Stokes breaks silence on reports stating ENG refused post-Ashes beer with AUS | Crickit
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Ben Stokes breaks silence on reports stating England refused post-Ashes beer with Australia

Aug 01, 2023 04:18 PM IST

Unsurprisingly, there was an undertone of that carried into the post-series celebrations as well, forcing Ben Stokes to take to social media to clear the air,

Honours were fittingly shared at the conclusion of the 2023 Ashes, one of the greatest and most evenly-matched contests in Test cricket in recent years. England came all the way back from 2-0 down to tie up the series, and although Australia retained the urn, England’s ‘Bazball’ outfit should be very satisfied with their performance throughout the series.

England's captain Ben Stokes smiles at the presentation ceremony, after England's victory on day five of the fifth Ashes cricket Test match between England and Australia (AFP)
England's captain Ben Stokes smiles at the presentation ceremony, after England's victory on day five of the fifth Ashes cricket Test match between England and Australia (AFP)

However, the series wasn’t without its fair share of controversy on the pitch and behind the scenes, with the fiery nature of the rivalry coming through in clashes throughout the series. Perhaps somewhat unsurprisingly, there was an undertone of that carried into the post-series celebrations as well, forcing England captain Ben Stokes to take to social media to clear the air, after miscommunication and confusion meant the two teams didn’t meet in the locker rooms of the Oval post-match.

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Australia-based journalist Bharat Sundaresan reported via his Twitter account: “Didn’t look like the Australian and English teams had their customary post-series drinks tonight at The Oval. Did notice the Aussies hanging around for quite a while waiting & Steve Smith even peering into the English rooms a couple of times before giving up.”

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Fuel would be added to the fire as Sundaresan later wrote: “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.”

However, Stokes would set matters straight, not wishing to end the series on a sour note following the quality of cricket that had been on show. Responding to the tweets above, Stokes wrote: “To clarify… Our wrap took longer than expected because of multiple last time events.”

Stokes, tweeting late into the night in UK time, also confirmed that the two camps did ultimately get together to celebrate a fine summer of Test cricket, meeting at a nightclub in London in lieu of the locker room meeting. “We decided to meet up in the night club rather than the dressing room,” wrote the English captain to his followers.

A spokesperson from the England camp also clarified what had happened, stating there was no malice or ill-will involved, and it was simply a delay caused by saying farewells to Stuart Broad, with this being the final Test of his career, as well as potentially Moeen Ali, alongside other members of the English staff.

Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, the spokesperson claimed: “After the media commitments at the end of the Test, both teams had their families and friends celebrating and reminiscing in the respective dressing rooms. That lasted quite a long period. We then did our end-of-Test wrap-up, which included a number of presentations to our retired players and staff.”

These events caused some concern about the teams harbouring negativity, with England’s coach Brendon McCullum having claimed “I can’t imagine we’ll be having a beer with them any time soon,” after the infamous dismissal of Jonny Bairstow by Alex Carey at Lord’s.

However, the Kiwi would soon after retract that claim, saying the moment wouldn’t come in the way of an important cricket custom. “It’s a lovely line for the narrative, isn’t it? In the end, we’re all going to sit down and have a beer, aren’t we? It was just a little bit of banter at the end there,” said McCullum.

A fine conclusion to a thrilling series saw the outgoing Stuart Broad claim the last two wickets of the series, sealing a memorable series draw for his team as his final act in Test cricket. Both teams will have a month-long break, before white ball duties at home for England against New Zealand and Ireland, and travelling to South Africa and India for Australia, with the World Cup fast approaching in October.

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