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Bombshell Report Unearths Claims Of 'Fat Shaming' And 'Drinking Cultures' Within England's Ashes Camp

Max Sherry


Bombshell Report Unearths Claims Of 'Fat Shaming' And 'Drinking Cultures' Within England's Ashes Camp

"Honestly, everyone has got a story about how shambolic it has been."

That is the quote from an anonymous player that perhaps best encapsulates the overall feeling within England's catastrophic camp.

The post-mortem into the team's Ashes nightmare has already begun and a new bombshell report has unearthed issues of fat shaming and a potential drinking culture.

England were hammered 4-0 on foreign soil as the Aussie retained the Ashes with absolute ease.

Failing to win a single Test is bad enough, but the Three Lions rarely threatened the home side during their underwhelming time Down Under and the team itself will probably go down as one of the worst in Ashes history.

Now, though, a staggering post-tour report in The Telegraph has painted a pretty bleak picture of the England set-up under head coach and sole selector Chris Silverwood.

Chris Silverwood. Credit: Alamy
Chris Silverwood. Credit: Alamy

"As Silverwood reflected on the tour he wondered if he had been too soft on the players. Certainly the cosiness of the set-up has been a major talking point," respected English cricket journalist Nick Hoult wrote in The Telegraph.

"One player refused to take part in the skin-fold test - a gauge of body fat - and, when pressed, accused England of trying to fat shame him. The test was never carried out.

"Fitness levels clearly dipped for some players, who started the tour in good shape but appeared to let that side drift as the tour went on. [Ollie] Robinson's conditioning was an issue from the first Test, when he spent time off the field, but became a recurring theme in every game.

"When England had the chance for a day off in Hobart, Robinson went and played golf even though he was troubled by a shoulder problem that threatened his chances of playing, with Craig Overton preparing to play in his place. Robinson declared himself fit on the morning of the match but then went down with a back spasm. England needed to be tougher and the medics overrule him but Silverwood and Root needed a win and Robinson is a good bowler."

Joe Root's captaincy came into question too. Credit: Alamy
Joe Root's captaincy came into question too. Credit: Alamy

Hoult also said there was underlying concerns over a "drinking culture within the whole touring party and whether restrictions were loosened too much in Brisbane in the weeks leading up to the series and before the Covid bubble was tightened when families arrived.

"Seeking solace in the glass is not unusual on Ashes tours and even more so in bubbles, which have a two-fold effect. The players have drinks laid on in the hotels which are at least away from camera phones and the public, but on the rare days they are allowed out they are more likely to go wild.

"It is certain that the midnight curfew introduced by Andrew Strauss will return when Covid bubbles go, the players failing to do enough to convince the management they can be fully trusted again."

Openers Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed failed to impress. Credit: Alamy
Openers Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed failed to impress. Credit: Alamy

But it seems what was happening away from the oval wasn't the only issue for England.

Silverwood's role as coach has also come into question with many critics believing his head could roll sometime soon.

And this latest bombshell report certainly isn't doing him any favours.

"Some senior players felt left out of discussions over tactics and another was angered to learn he had been dropped after reading it in the press," Hoult wrote.

"Another felt he had not been given enough time to prepare for a Test, learning only 48 hours before that he would be playing."

In particular, Silverwood's management of perhaps England's best bowler throughout the series Mark Wood has come under fire from pundits, former players and fans alike.

Mark Wood took 6-37 on the final day of the series. Credit: Alamy
Mark Wood took 6-37 on the final day of the series. Credit: Alamy

"The Durham bowler became the tourists' prized asset, their only genuine pace option, and yet he ended up bowling more overs when the series was dead than when it was alive. What a waste," Hoult wrote.

"England had stacked their chips on the pink-ball Test in Adelaide because Anderson had taken 5-43 there four years ago. But having relentlessly extolled the virtues of pace for the last four years, they picked the same three seamers - Broad, Anderson and Chris Woakes - who had lost at the same venue in 2017 by 120 runs. They were worse this time.

"[Jack] Leach was not picked because England had been spooked by how he was mauled in Brisbane. They ended up using two part-time spinners and Ollie Robinson bowling off-spin and had to watch as Nathan Lyon took five wickets for Australia. Even the groundsman tried to warn them, saying 48 hours before the game: 'History says that the pitch will spin'."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: ashes, Cricket News, Australia

Max Sherry
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