England cricketers are not thugs, says Andrew Strauss on Bancroft-Bairstow incident
"That's the reality, they are adults, intelligent adults, and at times they are not using that intelligence in the right way. It is a distraction to the team and none of us want that distraction," he added.
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The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Chief, Andrew Strauss, has recently backed his cricketers amidst the ongoing brouhaha surrounding the Bairstow-Bancroft incident. He has imposed a curfew on the English players, which sees the players not being allowed to stay out after midnight during their stay down under for the Ashes.
Strauss reasoned out that the players need to understand that they cannot put the image of the game and the board at stake knowingly or unknowingly with their actions. Andrew Strauss pointed out that the players have been informed about the same earlier as well. He hopes that the team understands this and ensure that they do not get distracted by anything on the tour.
“There is no way that you can or should be putting yourself or the team or the ECB or the game of cricket in a position where people are making judgments about the sport on the back of what you’re doing on a night out. And that’s what the players need to understand. They have been told about this before,” quoted Andrew Strauss as per the quotes in Times of India.
“That’s the reality, they are adults, intelligent adults, and at times they are not using that intelligence in the right way. It is a distraction to the team and none of us want that distraction,” he added.
Good, honest cricketers
Andres Strauss batted for his players and made it clear that they are all well behaved. They have worked really hard to earn the national cap and value it a lot. He added that he will back his cricketers since he knows them personally. For the moment, he feels that the perceptions of people are taking a toll on the entire scene at the moment.
“These guys are not thugs. These are good, honest, hardworking cricketers who sacrifice a lot to play for England. They’ve done some great things in an England shirt and I will back them on that to the hilt because I know them. But the perception of them and the reality is different at the moment and we’ve got to take steps to make sure that reality is what people perceive of the England cricket team, not something different,” mentioned the former cricketer.
On the drinking culture in the team
When asked if there exists a drinking culture in the England team, Andrew Strauss was direct in saying that it is unrealistic to say that the players won’t touch alcohol on a five month long tour. Adding further, he noted that the players were set free and there was no curfew on the night when Jonny Bairstow had hit Cameron Bancroft.
“I think it is unrealistic to say to someone you’re going on a five-month tour and you can’t have a drop of alcohol. There was no curfew on that night (when Bairstow had his moment with Bancroft). But it is worth saying that they had security with them. Nothing untoward happened at any time,” remarked Strauss.
Speaking more about the incident, he noted that there was nothing that went overboard at the bar that day. The players showed good behavior and hence, there were no big news for the team after the incident. Seeing it soar high in the media is something that is quite amusing for the English players.
“They were all well-behaved, they weren’t inebriated, they’d had a couple of beers. That’s why it wasn’t an issue for us. That’s why I didn’t hear about it. That is the reason it has been a complete non-event up until now. No one knew about it because they didn’t do anything wrong and this situation has somewhat surprised all of us,” the ECB Chief conceded.