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Bell backs Broad over non-walk
England batsman Ian Bell has backed Stuart Broad to overcome whatever abuse he receives from Australian fans and press during the upcoming Ashes series.
Broad can expect a hostile reception Down Under following his decision not to walk in the first Ashes Test in July, having been given not out despite being caught by Michael Clarke at first slip off left-arm spinner Ashton Agar's bowling in Nottingham.
It was the most controversial moment of the summer series, which England won 3-0, and led to accusations of cheating from Australia coach Darren Lehmann in a radio interview that earned him a fine for breaching the ICC's code of conduct.
Broad, who on Tuesday sat out training along with captain Alastair Cook, stressed on Monday that he stood by his decision to stand his ground, admitting England may well have lost the first Test had he walked.
Bell hoped the issue would not be the focus in the forthcoming series, which gets under way in Brisbane on November 21, but said whatever happened Broad was not overly worried about the reception he will be afforded.
"I think we're all going to get a little bit of stick over here," Bell said on Sky Sports News.
"I don't think, as an Englishman you're going to get too much sympathy.
"I don't think he's too worried about any of that. We have to move forward. We all fully expect a real competitive series, and a great atmosphere at the grounds between both teams. Both sets of supporters will be excited. That's what you play cricket for.
"As an Englishman, it's the best tour you can come on. It's the most intense cricket, the toughest cricket you can play, so that's what we're really excited about."
He added: "I certainly hope it (Broad's non-walk) is not a focus. I hope the cricket is the massive focus in a really good series.
"But everyone is entitled to their opinion. Everyone has the right to do what they want to do.
"If they want to wait for the umpire to make the decision, you're in your rights to do that. I certainly hope this series is all about the cricket - not about the other situations that happen.
"I think we've all probably at certain times been guilty of nicking one and not walking. With the game as it goes, you get rough decisions sometimes and you get away with some. That's the beauty of the game at times - it's swings and roundabouts."