Conn, who writes for Rupert Murdoch's News Limited titles, decided to get an early blow in ahead of the arrival of Alastair Cook's touring party in Perth later today.

Conn, who for years has scoffed at England's predilection for selecting South African-born players, or 'Pom Africans' as he calls them, dredged up the tawdry celebrations at The Oval two months ago in a coruscating piece.

Back then, you'll remember, Cook's men celebrated their 3-0 series triumph against Australia with a rather different take on their famed 'sprinkler' celebration.

Several players ,including Stuart Broad and Kevin Pietersen, urinated on the Oval wicket during celebrations on the outfield of the famous old ground.

Now, on the day they arrive Down Under, they will see newspaper headlines referring to them as 'Cook's Urinators' and 'piddling Poms'.

Moreover, Conn goes on to accuse England of 'cheating' during that 3-0 Ashes triumph, their third in succession, because they achieved it on pitches 'doctored' to suit spinner Graeme Swann.

'We had Don Bradman's Invincibles and Steve Waugh's Dominators. Now we've got Alastair Cook's Urinators arriving in the country on Friday,' wrote Conn.

England's 17-man touring squad will have their travelling daks firmly fastened as they march through Perth airport in their first Ashes act since relieving themselves on The Oval pitch two months ago.

Could there be anything more gloating or galling that having the series-winning team peeing on a pitch which was deliberately doctored so it would be bone dry

It signalled that the piddling Poms have been so successful against Australia, winning the past three Ashes series, that they are now taking the piss.

Could there be anything more gloating or galling than having the series-winning team peeing on a pitch which was deliberately doctored so it would be bone dry.

In England they call this home advantage. In Australia we call it cheating.

Conn, who was the subject of a furious Twitter row with Australia opener David Warner earlier this year, did concede the Poms played the better cricket and deserved to win.

Australian journalist Malcolm Conn has raised the stakes ahead of England's arrival Down Under

But his scathing diatribe against Cook's men will be the first act of what is expected to be a hostile Ashes tour for England.

Tensions were ratcheted up last summer when Aussie coach Darren Lehmann branded Stuart Broad a 'cheat' for not walking during the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge.

He also said he hoped Australian fans would give it to Broad from the word go and the England bowler would return home early crying.

Lehmann later apologised for those comments but England have stepped up security for their players for this tour in direct response to those inflammatory comments such is their concern over player safety away from the grounds.

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