Steve Smith adds to post-Ashes drama in new revelation about Ben Stokes

Steve Smith says Ben Stokes gave the Aussie side assurances drinks would be shared, only for the visitors to be kept waiting for another hour afterwards.

Steve Smith and Ben Stokes,
Steve Smith says Ben Stokes emerged from the change rooms to assure the Aussies they'd only need to wait a few more minutes for a drink, only for that to become another hour. Pictures: Getty Images

Australian Test star Steve Smith has added further detail to the bizarre series of events regarding the Australian and England teams not having a traditional drink together following the Ashes, revealing several of the Australian players became 'fed up' with waiting nearly four hours after the conclusion of the fourth Test for the home side to open their doors. England captain Ben Stokes later explained that the teams met up at a nearby nightclub later in the evening, however the foregoing of the tradition, on account of ceremonies behind closed doors for the departures of Stuart Broad and Moeen Ali, left many disappointed.

Aussie batter Travis Head has also spoken out about the lengthy wait, revealing players had knocked on the door numerous times as proceedings in the England changing rooms dragged on. The Aussies eventually gave up and left the ground around 10.45pm, with England surprised to hear they'd already departed.

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“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.”

In his interview with SEN, Smith backed up Head's version of events, adding that at one point, Stokes answered the door and said they would join the Aussies in a matter of minutes - only to then keep the visitors waiting for another hour. It was after this, as the evening dragged on following a long and at times acrimonious Ashes series, that Smith said some teammates had had enough.

“We did knock on the door a couple of times. We were waiting around a while and Stokesy came out at one point and said ‘two minutes’ and about an hour passed," Smith said.

“We thought, ‘we can’t keep sitting here. Are we going to have a beer or not’? The guys got a bit fed up and decided it was time to go.

“It was unfortunate, it was the first time in my career that we’ve not had a drink with them after a series and it was a bit of a shame.

“They caught up with a few of the boys in the nightclub later on that night, I had gone home by that stage, but it was a shame not to have a beer and reflect on what was a pretty cool series.”

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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.

The Australian Test team.
The Australian team were left disappointed that a post-Ashes drink wasn't shared with their England rivals. (Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images)

“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 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.”

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