England apologise for wicket behaviour at the Oval
Players issue statement ahead of opening Twenty20 international against Australians
England’s T20 captain Stuart Broad: insisted players still had the support of the fans, despite accusations of arrogance among the squad. Photograph: Chris Ison/PA
Australia have not won a competitive match across all forms of the game since February, yet it is England who are fielding the difficult questions.
One the eve of the opening Twenty20 international between the sides, England’s players apologised for allegedly urinating on The Oval wicket last weekend and Stuart Broad insisted they still had the support of the fans, despite accusations of arrogance among the squad.
Broad will lead England out at the Rose Bowl but the T20 captain was reticent when questioned about his team-mates’ behaviour on Sunday.
Australian journalists at The Oval described witnessing a group of England players urinating on the pitch after the drawn match, with Graeme Swann later writing: “I think the call of nature might have come once or twice but it was nothing untoward.”
At times during the final Ashes Test there were also criticisms of “boring” tactics from England. However, after winning the Ashes series 3-0, Broad believes the fans’ support has never wavered.
“It’s part and parcel in an Ashes series that you get little things written about and talked about that get taken out of proportion but at the end of the day fans will certainly remember that we won that series 3-0 and played some fantastic and exciting cricket,” Broad said.
“England fans turn out to see winning sides and I think they’re very proud of what this team are putting together. Praise from the media is not something the team is particularly concerned about. At the end of the day the hard facts are we won an Ashes series 3-0.”
England’s players had earlier released a statement saying they were “carried away amongst the euphoria” and apologised if their actions had caused any offence.
“The England cricket team would like to state that during our celebrations after winning the Ashes at no time was there any intention to disrespect Surrey CCC, The Oval or anyone else involved in the game we love,” the statement read.
“As a team we pride ourselves on respecting all things cricket including the opposition and the grounds we play at. We got carried away amongst the euphoria of winning such a prestigious series and accept that some of our behaviour was inappropriate.”
England will select from a squad of 14, with the sides reconvening for a second encounter at Durham on Saturday.