Australia’s cricket captain, Pat Cummins, has spoken out about the post-Ashes drinks controversy, shedding light on the series of events that led to the perceived misunderstanding between the England and Australia teams. Cummins shared his perspective during a Cricket Australia event held at the Sydney Cricket Ground, marking his first public comments on the matter since the conclusion of the enthralling five-match bilateral series.
Speaking candidly, Cummins acknowledged that the customary post-series change room beer did not materialize, expressing his disappointment at the missed opportunity for camaraderie. “It would have been nice to have a beer with them,” Cummins revealed, adding, “After a great Ashes, it would have been good. Not to be. I think they had a fair few meetings on in their change room and we hung around for a bit. But we had a pretty good night.”
The controversy stemmed from the conclusion of the riveting Ashes 2023 series, which concluded with discussions surrounding the traditional post-series drink. Media reports in Australia suggested that the English team declined the customary drinks with their Australian counterparts after securing victory in the final Test. This led to speculation about potential tension between the teams, fueled by contentious moments during the series, including Jonny Bairstow’s controversial dismissal at Lord’s.
Amid the growing debate, Australian players, including Pat Cummins, attempted to enter the English dressing room following the final Test, seemingly with the intention of sharing the drink. However, their efforts were thwarted as the dressing room door remained locked. The English team later clarified that logistical constraints, such as post-match functions for retiring players and select staff members, prevented the planned joint celebration. England’s captain, Ben Stokes, further clarified on Twitter that the teams had instead gathered at a nightclub due to extended post-match activities.
Addressing the incident, Australian cricketer Travis Head emphasized that England’s actions were not a deliberate snub but rather a matter of timing mismatch. He conveyed that both teams had been waiting for a post-game handshake opportunity, but circumstances played out differently than expected. Despite the episode, friendly relations between the two teams were maintained throughout the series, with limited instances of on-field verbal exchanges reported.
“We didn’t go there together… It’s just by design again that both teams found themselves at the same place,” Head had previously commented in an interview.
The comments from Pat Cummins provide a unique insight into the behind-the-scenes dynamics during the Ashes 2023 series, highlighting the complex interplay of events that led to the post-Ashes drinks controversy. While the missed opportunity for the customary celebration may have left a sense of disappointment, it is evident that the series brought moments of intense competition and camaraderie between the teams, contributing to the rich history of the Ashes rivalry.