England’s team culture has been underlined as the prime reason why Joe Root’s men failed abysmally during The Ashes, with a new report revealing claims of ‘fat shaming’ and heavy drinking during the tour.
As the post-mortems continue in the aftermath of the humiliating defeat, reports in the UK reveal how one player reportedly rejected a standard fitness test, and accused management of fat shaming.
LIVE UPDATES: Aussie Sam Stosur hits the court
“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,” The Telegraph’s Nick Hoult wrote.
“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.”
Pat Cummins’ classy captaincy move
England bowler Ollie Robinson came under fire from sections of the media and former players for his lack of availability, raising question marks about his fitness.
Various injuries hindered his impact during the tour, with the seamer taking 11 wickets in four games at an average of 25.54. While he was a clear threat to the Australian batting order, his injury problems stopped him from playing and became a talking point during the series.
Robinson experienced back spasms during the Hobart Test which forced him to sit for a period, leading to some within the team to question his preparation.
According to The Telegraph, Robinson failed to make his fitness an absolute priority, and even played golf despite the potential to aggravate an injury.
Mark Wood bowls Pat Cummins as Australia all out for 155
“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,” Hoult wrote.
Coach Chris Silverwood’s style of management has also come under the microscope, with a drinking culture among players reportedly sparking concern.
Former England skipper Michael Vaughan believes the cultural issues stem from players having too much power in the modern game. Vaughan said players have too many options.
“Coaches and administrators have to try and grab back some of the power. I have heard stories on this Ashes tour of England players refusing to do things they have been asked by the management. That cannot be right,” Vaughan wrote.
“Players have to be told in no uncertain terms: ‘This is what it takes to be an England player.’ It is non-negotiable. Not the other way around.
“Players have great opportunities now with franchise leagues around the world but the best contract of the lot is the England central contract.”
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!