'Spirit of Cricket' debate up again as England allegedly dodge customary post-series beer with Aussies
Even as the Ashes 2023 culminated with an England win at The Oval leading the two teams to a rather fitting 2-2 scoreline, there was no stoppage on the 'Spirit of Cricket' debate that hogged the limelight throughout the five-match Test series.
The old adage was now invoked over the customary post-Ashes beer session that the two teams tend to indulge in. Veteran Australian journalist Bharat Sundaresan revealed the English team dodged the Aussie request for the post-series beer and opted to stay behind the dressing room walls before ultimately leaving the stadium.
Sundaresan following the Australian team ever so closely confirmed the tourists waited for their English counterparts to come out and former skipper Steve Smith even entered the English dressing room to check if they are ready to come out. But they decided to skip the post-series interactions.
Now hearing that the Aussie players did ask the England team about getting together half a dozen times but didn’t get a response and that allegedly the home team stayed behind locked doors #Ashes https://t.co/BopRk4iCaZ— Bharat Sundaresan (@beastieboy07) July 31, 2023
English team avoids post-Ashes beer interaction with Aussies; Stokes clarifies
The incident has raised the 'Spirit of Cricket' debate yet again between the two teams. After claiming throughout the Test series that the Australians weren't compliant with the unwritten spirit rules, especially after the controversial Jonny Bairstow stumping at Lord's, were England right in opting to skip the customary post-series beer interaction even as the opposition was willing to bridge the indifferences?
The incident reminded fans of the comments made by head coach Brendon McCullum after the Bairstow controversy, wherein the England Test support staff head had said they will not be indulging in the friendly post-series beer with their Australian counterparts, feeling miffed at them for not backtracking on the stumping appeal at Lord's.
Here is how they reacted to the episode:
If true, poor behaviour from a team which now sits appropriately as a symbol for a nation of whining blowhards. Whatever high ground they pretended to occupy is crumbled beneath them.— Andy Maher (@AndyMaherDFA) July 31, 2023
The #Ashes are Australia’s. https://t.co/TaxhC4XYD7
"That's really disappointing. I love their cricket, England. They are a very difficult team to like if they're conducting themselves like that, though."— Whateley (@WhateleySEN) July 31, 2023
- Gerard https://t.co/RGlywXIv17
no means no. half a dozen is an overkill! https://t.co/hcDawBDOzA— Sreshth Shah (@sreshthx) August 1, 2023
This is petty and pathetic from England.— Corey Norris (@coreynorris9) August 1, 2023
Great series, the drama, twists and turns injected plenty of life into Test cricket and the Ashes rivalry is as fierce as ever.
But you shake hands and have a couple of beers with your opponents…don’t be sooks. https://t.co/2OSBtB3tZh
The more that comes out about that group of little boys, the happier I become.— Jack Fitzpatrick (@JackFitzT1) August 1, 2023
‘Reinventing’ the game, choosing which rules they do and don’t play by as they go, failing to win, celebrating like they did anyway and throwing tantrums.
Please don’t stop!#Ashes23 #Ashes2023 https://t.co/vP0cyPCcws
The true spirit of cricket is sooking too hard to have a beer https://t.co/lFqKanyoGU— elle hardy (@ellehardy) August 1, 2023
Would have thought the winners of the moral Ashes would have been keen to show some sportsmanship! 🤡 https://t.co/TjSw0QXwpJ— Hammy Goodman (@HandsomeHammyG) July 31, 2023
That's pathetic from the poms. They love to rattle on about their precious spirit of cricket, yet they do stuff like this. https://t.co/cLKyGRaMZk— Eleanor 🖤 (@Eleanor1998_) August 1, 2023
And Australia have clinched the moral ashes with an unreal comeback in the dying moments of the series. What a win. https://t.co/6hwZrFbdyt— AB (@AB_Singh7) August 1, 2023
But Ben Stokes confirmed later that all is hunky-dory between the two sides and their inability to come out for the post-beer interaction at the ground was down to "multiple last time events" and the two teams did indulge in a friendly drink at the "night club rather than the dressing room".
To clarify…— Ben Stokes (@benstokes38) August 1, 2023
Our wrap took longer than expected because of multiple last time event’s.
We decided to meet up in the night club rather than the dressing room
Either way, one of the most absorbing Ashes series in recent history finally came to an end, with Australia managing to retain the urn but failing once again to clinch a Test series on the UK shores this century. That remains an elusive prize, with no other Australian touring party other than Steve Waugh's men in 2001 going on to conquer the great challenge.