There seems to be “No cheer” but only “Cheers” for the England cricket team during the current Ashes series in Australia.
Already 0-2 down in the five-match series, England seem to be docile on the field and extremely aggressive off it.
If they don’t pull up their socks in the ongoing Third Test at Perth, then the Ashes will be snatched by Australia.
Rarely has one seen such a lukewarm effort by England in one of cricket’s biggest clashes.
It is possible that there is too much of cold Australian beer running through their veins that has numbed their brains and slowed their reactions.
Yes, booze and bad behaviour has dogged England’s tour to Australia even before they left their shores.
Ben Stokes was suspended over an incident at a bar. England are definitely paying for his indiscretion as the results reveal.
Then there was the case of Johnny Bairstow, who head-butted Australian batsman Cameron Bancroft, which he claims was friendly.
The latest incident concerns Ben Duckett, who was in Australia with the England Lions team. He poured beer over the head of England’s premier fast bowler James Anderson. It is believed that some of the others also misbehaved too in the same bar.
The Bairstow incident also happened in the same bar
Unfortunately, these incidents have given enough ammunition to the Australian players and the press to run down the England team.
The Australians are merciless when it comes to their press and players during an England tour. They are the masters in the art of sledging and England must be getting an earful on the pitch.
The Australian press can take bias to its heights and they are never afraid to add more than a dash of spice to these incidents.
These incidents have tarnished the image of the team and the management. Pre-series statements about England players being mature and that they know how to behave have fallen flat on their faces.
After the Stokes incident, the England management should have come down heavily on the team. Instead they choose not to impose schoolboy bans and let the players decide what they wanted.
The defeats, combined with the management’s so-called trust, have put England in a poor light.
Responsible seniors like Alistair Cook and Moen Ali will feel let down. It is fairly clear that England’s drinking culture has changed after the entry of the new players.
They don’t believe in a drink. They prefer to gulp down as many they can which leads to troubling situations.
The England management must realise this. The older players always exercised a bit of restraint. The new generation doesn’t give a damn.
England must address this issue urgently before they become an object of ridicule.
Give powers to the seniors to control the team. Someone like Cook is best placed to handle the scenario.
That way, England will not let their opponents to rub it in over their poor performances.