公开: There was a BOOZE culture on England’s disastrous Ashes tour, with coaches drinking just as heavily as players in hotel bubbles – and curfews are now likely to return on away trips
England’s disastrous Ashes trip has been further clouded by concerns over a drinking culture developing among players and backroom staff, as the team managing director Ashley Giles prepared an end-of-tour report that could decide the fate of head coach Chris Silverwood.
With bubble life at times restricting the movement of the tourists, alcohol was more readily available than usual at the team’s various hotels — and that placed a premium on making the most of the occasional night out.
Allowances were made because of the claustrophobic nature of life during the pandemic, with the England team spending more time in bubbles than any other side in the world since a pandemic was declared almost two years ago.
But some members of the coaching staff are understood to have been drinking as heavily as the players.
One possibility after Covid restrictions come to an end is the return of the curfews imposed by former managing director Andrew Strauss during the previous Ashes tour, when it emerged that Jonny Bairstow had greeted Australian opener Cameron Bancroft with a headbutt in a Perth bar.
施特劳斯, who now chairs the ECB’s performance cricket committee, will assess Giles’ 报告, along with chief executive Tom Harrison, who is believed to have been unimpressed with the England set-up during his three-week visit to Australia.
England players suffered an embarrassing 4-0 Ashes loss to Australia this winter
Rules had been relaxed regarding alcohol ahead of the tour given the Covid restrictions
在另一个事件中, one of the players declined to take a skin-fold test, then claimed England were trying to ‘fat-shame’ 他.
A decision on Silverwood’s fate will need to be made quickly, with England’s Test team set to leave for a three-match series in the Caribbean towards the end of February.
就他而言, Silverwood has insisted he wants to stay on as England head coach — but admitted he could have ‘shown my teeth more’ to the players amid accusations of dressing-room cosiness.
Since beating India at Chennai last February, England have lost 10 Tests out of 14 and won only one — their worst sequence for 25 年份. That has left Silverwood’s fate dependent both on the post-series report by Giles and the views of Harrison and other members of the performance cricket committee, chaired by Strauss.
There is a loss of confidence among the players in Silverwood’s ability and disappointment at poor communication.
Before one Test, the coach sat down to tell a player he had been dropped, only for the player to say he had already read of his demise in a newspaper.
England head coach Chris Silverwood (剩下) is awaiting a decision about his future
But Silverwood is adamant that, with the help of a reformed red-ball driven domestic structure, he can turn it around. ‘My job will be under scrutiny,’ 他说. ‘But I would love to help effect those changes within the county structures. I would like to put some of this right. I think I’m a good coach, but there are things that are out of my hands.’
With less than six weeks before England fly to the Caribbean, Harrison and Strauss have little time to make recommendations to the ECB board. But whoever emerges as head coach may find powers diluted, with Silverwood struggling to balance day-to-day coaching with the dual demands of the Test and white-ball teams, plus the role of chief selector.
Assistant coaches such as Paul Collingwood, in charge of the T20 team’s tour of the Caribbean, and Graham Thorpe may be asked to take on more responsibility.
The hierarchy must also decide whether a combination of Root and Silverwood lacks a bad-cop figure to tell the players home truths, with Root admitting after the Hobart loss that ‘there might be times where we need to get a little bit harder’.
Silverwood said: ‘I try to work through things with them, rather than shout or growl. I’m not afraid to show my teeth, but I sometimes wonder whether I should do it more. But then does it make it less effective? 我不知道。’
The farcical conclusion to the fifth Test may not work in his favour. Silverwood said after the surrender: ‘I believe they’re still playing for us. What we saw was players that are tired. It was hard to watch.’
目前, he said he would ‘start planning for the West Indies’ and considering options outside the 16 who played in Australia. ‘What have we got out there? Do we need to make changes?’ Silverwood pondered.
Whether he is asking those questions in a few weeks’ time is a matter for his bosses.
England’s managing director Ashley Giles is now preparing an end-of-tour report