Ashes: Ben Duckett incident 'not malicious' says James Anderson

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Australia v England, Third Ashes Test
Date: 14-18 Dec Time: 02:30 GMT Venue: The Waca, Perth
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England bowler James Anderson says Ben Duckett pouring a drink over him in a Perth bar was "not malicious" and a "bit of a non-event".

England Lions batsman Duckett, 23, was suspended from playing on their tour of Australia after the incident.

He was also fined and given a final written warning.

Anderson told the Daily Telegraph it was "frustrating" that "what was a pretty silly incident" has now put "an unfair question mark over our culture".

Speaking to BBC Sport's Tailenders podcast, he added: "The ECB have drawn a line under it. It is a bit of nonsense but obviously at the minute the Australian media are jumping on everything they can.

"It's just annoying for us that it's happened but we're moving on now."

Anderson has played 131 Tests and is England's all-time leading Test wicket-taker.

He was out at the bar - where Jonny Bairstow greeted Australian opener Cameron Bancroft with a 'headbutt' at the start of the tour - after the midnight curfew imposed after that incident had been lifted.

Members of the Lions and senior squads were both at the bar when the incident between Anderson and Duckett took place.

England coach Trevor Bayliss described it as "trivial" but team management were left furious at another off-field misdemeanour.

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In September, all-rounder Ben Stokes was arrested following an altercation outside a Bristol nightclub and is waiting for a Crown Prosecution Service decision on whether he will be charged.

Wicketkeeper Bairstow was then accused of 'headbutting' Bancroft, although both described that incident as "without malice", prior to Duckett's transgression.

Anderson said the squad now "understand that in this climate we have to be smarter in the future" and that "we are all aware that from now on even a minor incident will be seized upon".

Australian wicketkeeper Tim Paine says Australia will be reminding England of the Duckett controversy during this week's third Ashes Test in Perth.

England are currently 2-0 down after defeats in Brisbane and Adelaide.

"I know Australia will use the Duckett incident as a way of goading us, or taking the mickey. Fine," added Anderson.

"It will probably be funnier than what they have spouted at me so far in this series.

"They jump on anything to have a go at you so I am expecting a bit of lip. I have no problem with that."

'Players need to let off steam'

Speaking to BBC Sport about the off-field incidents in Australia, former captain David Gower said they have been "blown out of proportion".

Gower, who played 117 Tests for England and led the 1985 Ashes-winning team, said: "Players need to let off steam.

"In my era, players let off an awful lot of steam. The key thing is that if you are producing the right results on the pitch then people are very forgiving.

"I suspect these things are being blown out of proportion.

"The Duckett thing - although they are reacting very strongly to it - doesn't sound much more than a slightly late night going ever so slightly wrong. On good days when things are going well on the field it is forgotten very quickly.

"Nowadays it seems that every misdemeanour big or small or somewhere in between has to be stamped upon and that actually is quite unsettling for the team.

"I think the principle of responsibility is an important one - that players should take it and act accordingly - but overall I don't think it's as bad as it is made out to be."

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