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Ashes Diary: Army will turn fire on home pair

If Perth is any indication, the MCG will be a cauldron of nastiness and abuse. The Melbourne crowd has a reputation for handing it out and it sounds like the Barmy Army are ready to tuck in, too. "We have reasons to dislike Brad Haddin for his ridiculous appealing and there's a mutual dislike forming with Mitchell Johnson as well," says the Army's Paul Hanslow. "We have come up with songs for both. We have rules on decency and these definitely push the barriers, but if they continue to wind us up no doubt we will use them."

Yardy inspired by longer game

You might expect Michael Yardy – a member of England's World Twenty20-winning team – to be more into the shorter forms of the game. Not a bit of it. Yardy has been entranced by this Ashes series. "For me, that's proper cricket," he says. "There's a lot of hype about the shorter forms of the game but looking at this Ashes series it's still the pinnacle of any cricketer's career."

Jeered to the rafters

The rival teams shared a stage at a public function in Melbourne on Wednesday and the Aussie public did not hold back, according to the Melbourne Herald-Sun. James Anderson, Ian Bell and Tim Bresnan were booed while one Aussie tyke told Graeme Swann he was going to hit his bowling into the Yarra River.