2010: Sprinkler Dance; 2013: No dance,just sprinklers

After England retained the Ashes yet again,there were yet more mid-pitch celebrations.

Written by Agencies | London | Published: August 27, 2013 3:12 am

When England retained the Ashes in 2009-10 — their first in Australia after a gap of 24 years — the triumphant side had a rather sensational way of celebrating the occasion. The England side stormed the Sydney Cricket Ground after stretching the scoreline to 3-1 and began what is now popularly known as the Sprinkler Dance — a move choreographed by off-spinner Graeme Swann — in the middle of the pitch.

On Sunday,after England retained the Ashes yet again,there were yet more mid-pitch celebrations.

Several England players were reported to have urinated on The Oval pitch as they celebrated their 3-0 thrashing of Australia with beer and champagne in the middle,hours after the final Test had ended on Sunday.

Australian media called it a “distasteful postscript” to the Ashes. The Daily Mail wondered if it was “The Splashes”. And ESPNCricinfo observed that the tactic was usually employed by male cats to mark out their territory.

Silent witnesses

The ground was empty,but the alleged soiling of one of cricket hallowed turfs was watched and reported by Australian journalists who were still in the pressbox. Ben Horne of the AAP wrote: “Around 11.30 pm,several players including Stuart Broad and Kevin Pietersen took it in turns to get up from where they were sitting and wander over to relieve themselves on the pitch.”

“England’s watering of The Oval strip occurred with cleaning staff andother game day workers still present at the ground.” Malcolm Conn of News Corp said Stuart Broad was also one of the offenders. No pictures of the alleged “watering” have emerged so far.

The only piece of evidence that goes anywhere close to implicating the cricketers is an image tweeted by Matt Prior that showed English players sitting on the ground with bottles of beer in front of them. Prior called it the “best moment of the Ashes”.

Britain’s sports minister Hugh Robertson said the allegations would be examined. “If it happened it is not good behaviour,” he said.

Australian media quoted curator Cam Sutherland as saying the incident was unfortunate,and that it was “not a good look”. England coach Andy Flower declined to comment.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan tweeted: “Looks like England are already starting to prepare wickets for the arrival of India next summer. Watering the Oval last night after play!!!!”

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