Women's Ashes: England and Australia must play series in right spirit, says Mark Robinson

England women's head coach Mark Robinson
Mark Robinson was named England head coach in November 2015
Women's Ashes 2019: Australia v England
Venues: Leicester, Canterbury, Taunton, Chelmsford, Hove, Bristol Dates: 2-31 July
Coverage: In-play highlights clips, ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary and live text commentary on all games on the BBC Sport website & app (some games also on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra) - full schedule

England and Australia have a duty to ensure the Ashes is played in the right spirit, says England coach Mark Robinson.

The former Sussex coach says there was "nonsense" spoken before the last Ashes in 2017.

"Sometimes people try to replicate what the men do and build it up to be something that it's not," Robinson told Test Match Special.

"The women's game is different to the men's, it's more values-driven."

Robinson has urged his side to just be 'true to themselves' ahead of the multi-format series, which is made up of a Test match, three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 games, and runs throughout July.

"We shouldn't copy the men and try and be something unless it's what you are," Robinson added.

"The women's game, from my experience, the players get on, they go to the Big Bash and the KSL (Women's Cricket Super League) and they're friends, why shouldn't they be?

"Play it hard on the pitch and fight your corner and everything else but don't be anything you don't want to be - play with a smile, play with a freedom, play with expression.

"As long as you stand up to pressure moments and you want to take on the big moments, that's all I ask."

The last Ashes ended in an 8-8 draw and saw Australia retain the Ashes after winning the 2015 series and Robinson said the Australia players didn't always speak to their English counterparts during that series.

"There was a rumour going around that there had been an instruction," Robinson said.

"But, what I do know is that when we play Australia and when we were around them at the World Cup they were friendly, in the right way. It's international sport, it's not tea parties out there, but it's about finding that balance.

"Around the hotels and stuff they were friendly, lovely and respectful like you'd want them to be.

"Whether that's part of the culture review that's happened in Australia cricket I don't know but maybe they're just being true to themselves because they're winning again which means they're more comfortable and that'll happen.

"It's England v Australia so there's a natural edge anyway, we don't need to fuel it."

BBC Sport has launched #ChangeTheGame this summer to showcase female athletes in a way they never have been before. Through more live women's sport available to watch across the BBC this summer, complemented by our journalism, we are aiming to turn up the volume on women's sport and alter perceptions. Find out more here.

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