London:Cricket Australia's anti-sledging diktat notwithstanding, senior England batsman Paul Collingwood still expects Ricky Ponting's men to be verbally aggressive in the upcoming Ashes series.
To avoid any unwanted controversy during Ashes, starting in Cardiff on July 8, Cricket Australia, through a strongly worded letter, had advised its players to refrain from on-field sledging.
But Collingwood said sledging is embedded in Australia's cricket culture and mere advice was not enough to stop them from doing that.
"The Aussies are very good at sledging. I played a lot of cricket out there as a youngster, and they come hard at you. It's in their culture from a very early age. They don't like Pommies, simple as that. And when they sniff a moment, they think, 'Right, we can get on top here'," Collingwood said.
However, the 33-year-old said England is also ready to stand up to any such verbal attack during the five-match Test series.
"As a team, England can stand up to sledging. If something needs to be said, then we'll back each other up. If something happens this time, I'm sure the boys will stand up to it.
"But we're not going to go out there looking for it, we just want to perform well," Collingwood was quoted as saying in 'The Telegraph'.