England players celebrate Ashes win by urinating on Oval pitch
England’s peeing cricket stars have been branded ‘childish’ by an Ashes-winning captain.
Late on Sunday night, several members of the England team, including Kevin Pietersen, Stuart Broad and James Anderson, were spotted urinating over the Oval pitch they had just played on – taking their sprinkler celebrations to new levels.
Former England skipper Ray Illingworth, who once watched team-mate Basil D’Oliveira score 158 on the same Oval pitch against the Aussies, believes they need to be reprimanded for their antics.
“It doesn’t sit comfortably with me,” he said. “I think it is childish behavior and it is time they grew up. I think it reflects pretty badly on them, to be honest.
“If the ECB, sponsors and other people connected with the game take a dim view of it, the players involved will get what they deserve from the negative publicity.
“They may have thought nobody could see what they were doing, but that doesn’t excuse their behaviour because they were spotted.
“More than anything, it’s disrespectful to the ground authority. The Oval is the where the Ashes legend was born, it’s a ground with a long history, and players should respect that.
“I just think it is childish behavior – and after what has just happened with Monty Panesar as well, where the England captain criticized him for his behavior.
“It is a shame because it had been a good day’s cricket.
“It is just sad they felt the need to do it. I don’t know why and for whatever reason, but I would think they will get a reprimand for it and quite rightly so.”
Illingworth was referring to the criticism of Panesar after he had been caught urinating on bouncers outside a Brighton nightclub and had to make a grovelling apology to his skipper Alastair Cook.
However, instead of taking the same dim view, England boss Andy Flower attempted to make light of the situation.
When told of the Australian reaction to their celebrations, he said: “Well, it’s nice to be able to celebrate a win.”
And when pushed further he added: “Can we talk about the Test series win rather than a ridiculous topic like that.”
Flower’s glib response reflects a feeling within the ECB that the Australians and their media are doing whatever they can to deflect attention away from their team’s dismal 3-0 Ashes-losing performance.
There may well be some truth in that.
It fails to acknowledge, however, that his players relieved themselves not only in view of those clearing up at the ground, but also in front of the very groundstaff who had put so much time and effort into preparing the pitch for them.
Surrey chief executive Richard Gould said: “We wouldn’t wish to spoil any celebrations of our successful England team, but naturally we would be disappointed if our pitch was being used in this way.
“We would like to think we provide both teams with ample toilet facilities at the ground for the players to use.”