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Ashes 2023

‘The media played it up a little bit’ – Travis Head dismisses post-Ashes drinks episode, says ‘those things happen’

Travis Head speaks about the post-Ashes drinks snub episode
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Travis Head has dismissed the much talked-about episode of England snubbing the Australian team for a customary post-Ashes drink as something that was played up by the media whereas the players themselves laughed it off in the end.

After England won the fifth Ashes Test at the Kia Oval to square the series, reports emerged that the Australian team had returned to their hotel after having waited for the home team to join in for a customary drinking session on the ground for a long time.

England captain Ben Stokes then tweeted to clarify that England’s dressing-room ceremonies took a long time, since they involved several retirement speeches from Stuart Broad and Moeen Ali as well as the team physiotherapist. By the time they wrapped up, the Australian team had left the ground, leading to a controversy of sorts.


Head confirmed the same while speaking on the Willow Talk podcast. He said that while it was frustrating and disappointing for the Australian team to wait that long for the hosts, it was not a deliberate act, and that the media played it up a bit.

“In terms of it, it’s been played up a little bit. Post-match, I think we hung around for a little bit. They had a couple of retirements, and, I think, a few staff that was going. We sort of knocked a couple of times and got told two minutes, which turned into an hour, and the boys got a bit fed up.

“But yeah, a few of the boys met up with them afterwards, and I’ve been in contact with a couple of the guys that I was close with about the differences in the timings. A bit disappointing, but I don’t think it was by design.”

Head also spoke about how the players laughed off the incident when they finally met at a nightclub: “We didn’t go there together. It’s just by design again that both teams found themselves at the same place.

“I think it was a Monday night, but there are not many places to go on a Monday night in London, so we found ourselves at the same place… shared one or two Vodka Red Bulls together and then off to the flight.

“There was a few boys that I know. Ben Duckett was sort of chirping me a little bit about us dogging them and I chirped in a little bit about them dogging us, so all in good spirits. Like I said, I think it was all a bit laughed off from us, and then the media played it up a little bit. It wasn’t meant to be, but those things happen.”

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