Australian legend Glenn McGrath has advised skipper Ricky Ponting and his teammates to grin and bear the crowd abuse which is flaring during the Ashes.McGrath insists Australia should try to have some fun with the crowd rather than antagonise them further.Australia`s most successful fast bowler, who was regularly the target of crowd heckling in England, said Australian players risk even worse treatment if they try to fight fire with fire.

“If you are aggressive towards them, or just ignore them, the chances are that the abuse will get worse, and it can be a long day-as my old teammate Jason Gillespie discovered on previous Ashes tours,” McGrath said.”In general, I always enjoyed getting stick from the crowd-and that is the attitude this current Australian side must take. If they are copping it from the home fans, they should try to have a bit of fun and give a bit back,” he said.

The issue of crowd abuse has become an Ashes flashpoint with Ponting involved in a swearing exchange with an abusive spectator during the third Test at Edgbaston.The spectator, who leaned over a grandstand to abuse Ponting, was later ejected from the ground.Security was tightened for the fourth Test amid concerns the abuse could reach new levels at the Leeds ground with a reputation for rowdy behaviour.However, Ponting has been at pains to point out that most fans have simply been involved in harmless banter with players.

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