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Ashes 2023

Beergate: Ben Stokes refutes Australian media reports of post-series dressing room snub by England

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Ben Stokes has refuted reports that the England team snubbed Australia in forgoing the tradition of a post-Ashes get-together in the changing rooms, saying that the teams “decided to meet up in the night club” instead.

Not long after the thrilling finish at the Kia Oval, with England claiming a 49-run win, stories began to appear in the Australian press based on a ‘source’ within the touring camp, saying that the home side had decided not to partake in any cross-country celebrations.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, one member of the Australia camp “claimed they knocked on the England dressing room door a number of times and waited for more than an hour” before deciding to leave.


According to Fox Cricket, a source said of the snub, “We don’t really care, we’ve got the urn, but after a hard-fought series it is pretty pathetic. Talk about the spirit of cricket.”

However, Stokes has since tweeted that England’s “wrap took longer than expected” with the retirements of Stuart Broad and Moeen Ali partly the cause of the delay. “We decided to meet up in the night club rather than the dressing room,” he added, with the message posted at 4.11am UK time.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, an England spokesperson offered further clarification: “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. After the formal proceedings we were going to invite Australia in for a drink and they had left.

“I’m not sure what the exact time was, but it was around 10.30pm, 10.40pm. There was no indication to say they had gone. It’s a great shame that a drink wasn’t shared and the opportunity of looking back on an epic series.”

The incident follows England head coach Brendon McCullum saying “I can’t imagine we’ll be having a beer with them any time soon,” following Alex Carey’s controversial stumping of Jonny Bairstow at Lord’s, words which Australia head coach Andrew McDonald found “disappointing”.

You can bet on the 2023 Ashes with our Match Centre partners, bet365.

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