Australia skipper Steve Smith addresses the ‘smoking celebration’

The team has received severe criticism for their off-field antics

Steve Smith
Steve Smith of Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

The Australian side has been tremendous in the Ashes this year. They have won the series comprehensively by a margin of 4-0. The Aussies have out-beaten England in all aspects of the game to regain the glorious Ashes Cup. They are now gearing up for the limited-overs leg of the tour which begins today. However, they have been in the bad news due to their smoking celebration after the triumph over England.

The team has been severely criticized for their off-field antics. Shaun Marsh and Jackson Bird have been spotted smoking at a public bar and were accused of ‘really poor role-modelling’. The Daily Telegraph on Thursday published the photos of this duo smoking as the Australian team has gathered in Sydney to celebrate their victory over England. These images have drawn much criticism as this sets a very bad example to the younger generation.

Unfair to label Marsh and Bird as bad role models

The President of the Australian Medical Association, Dr. Michael Gannon, and the President of the Australian Council on Smoking and Health, Maurice Swanson have expressed their disappointment over the issue. Quit Victoria director opined that the players should have done more so that they don’t fall in the eyes of the public. She said that “In this day and age, why would elite sportsmen (a) still be smoking, and (b) doing so in a public space when children around Australia, teens around Australia, young men, seek to emulate them?”

The thing that draws more attention towards this is the statement CA has issued earlier. They have stated that players have celebrated in a responsible manner. Speaking to the media for the first time after this incident, Steve Smith felt that this was not ideal. He said, “But boys were just there trying to have a good time. Trying to celebrate what’s been a great couple of months and that’s part of playing cricket for your country and winning big series”. Further, Aussie spinner Zampa felt it was unfair to label Marsh and Bird as bad role models. He said that they were smoking in a zone where it is allowed and there weren’t any kids out there.