'In the wrong': England fume over female cricketer's brutal joke

Andrew Reid
·5-min read
Pictured right, England women's star Alexandra Hartley, with men's Test captain Joe Root on the left.
England women's star Alexandra Hartley's joke at the expense of Joe Root's Test side sparked a fierce debate on social media. Pic: AAP

England women's cricket star Alexandra Hartley has sparked a war of words on social media after an attempted dig at the men's team backfired spectacularly.

The English men's Test team crashed to a farcical 10-wicket defeat in the third Test against India that was decided inside two days.

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Seventeen wickets fell in just two sessions in Ahmedabad on Thursday as batsmen on both sides were left in a spin before India eased to victory.

Spinners from both sides wrought havoc on the surface where 30 wickets fell in under two days.

England capitulated to be all out for 84 in their second innings, which was even worse than their paltry first innings total of 112.

India then cruised to victory after being set 49 to win, sealing their shortest Test match victory ever in terms of the number of balls faced.

As if that humiliating defeat wasn't bad enough to take for England's players, Hartley then stuck the boot in with a brutal joke on social media.

"Nice of the England boys to get this Test match finished just before England Women play tonight," she tweeted, followed by four clapping hands emojis.

England opener Rory Burns - dropped in favour of Zak Crawley for the third Test - was one of the first to express his disgust at the comment from Hartley.

"Very disappointing attitude considering all the 'boys' do to support the women’s game," he responded.

The tweet has since been deleted.

However, the outrage was far from over with fellow England player Ben Duckett also taking aim at Hartley in a debate that quickly escalated on social media.

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The backlash to England's embarrassing defeat against India has been fierce, with several former players voicing their concerns.

Former England captain Sir Alastair Cook admitted he felt uncomfortable watching the "mayhem" of India's rapid victory in the day-night third Test due to the state of the Ahmedabad pitch.

Pitch under fire from former players

Cook called India worthy winners - but felt the state of the pitch meant "there's something that doesn't sit quite right."

"It doesn't look great when India win by 10 wickets because it was a lot closer than that actually," England's leading Test run-scorer said on Channel 4.

"India deserved the win. Obviously they are better in those conditions, but it was a tough Test match to watch. The pitch had such a big influence on that.

"That was so hard playing against spin today. India lost seven for 40 when the pressure was on, England were all out for 80. That is incredibly hard to bat against.

"I was sitting here thinking how would I have played against certain balls, what game plan. I can't work out a low-risk strategy that would have been successful - unless you have a lot of luck.

Seen here, India celebrate during their victory against England in the third Test.
India took a 2-1 series lead after beating England inside two days of the third Test. Pic: AAP

"I don't like that on day two. On day four I'd have no problem. People can say that's sour grapes.

"The better side won, and that's fair play to India, but there's something that doesn't quite sit right."

Former England spinner Phil Tufnell felt "a little bit bit let down" by the early outcome inside two days.

"I feel a little bit deprived. It was boiling into a fantastic series and it's sort of become a bit of a shootout," he said.

"It has taken away a bit of the skill from the players. I feel a little bit let down."

Former England captain Michael Vaughan added on his Twitter account: "Entertaining .. YES .. but this is an awful pitch for Test cricket .. !!!! Complete lottery on day 2 !!"

It wasn't just ex-England players complaining. Former India international Yuvraj Singh tweeted: "Finished in two days. Not sure if that's good for Test cricket!.

"If (former India bowlers) Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh bowled on these kind of wickets they would be sitting on a thousand and 800."

with agencies

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