Ashes 2021-22: England batting coach Graham Thorpe facing the axe after video leak

England’s cricket board are investigating a damaging video leak, with the position of batting coach Graham Thorpe reported to now be at risk.

Graham Thorpe’s position as England batting coach appears to be at risk. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images.
Graham Thorpe’s position as England batting coach appears to be at risk. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images.

The England and Wales Cricket Board is investigating after police were called to break up an all-night drinking session involving “intoxicated” England and Australian cricketers.

The England captain Joe Root, 31, the veteran fast bowler Jimmy Anderson, 39, and assistant coach Graham Thorpe, 52, were among those instructed to go to bed by police at about 6am yesterday and reprimanded for being “too loud”.

They appeared to have been enjoying an all-night drinking session at the team hotel in Hobart after their humiliating Ashes defeat the previous evening. They were joined by the Australian spin bowler Nathan Lyon, 34, the wicketkeeper Alex Carey, 30, and the batsman Travis Head, 28.

Video which appears to have been taken by Thorpe captures the moment four police officers break up the gathering on the team hotel balcony after receiving a noise complaint. “Too loud,” a female officer is heard saying to the group. “You have obviously been asked to pack up, so we’ve been asked to come. Time for bed.”

A voice, believed to be that of Thorpe, is heard in the background, saying: “We’ve got Nathan Lyon, Root, there’s Carey and Anderson. I’ll just video this for the lawyers. See you in the morning, everyone.”

The ECB are investigating how the video came to be leaked to the press, with Thorpe’s position reported to be at risk. It is understood that Thorpe may leave his role as batting coach after the tour anyway, with the former England batsman keen to spend less time touring.

The players appeared to have been unwinding all night after the Ashes series, in which England crumbled to a 4-0 defeat.

Tasmanian police said officers were called after a complaint about “intoxicated individuals”. The force said: “Tasmania police attended the Crowne Plaza Hobart on Monday morning after reports were made of intoxicated people in a function area. The guests were spoken to, just after 6am, and left the area when asked. No further action will be taken.”

Both teams were staying at the Crowne Plaza Hobart.

The players, most of whom are still wearing their cricket whites, are seen leaving quietly after being instructed to do so by police. “No worries,” Lyon says after the group are told to go to bed.

The incident heaps fresh embarrassment on the England cricket team and its captain Root, amid concerns about its abject performance and a drinking culture within the team and management staff.

Graham Thorpe may be on his way out of the England set-up. Picture: Gareth Copley/Getty Images.
Graham Thorpe may be on his way out of the England set-up. Picture: Gareth Copley/Getty Images.

It will also raise concerns in the England camp about how the video got into the hands of The Sydney Morning Herald, which first published the story.

A spokesman for the English and Wales Cricket Board said: “During the early hours of Monday morning, members of the England and Australia men’s team shared a drink in the team areas of the hotel in Hobart.

“The hotel management received a noise complaint, and as is commonplace in Australia, the local police attended the scene.

“When asked to leave by hotel management and Tasmanian police, the players and management in question left and returned to their respective hotel rooms. The England party have apologised for any inconvenience caused.

“The ECB will investigate further. Until such time, we will make no further comment.”

– The Times

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