England won the Ashes series against Australia 3-0. This was their fourth win in the last five engagements against their bitter rival. England also drew level with Australia in their overall head-to-head record. Both teams have now won 31 Ashes series each.
After the presentation and other formalities were completed, England players started celebrating their win by sitting on the pitch and drinking beer. Nothing wrong with that. What better way to savour a big win than at the very scene of the triumph, that too with lager in your hand, teammates by your side and the smell of grass in the air. But according to media reports, this is where the story gets messy.
With no toilet nearby, and no doubt with judgment clouded by drink and euphoria, Kevin Pietersen, James Anderson and (of course) Stuart Broad relieved themselves on the Oval pitch, cheered on by teammates. Australian journalists still working in the press box witnessed this and reported the incident. If true, then it is indeed shameful. Granted that athletes are still kids in the big picture and that boys will be boys, but there is no doubt that urinating on a field is in poor taste. Generally Australia are considered the worst behaved athletes but England outdid them. When even Shane Warne wags a finger in disapproval, you must have done something truly naughty.
“Unfortunately the way people are judged these days, it’s best to celebrate within the confines of the dressing room,” Warne said. “Stay in there as long as you like, get as drunk as you like if that is what you want to do and enjoy your [time with] team-mates and the moment. But to go and disrespect something as ancient as the Oval pitch in such an unnecessary and crass way is a pretty ordinary and arrogant thing to do.”