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Ashes 2023

‘Jack Leach actually wrote a poem’ – Ollie Robinson on the dressing room speeches that prevented England having a beer with Australia | Ashes 2023

Ollie Robinson, Ben Stokes, Pat Cummins
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Ollie Robinson has shed light on the reason England did not host Australia in their dressing room after the fifth Ashes Test at the Kia Oval for the traditional end of series beers.

It’s long been tradition that after a hard-fought series, both sets of players will come together after it finishes for drinks in the home team’s dressing room. However, after the dramatic conclusion of the final Test in the evening of the fifth day at the Kia Oval, reports emerged that the gathering had not happened.

It was reported that the Australia players had gone to the England dressing room, but were not let in despite repeated attempts to honour the tradition. In the early hours of the following morning, Ben Stokes quashed the rumours from his Twitter account, writing: “Our wrap took longer than expected because of multiple last time events. We decided to meet up in the night club rather than the dressing room.”


Writing in his column for the Telegraph, James Anderson also cleared up what went on the prevented the drinks. “There were a few farewells at the Oval, besides Stuart (Broad),” wrote Anderson. “Moeen Ali was retiring too and our physio, Steve Griffin, is moving on because he has been promoted. So there were a few presentations and we all said a few words about the summer which is why we missed having a drink with the Aussies. It was just unfortunate timing. When we had finished they had left. We were disappointed too, because we were looking forward to having a drink with them. It was not a snub or anything like that. We saw a few in the nightclub later and caught up then.”

Zak Crawley also had the same account speaking on The Vaughany and Tuffers Cricket Club Podcast. “Obviously both teams do a debrief and ours is usually a bit shorter than it was on Monday night,” said Crawley. “We were just in there a bit too long and it didn’t quite work for the Aussies. That was a shame. It wasn’t anyone’s fault, the timings just didn’t quite work.”

In his column for Wisden.com after the Test, Ollie Robinson also opened up on the celebrations in the England dressing room after their series-levelling win.

“The end of a series is always a special time for us as a squad,” wrote Robinson. “After the game we had an hour to ourselves where it was just the players and support staff before we were joined by family and friends. We sat down as a whole group and sent off Broady, Moeen and our physio Steve Griffin and just gave our thanks, going around the room speaking about our time together and what it’s meant to play with them.

“Jimmy spoke really well about Broady, and Woakesy spoke really well about Mo. Baz and Stokesy are really keen on these moments because they care most about the memories, not necessarily the cricket. And I think those couple hours were the sort of times that if you asked the lads in years to come, they won’t be forgetting that in a hurry.

“The Aussies left before we got a chance to have a beer with them but a few of them came out after and we saw them later so it was all good in the end. Jack Leach actually wrote a poem about the series. It was a special few hours in the changing room.”

Leach suffered a stress fracture in his back before the start of the Ashes series. With another six months until England play their next Test match and Moeen officially retired from the format, he is expected to reprise his role in the side in India in January.

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

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