Dry argument after Australia’s Ashes drinks snub

Australia cricketers have been denied the traditional post-Ashes series drinks with England.


Aug 01, 2023, updated Aug 01, 2023

Australian players were spotted looking into the hosts’ dressing rooms after play, before eventually giving up and leaving the ground at close to 10.45pm.

England’s team were then spotted coming out shortly after the Aussies had left.

Post-series drinks have long been a tradition of international cricket, with players usually gathering once meetings and family time is finished.

However, they did not go ahead on Monday night at The Oval after Australia’s 49-run loss to England, retaining the Urn but failing to win the series.

AAP has been told Australian players asked numerous times to enter the English sheds, but the door was locked and the tourists not let in.

Australian players are known to have been disappointed by the lack of social relations, with the two teams drinking together late into the night after the fifth Test at the same venue in 2019.

England sources have since told AAP that they expected to drink with Australia following their meetings and extended retirement presentations, but were surprised to learn the tourists had left.

The hosts are putting the drama down to a misunderstanding.

It comes after England coach Brendon McCullum had threatened to boycott the drinks earlier in the series, following the controversial Jonny Bairstow stumping at Lord’s.

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In interviews earlier this month, McCullum and captain Ben Stokes also accused Australia of breaching the spirit of cricket.

Australian players were continually heckled by English crowds following the incident, with the Lord’s long room incident only one example of the side regularly being labelled cheats.

Tensions had appeared to ease between the two teams in recent Tests, albeit with Bairstow continually making exaggerated efforts to stay in his crease while batting.

Stokes had also indicated early on Monday evening that relations with Australian players had been friendly, with limited sledging in the series.

“That’s the progression of franchise cricket to be honest,” Stokes said.

“There are a lot of players who have relationships with the opposition now, not just England and Australia, but with other teams around the world.

“Especially with the IPL, you can spend nine weeks with someone who you are playing against.

“I spent two or three years at Rajasthan with Steve Smith. You get to know each other and stuff like that.”

Monday night’s lack of socialising comes after a similar incident following the 2017 Border-Gavaskar, where Virat Kohli’s Indian team refused to drink with Australia following a fiery series.

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