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Ponting and teammates visit site of World War I

Villers-Bretonneux (France): Ricky Pointing & Co. paid their respects to the 10,000 Australian troops who died in France in the World War I.

The 16 members of the one-day squad and support staff spent the day in the Somme, repeating a similar trip to Gallipoli by the 2001 Ashes team.

“They really enjoyed it and found it very moving,” a spokesperson said. The Australians spent time at Australian National Memorial in Villers-Bretonneux and took a guided tour of the Franco-Australian museum, which celebrates in part the special link between the two nations. The Australian soldiers earned the respect of the town’s inhabitants because they tried to retake it in 1918.

The players, whose visit coincides with the 61st anniversary of the Allied D-Day landings in France during the World War II, hope to start a tradition by visiting areas of national significance at the start of every Ashes tour. John Buchanan said the visit would help the players forge a closer team spirit. (AFP)

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