Ashes 'played in a really good spirit' - England, Australia overcome sledging woes

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The just-concluded Ashes series started with spiteful barbs but finished with shared beers in the SCG rooms.

Nathan Lyon and David Warner put England's noses out of joint with a handful of incendiary comments before the five-Test series.

Lyon spoke of his side's desire to end careers, while Warner fired the opening salvo in October when he used the words "hatred" and "war" in describing the rivalry.

England captain Joe Root fired back in response to Lyon's words, saying "that's not how I'd want my players to go about things" and arguing the offspinner had put more pressure on himself.

The vexed issue of sledging reared its head during the series opener in Brisbane, while there were a couple of tense verbal stoushes at Adelaide Oval.

However, both camps insisted throughout the summer there was always a level of mutual respect.

The proof came when Australia and England engaged in the customary post-series tradition of sharing stories and a drink.

"Yes, we will be going into their dressing room for a beer and to chew the fat," England veteran Jimmy Anderson said.

"It's always good. Obviously, it's better when we win, but we've just got to cop that on the chin.

"The whole series has been played in a really good spirit. There were always going to be a few talking points around an Ashes series.

"Because it's so high profile and both teams are desperate to win, that's the nature of this series."

It's rare for relations to be so frosty that teams do not mingle after a Test series.

But that did transpire at the end of Australia's heated tour of South Africa in 2014 and also last year when Australia visited India.

Steve Smith swapped barbs with Anderson in Adelaide and labelled the spearhead "one of the biggest sledgers in the game" in his media ahead of the second Test.

But Smith agreed with his rival's assessment the five-Test series had been played in good spirit.

"We always play hard - both teams do," Australia's skipper said.

"The cricket that has been played had been really good as well. It's been a fantastic series from that point of view."

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