Travis Head lifts the lid on 'disappointing' England move after Ashes series

The fallout to the post-Ashes misunderstanding between England and Australia has taken another twist.

Pictured right is Aussie batter Travis Head and Ben Stokes on the left with Moeen Ali.
Aussie batter Travis Head has shed more light on the post-Ashes drinks controversy involving Ben Stokes' England side.

Aussie cricket star Travis Head has shed more light on the post-Ashes drinks controversy after confirming his side became "fed up" waiting for England's players to share a traditional drink with them. England's apparent snub sparked controversy before captain Ben Stokes explained it had all been a big misunderstanding and that players from both teams met at a London club later in the evening.

Post-series drinks have been a long-standing tradition in international cricket, with players usually gathering together once meetings and family time is finished. Following the retirements of England bowling great Stuart Broad and Moeen Ali (for the second time) though, England's post-series wrap-up took longer than expected.

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Australian players reportedly asked numerous times if they could enter the English sheds, but the door was locked and the tourists weren't let in. The Aussies eventually gave up and left the ground around 10.45pm, with England surprised to hear they'd already departed and Stokes left to explain the situation afterwards.

“To clarify… Our wrap took longer than expected because of multiple last time events,” Stokes tweeted. “We decided to meet up in the night club rather than the dressing room.”

The apparent snub was initially labelled 'pathetic' by the Aussie camp and perhaps became more of a talking point because England coach Brendon McCullum threatened to boycott drinks earlier in the series, following the controversial Jonny Bairstow stumping at Lord's that saw Australia questioned over the "spirit of cricket". Speaking on the Willow Talk podcast, Head suggested the post-series drinks issue had been blown out of proportion, even if he did admit it was "a bit disappointing".

“In terms of it, it’s been played up a little bit,” Head said. "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.

England captain Ben Stokes is on the right with Australian opposite Pat Cummins after the Ashes series.
Ben Stokes was forced to clarify suggestions England rejected Australia's offer of a post-Ashes series beer. Image: Getty

Australia and England players met up by chance

Head also said it happened by chance that England and Australia players met up at the nightclub afterwards, revealing that it had not been pre-planned.

“We didn’t go there together (the nightclub). 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.”

The Aussie batter said players from both sides played up the drama and took turns exchanging sledges about who was responsible for the post-series snub. “There was a few boys that I know, [like] 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,” added Head.

“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.”

England opener Zak Crawley echoed the sentiments from Head when talking about it on The Vaughany and Tuffers Cricket Club podcast. “It was a shame that the timing just didn’t work,” Crawley said. “Obviously both teams do a debrief and ours is usually a bit shorter than it was on Monday night.

“We had ‘Broady’ (Stuart Broad) leaving, ‘Mo’ (Moeen Ali) leaving and one of the physios was leaving as well. So, we had our normal debrief and a send-off for those guys. 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.”

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