Michael Clarke threatened Jimmy Anderson with physical harm and Alastair Cook attacked David Warner’s behaviour as the Ashes exploded into open hostility.
Australia’s emphatic 381-run win here at The Gabba puts them in a position of strength for the remaining four Tests of the series but the rancour that characterised the final moments of the first match is likely to set the tone for the series.
With Mitchell Johnson trying to take the final wicket, Australia captain Clarke allegedly told Anderson to “get ready for a f**ing broken arm”.
Both captains played down that incident but Cook, the England skipper, was angry with Warner, who had suggested in a press conference that Jonathan Trott, dismissed twice by Johnson, was scared of the Australian’s speed.
“I think the comment by David Warner was pretty disrespectful to any professional cricketer,” said Cook. “Will any action be taken? I don’t know what might happen about what he said.
“When you play each other for quite a few games in a row [10 Tests in six months] the niggles do increase, but it is competitive cricket.
“There are always going to be a few battles and a few words. That’s the way people want to watch cricket being played, so what happens on the pitch is fine.”
The antipathy between the teams seems clear, but Clarke insisted that mutual respect remained – a sentiment Cook did not quite express.
“We have the ultimate respect for them as a cricket team,” Clarke said. “There are plenty of things said on the field that you don’t overhear on the stump mic. That’s part and parcel of the game.
“I can only talk for our team, but there’s not one player on the England team that anyone has a personal vendetta against, or anybody disrespects as a cricketer.
“David Warner, Mitchell Johnson and Shane Watson really love that competitive battle. They love the opposition talking to them or having a crack back at the opposition: that is what drives them. Jimmy Anderson has made it clear that he likes that battle as well.”
Johnson earned the man-of-the-match award for a fearsome display of fast bowling which appeared to spook Trott, in particular. The Australian added: “I’ll keep doing it. It’s working.”
A church intentionally designed to curve around an oak tree in order to protect it has unintentionally taken on a rather phallic appearance when viewed from above.
Now, the Christian Science Church in Dixon, Illinois has promised to protect its modesty by telling Facebook followers a “giant fig leaf [is] coming soon”, after an aerial image of their building went viral.
The Church recently moved into their new premises, but failed to notice the phallic design until one resident looked at the building from an aerial position using Google Earth and posted a screen grab online.
Established in 1903, Christian Science teaches “love, growth and spiritual healing” based on teachings from the bible and the writings of founder Mary Baker Eddy. The phallus shaped church also has the slogan “rising up” as its motto.
On the Christian Science Dixon Facebook page, they explained that the “building [was] intentionally designed around a beautiful oak tree (instead of removing it)”, adding that “southern exposure means it can be heated with the same energy generated by a single light bulb.”
Scientists have discovered the remains of a group of Neanderthals in northern Spain who were butchered and eaten by a group of local cannibals, according to research presented at the Royal Society in London.
A cache of bones which had clearly been cracked open using tools has been analysed in a painstaking study over the past 13 years.
First discovered deep inside the El Sidron cave system in 1994, the bones had been preserved for 51,000 years and have now been analysed using modern-day CSI forensic techniques.
According to reports in the Sunday Times, Carles Lalueza-Fox of the Institute of Evolutionary Biology in Barcelona told the Society the slaughtered group included three children aged from two to nine, three teenagers and six adults.
“They appear to have been killed and eaten, with their bones and skulls split open to extract the marrow, tongue and brains,” he said.
“All had been butchered. It must have been a big feast.”
Dr Lalueza-Fox said the bone pile likely washed through a sinkhole from a rocky shelter above, eventually settling in the small alcove of the cave system where they were found.
This meant they were kept in a condition unlike almost any other Neanderthal remains, and proved a perfect snapshot of a single, deadly clash, likely between two local gangs.
The tools found at the site of the slaughter came from a few kilometres away, Dr Lalueza-Fox said, suggesting their fellow early human attackers were probably also their neighbours.
Finally, scientists proposed a theory for the motive behind the attack – and a simple one at that.
Unlike the earliest anatomically modern humans, who coped with periods of food shortage by joining forces in large, efficient groups, Neanderthals tended to gather in small family gangs of around 10-12.
When times were tough in winter, this meant they had to resort to extreme measures.
Dr Lalueza-Fox said: “I would guess they were killed in winter when food was short. There is no evidence of any fire so they were eaten raw immediately and every bit of meat was consumed. They even cut around the mandibles of the jaw to extract the tongues.”